Bradford Park Avenue vs. AFC Telford United – Match Preview Sat 17th March 15.00 KO
Avenue will be looking to bring an end to a winless run that stretched to five games after last week’s draw with Alfreton Town. Mark Bower, however, will be optimistic after describing the draw with the Reds as the least that his side deserved.
AFC Telford find themselves in the midst of an even sticker patch, after Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat to Southport meant that The Bucks have picked up just two wins from their last twelve league outings.
Rob Edwards’ are currently languishing in the relegation zone, level on points with 21st-placed Gainsborough Trinity but 21 points clear of rock-bottom North Ferriby United.
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Shropshire-born Edwards is currently cutting his teeth in full-time senior management with the Bucks after a spell in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ under-18 side and a brief stint as interim manager of the first-team. He hung up his boots aged 30 after a successful career earnt the centre-back 15 caps for the Wales national team. He began his career with Aston Villa before making the switch to Molineux in 2004 after loan spells with Crystal Palace and Derby County. The former defender spent four years with Wolves before signing for Blackpool where he tasted Premier League football following the Tangerines’ promotion in 2010. Edwards was part of a promotion-winning side the following season, helping Norwich City reach the promised land after joining on loan in March 2011. Barnsley swooped to sign Edwards following his release from Bloomfield Road, but he found first-team opportunities limited and spent time on loan at Fleetwood Town and Shrewsbury Town in 2013 before retiring.
The brother of Watford striker Troy joined the Bucks in January, making the switch from league rivals Tamworth. The combative midfielder has already faced Avenue on two occasions this season after starring in Tamworth’s 4-3 win at the Horsfall Stadium in December and featuring in the Lambs’ defeat to Mark Bower’s side on the opening day of the season. He boasts vast experience of the division thanks to his time as captain of Worcester City, who he joined following spells with Kettering Town and Hinckley. Deeney, who can also operate in defence, captained Aston Villa’s under-18s before dropping into non-league football.
Tricky winger Amari Morgan-Smith joined the Bucks in February after spending the first half of the season with York City. In one of his final appearances for the Minstermen, he doubled York’s lead against Avenue during our defeat at Bootham Crescent back in January. A product of Crewe Alexandra’s academy, he established himself as a promising talent at Ilkeston Town and helped them achieve promotion to the Conference North in 2009. He trained with Championship side Derby County during his time with Ilkeston as a reward for a string of impressive displays and eventually left the club in 2010 to join Luton Town. He continued to impress at Kenilworth Road, earning a trial with Doncaster Rovers in 2012 despite concerns over his fitness that led to his departure from the Hatters. Morgan-Smith continued to establish himself as one of the most exciting talents in non-league football and represented Macclesfield Town and Kidderminster Harrier before sealing a move to League One after agreeing a deal with Oldham Athletic. He returned to the National League with Cheltenham Town in 2015 and helped them earn promotion to League Two but returned to non-league football when he joined York on loan in January 2017. He featured in the Minstermen’s FA Trophy final victory over his former club Macclesfield and signed a permanent deal with the club in June 2017.
The action will kick-off at 3pm on Saturday but will only go ahead if the Horsfall pitch passes a pitch inspection that has been scheduled for 9:30am.
Adults – £10
Concessions – £7
Students – £5
Under-18s – £2