- Curtis shown straight red in first half
- Fielding stunner opens scoring for Avenue
- Knight seals victory for away side ten minutes from time
Attendance: 1141 (37 away)
Spennymoor Town 0
Curtis sent off 25
Bradford (Park Avenue) 2
James Curtis’ first half dismissal proved costly as two second half strikes condemned Moors to defeat at home to Bradford (Park Avenue).
Curtis was shown a straight red midway through the period after taking down Lewis Knight as he raced down on goal.
Spennymoor were stubborn in defence until Sam Fielding’s long-range effort broke their resistance, before Knight’s half-volley sealed the win for Avenue.
Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made two forced alterations to the side who started the 3-0 victory over Curzon Ashton, with Ethan Brierley and Luke Spokes replacing the injured duo of Jamie Chandler and Jordan Preston.
A bitterly cold evening in County Durham witnessed a tepid opening 15 minute spell, with Moors dominating the ball but unable to carve open a solid Avenue defence.
Jordan Thewlis had the game’s first chance after 24 minutes, latching on to a through ball before seeing his effort stopped by George Sykes-Kenworthy.
A game void of incident suddenly burst into life when a long ball found Lewis Knight, and when the striker burst away from Curtis, Moors’ captain made the decision to pull back Avenue’s number seven.
The referee showed no hesitation brandishing a red card, Curtis’ second in the league this season.
Knight blasted the resulting free-kick over the bar, but was soon denied by a superb save from Harry Flatters.
Gaps began to appear as Avenue’s man advantage stared to show, with Brad Dockerty bursting through on goal before slamming a shot which crashed off the bar.
Moors’ discipline in the first half continued to cause issues, with both Rob Ramshaw and Joe Tait picking up yellow cards in a 45 minutes littered with mistakes.
The message during the half-time interval seemed clear, with Moors emerging from the tunnel organised and clear of the uphill task at hand.
Avenue dominated the ball in the early stages of the second period, but were unable to forge out any opportunities against a superbly drilled Moors outfit.
In fact, it was Spennymoor who looked the more dangerous of the two teams in patches, with the pace of Ryan Hall and Oyibo proving useful on the counter.
It was clear a growingly frustrated Avenue side were in need of a moment of quality, and, just shy of the 70 minute mark, Fielding provided it with a goal of the season contender.
The ball fell to the midfielder 35-yards out, and with space ahead of him, he thundered an unstoppable effort past the despairing dive of Flatters.
Moors were still in the contest but saw their clearest opening of the second half pass by when Kenton Richardson flashed wide from Tait’s infield pass.
That miss proved costly a minute later when Avenue doubled their lead and resigned Moors to defeat.
Following a change of formation Moors were left exposed as Bradford ventured forward, allowing Knight to pick up the ball in acres of space at the back post.
The forward let the ball bounce once before fizzing a half volley past Flatters into the top corner, continuing his excellent scoring record against Spennymoor.
Spennymoor Town : Flatters ; Richardson, Curtis, Tait, Pye, Ramshaw, Brierley, Spokes, Oyibo, Thewlis (Hall), Taylor.
Subs not used: Preston, Mason, Ofosu, Hindson.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Sykes-Kenworthy, Ross, Odunston, Hopper, Havern (C), Fielding, Knight (Nowakowski), Richman, Dockerty (Toulson), Johnson, Hinds (Clee).
Subs not used: Lund, Windass.