Bradford Park Avenue drew for the first time since October as they were held by FC United of Manchester.

Both sides missed key chances at a sun-kissed Horsfall Stadium in a contest that had a very end-of-season feel to it.

Tom Greaves had missed a glaring opening against his former club before Aidan Chippendale somehow failed to score having rounded goalkeeper Ryan Schofield in what was probably the miss of the season.

Avenue got off to the brighter start in the game, as Nicky Wroe headed wide from an offside position, before Shane Killock’s volley was well blocked.

Chris Sharp, who replaced the now-departed Wayne Brooksby, had the first big chance of the match as Oli Johnson found him in space in the area, but he skewed his effort well wide of the mark.

Wroe himself then came close as he latched onto a Gavin Rothery pass, curling an effort just wide of the post from 20 yards.

The visitors earned a corner on the breakaway and struck the woodwork directly from it, Jerome Wright’s deep delivery bouncing up off the top of the crossbar.

FC were looking dangerous on the counter attack, and had another chance when Tomi Adeloye worked himself some space but his effort was comfortably held by Jon Worsnop.

Sharp was proving incredibly effective in the air, and should have scored when he headed a Wroe corner over the bar, before he forced Schofield into a good save, though the offside flag was up.

The game petered out before half-time, with both sides struggling to deal with the heat in South Bradford.

After the break, Greaves had the best chance of the game as Dale Tonge whipped in a near post cross, which the former Bradford hero flicked over the bar with the goal gaping.

10 minutes later Avenue should have opened the scoring as Johnson led a break from an FC corner, squaring for Matt Hill who took a complete air-kick and the chance went begging.

Then came the biggest chance of the afternoon, when Chippendale should have scored with what was his first touch of the game.

He touched the ball round Schofield and could have gone down but stayed on his feet, and with the goal gaping, the winger seemed to take an age and tried to walk the ball in, allowing defender Jordan Fagbola to intervene with a slide tackle effectively on the goal line.

Johnson could have had a goal of his own five minutes later, as he hit a half-volley goalwards, only for Sharp to inadvertently deny his teammate.

FC had one chance in the dying minutes as a deep corner evaded Worsnop, but Luke Ashworth could only head over on the stretch.

It was Bradford’s first draw since a 1-1 stalemate with AFC Telford United on 8 October, but the first time this season that Mark Bower’s men have kept consecutive clean sheets.

The result means Avenue now sit 10 points ahead of third-bottom Gainsborough, who will no longer be able to catch Bower’s side if they lose to Salford on Good Friday, though Stalybridge’s unlikely victory over AFC Fylde means they are also still within reach.

Bradford Park Avenue: Worsnop, Hibbs, Hill, Wroe (c), Killock, Knowles, Nowakowski, D.Boshell, Sharp (Toulson 86), Johnson (Sinclair 78), Rothery (Chippendale 69)

Subs not used: Hall, Spencer

Bookings: Hill (62), Rothery (65)

FC United of Manchester: Schofield, Tonge, Chantler, Kay, Fagbola, Ashworth, Wolfenden (Gilchrist 69), Lowe, Greaves, Wright (c, Sheridan 78), Adeloye (Thomson 69)

Subs not used: Brown, Glynn

Booking: Kay (21)

Referee: Paul Brown

Attendance: 566

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