A goal two minutes from time by ex Town favourite Danny Holland, put a dent into Harrogate’s play off hopes.
On a bitterly cold evening,more reminiscent of Christmas than post Easter, Town were first into the attack.
Chib Chilaka’s early cross was spilt by Avenue keeper Lamb, but Michael Duckworth scrambled clear to deny the recalled Paul Beesley.
An Avenue flurry saw Adam Clayton shoot at Craig MacGillivray and Tim Ryan hook well over Town’s bar, but from then on Town shaded the first period.
Adam Nowakowski went close when he picked up a weak Lamb punch and Danny Forrest shot over from a Dave Merris pass.
Colin Larkin got into the act when he broke powerfully down the left and unleashed a rising drive which sailed narrowly over the top.
Chilaka and Larkin combined well to create an opening for skipper Paul Bolland,but his curler for the top corner was just over the angle.
As half time approached,Avenue showed signs of their attacking potential when Paul Walker squared to Richard Marshall who unusually for him was well off target.
Aidan Savory then released Walker into the area but he shot weakly at MacGillivray.
Bradford brought on Holland and ex Town triallist, Tom Corner for the second half.
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The game developed into a feisty local derby and Referee Matthew Bristow who had appeared lenient before the break, began issuing a string of yellow cards to both teams.
Chilaka shot across goal and Larkin headed Beesley’s deep cross into the arms of Lamb.
Unfortunately for Town, with ten minutes remaining, Dwayne Samuels picked up a second yellow for blocking Corner’s through ball with his hand and received his marching orders.
Avenue began to apply the pressure and with three minutes left MacGillivray pulled out a brilliant save to beat away Alex Davidson’s screamer for the top corner.
However,it was only a stay of execution for Town, as seconds later Davidson broke down the right and his low cross was slid in at the far post by Holland.
At the final whistle, the sizeable Harrogate contingent who had turned out on such an arctic night disappointedly made their way home.
1 MacGillivray, 2 Samuels, 3 Merris, 4 Bolland (c) (Dean 80),5 White, 6 Killock, 7 Nowakowski, 8 Larkin ( Bloomer 82), 9 Beesley, 10 Chilaka, 11 Forrest.( Elam 73).
Unused subs,12 Allan, 14 Woods.
Sent Off Samuels, Bookings White, Killock, Nowakowski, Beesley,Elam.