Bradford Park Avenue fell to a first defeat in five games at the hands of play-off chasing Stockport County.
Avenue held their own in a well-contested match in front of the largest crowd of the season at the Horsfall Stadium, but late goals from Josh Amis and Danny Lloyd kept the visitors’ promotion hopes alive.
Manager Mark Bower chose to make a couple of changes for the visit of Stockport, with Ed Hall and Jamie Spencer both handed their debuts, while Shane Killock sat out the final home game of the season with flu.
The visitors were testing Hall’s fielding early on but the young stopper was dealing with any slight threat comfortably, and it was Bradford who should have opened the scoring just seven minutes into the game.
Nicky Wroe broke from a Stockport corner, he played a low ball across the area to Gavin Rothery who just had to tap home, but he took a touch, and his eventual shot was saved by visiting goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe.
The ever-dangerous Danny Lloyd was struggling to make an impact in the first half, but his shot from the edge of the box flashed wide in County’s first half-chance of the afternoon, before John Marsden flashed wide 10 minutes later as the sides went in level at the break.
Hall showed excellent reactions at the start of the second half, Jimmy Ball meeting a cross from the left and his header looked to be flying in, only for the Avenue stopper to acrobatically tip over the bar.
Stockport were seeing a lot of the ball without creating many chances, left-back Scott Duxbury lashing over the bar after Hall punched a long throw his way.
Up the other end, Hinchliffe had to be at his best once more as Spencer played an excellent low cross into the box, Adam Nowakowski seeing his goal-bound flick well saved by the former Fylde goalkeeper.
Nowakowski then had to be at his best at the other end, putting in a brilliant block to deny Amis the game’s first goal.
However moments later Amis did have the ball in the back of the net as County took the lead.
Avenue failed to deal with a ball into the box, and as Matt Hill cleared off the line, his touch fell straight into the path of the Stockport substitute who couldn’t miss, sending the visiting support wild.
Bradford pushed up looking for an equaliser, but weren’t helped when James Knowles hobbled off the pitch for the second successive match, and it was a defensive error that led to County’s second.
Hill, now playing in the centre of defence, failed to deal with a ball over the top, and as Lloyd lurked, Hall came out and the ball was lofted over him, with the final touch possibly coming off the Avenue defender.
The final game of the season for Bradford comes next Saturday, as Mark Bower’s men travel to second-placed Kidderminster Harriers.
Bradford Park Avenue: Hall, Toulson (c), Hill, Wroe, Nowakowski, Knowles (Payne 83), Hibbs, D.Boshell (Sinclair 63), Sharp, Spencer (Chippendale 75), Rothery
Subs not used: Worsnop
Booking: Wroe (35)
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Ross (c), Duxbury, Montrose, Clarke (Meppen-Walters 53), Cartwright, Call (Amis 73), Brazel, Odejayi (Gonzales 73), Marsden, Lloyd
Subs not used: Ormson, Ellison
Goals: Amis (81), Lloyd (90+1)
Booking: Marsden (23)
Referee: Will Finnie