AFC Telford 0 Bradford Park Avenue 2 - Report and pictures
AFC Telford United's sublime run at the New Bucks Head finally came to an end as they lost 2-0 to table-toppers Bradford Park Avenue.
The Bucks went into what was a tight affair on a 12-game home unbeaten streak across all competitions but were made to pay for a glaring miss.
Lewis Knight struck for Avenue, a few minutes after Darryl Knights, with the goal gaping, fluffed his lines.
Jamie Spencer then put the game to bed in stoppage-time.
A case of fine margins. Not the greatest performance from Gavin Cowan's charges, but still plenty for him to be pleased about in the grand scheme of things. They are now fifth in National League North.
Telford made two enforced changes from the team that beat Darlington 2-0 in the FA Trophy. Theo Streete and Steph Morley - both suspended - were replaced by Dom Smith and Ellis Deeney as Cowan stuck with the usual 3-5-2 system. New loan signings Brendon Daniels and Yusifu Ceesay were among the substitutes.
Former Bucks skipper Luca Havern started for Avenue. Shane Killock, another ex-captain, was due to begin the game for them but pulled up in the warm-up. Mark Ross was alongside Havern at the back instead.
The first half an hour was pretty even. Avenue pressed high up the pitch in an attempt to cause uncertainty - and had a bit of joy. Oli Johnson's close-range shot was cleared by Ross White before Adam Nowakowski spurned a fantastic opportunity - volleying wide after being given plenty of room at the far post. Knight was also denied by a last-ditch Ellis Deeney tackle.
But Telford created openings of their own. Knights was finding space between the lines and - after he skied the ball over following a well-worked corner - found Deeney, who headed into the arms of Steven Drench.
Deeney had another header go wide, and James McQuilkin tested Drench with a powerful free-kick.
Both teams displayed why they are flying high in the division - moving the ball at a good tempo, defending solidly - and 0-0 was a fair score going into the break.
Shortly after the restart, the Bucks had a glorious chance to take the lead.
All Knights had to do was find an open goal from the edge of the box, but he hit the ball into the stand instead.
And they were soon made to rue that miss.
Beesley broke through on the counter-attack. Wycherley did well to keep him out, only for Knight to poke home. It was ruthless from Avenue.
Telford then turned to their bench in search of some magic as Ryan Barnett, Andre Brown and Daniels all entered the fray.
Barnett had a decent half-volley saved and showed quality in his 30-minute cameo. And there was a goal, but for Avenue as Spencer slotted in late on.
08 - Telford should be ahead after a beautifully-worked corner. McQuilkin plays it low to Knights, who blazes over from just inside the box. Up the other end, Johnson is denied from close range.
26 - Big chance for the visitors. Sutton's wayward header falls to Nowakowski at the back post, but his volley shaves the side netting on its way wide. Head in hands, he knows he should have hit the target.
48 - A huge miss from the Bucks! Udoh chases a loose ball down. Avenue keeper Drench gets there first, but it falls to Knights. Open goal, 18 yards out, he somehow floats it over.
52 - Goal! Knight puts the visitors in front. Beesley races clear on the left-hand side. His side-footed shot is saved by Wycherley, but Knight gratefully taps in on the rebound.
90 - Goal! In their search for a leveller, Telford have too many bodies forward and the away side make sure of the win. Spencer finds space in the box and takes a touch to set himself before firing past Wycherley.
Telford (3-5-2): Wycherley; Smith (Barnett, 61), Sutton (c), White; Cowans, Royle, McQuilkin, Knights (Daniels, 77), Deeney; Morgan-Smith (Brown, 77), Udoh
Subs not used: Bramley (gk), Ceesay
Bradford PA (4-2-3-1): Drench; Toulson, Havern, Ross, Lowe; Nowakowski (Spencer, 75), Wroe; Knight, Clee, Johnson (McKenna, 90); Beesley (Hurst, 90)
Subs not used: Dawson
Scorers: Knight (52), Spencer (90)
Referee: Aaron Jackson (Liverpool)