Bradford Eliminated By Ruthless Robins

Bradford (Park Avenue) were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup by National League North counterparts Altrincham. 

After a first-half that failed to separate the sides, the visitors leaked two to send the Robins into the Fourth Qualifying Round of the prestigious competition.

Altrincham had two early opportunites to open the scoring, but Steven Drench held on to a flicked effort from Jordan Hulme and Sean Williams’ deflected effort struck the post. After the ball cannoned off the woodwork, it fell at the feet of John Johnston but the winger was thwarted by the Bradford stopper.

Drench remained busy in the early exchanges and his palms were stung by a long-range piledriver from Max Harrop.

Bradford caught their first glimpse of goal when Jake Beesley accelerated away from Connor Hampson and crossed, but Chris Dawson poked wide.

The chance seemed to rally Mark Bower’s side, who began to ask questions of their opponents. Ben McKenna nodded wide from a Danny Lowe delivery and Beesley also sent a header wide after connecting with a cross from Nicky Wroe.

Shortly after, McKenna rattled the post with a thunderous effort before the ball fell to Wroe on the edge of the box. The midfielder, however, couldn’t find the target and blasted wide.

They were soon rewarded for their pressure when Beesley was hauled to the ground by Jake Moult inside the 18-yard box. The forward stepped up and converted, giving Bradford a thoroughly deserved lead.

An acrobatic effort from McKenna then drew a magnificent save from Tony Thompson, who palmed the ball wide of the post at full stretch.

However, Bradford were sucker-punched as Hulme found Hampson with a low cross, enabling the defender to bundle over the line in the midst of a scramble.

Despite the blow, it took barely two minutes for the visitors to regain the lead. Wroe delivered a corner that found Shane Killock, who struck past Thompson.

The drama continued as stunned supporters witnessed another goal on the stroke of half-time. Jake Moult’s speculative strike from distance took a deflection that wrong-footed Drench and put the Robins back on level terms.

HALF-TIME: Altrincham 2-2 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Mark Bower was forced to shuffle his pack during the interval as Gianluca Havern was forced out of the action with injury. Conor Branson moved to the centre of defence as Jamie Spencer stepped off the bench and into midfield.

Bradford then made another enforced change, replacing Chris Dawson with veteran Danny Boshell.

The second-half didn’t quite reach the entertainment levels of the half that preceded it. Neither side was really troubled until the 57th minute when Harrop threaded through to Hulme and Killock was forced to block a low drive.

Johnston then came close to edging Altrincham ahead, but his curling effort was plucked out of the top corner by Drench.

However, the goalkeeper was unable to prevent James Jones steering home from Moult’s corner delivery and edging the Robins ahead.

Despite having a deficit to overturn, Bradford struggled to break the hardy hosts down and McKenna saw a dangerous delivery diverted away from danger by Tom Hannigan.

With just six minutes remaining, Altrincham extended their lead and deflated their opponents. Hulme cut in from the left before unleashing a vicious strike that rendered Drench helpless.

The visitors failed to mount a comeback and were condemned to their second defeat to Altrincham of the season,

FULL-TIME: Altrincham 4-2 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Altrincham: T. Thompson, White, Hampson, Jones, Hannigan, Moult (c), Johnston (Hancock 72′), Williams (Poole 72′), Hulme, Harrop, Dale (Peers 82′).

Unused substitutes: Goulding, J. Thompson, Densmore, Wynne.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Drench, Ross, Lowe, Wroe (Nowakowski 79′), Killock (c), Havern (Spencer 45′), McKenna, Branson, Beesley, Dawson (Boshell 52′), Clee.

Unused substitutes: Toulson, Atkinson, Knight, Johnson.

Referee: Dean Watson


Match Preview: Altrincham vs. Bradford (Park Avenue)

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Photo: John Rhodes

Bradford (Park Avenue) visit National League North counterparts Altrincham tomorrow, looking to keep the Emirates FA Cup dream alive.

The two sides met less than a month ago in league action, but the Robins left the Horsfall Stadium with three points in the bag after a narrow 3-2 win.

Prior to the last meeting, Bradford had shipped seven goals in their previous two games but Altrincham will face a different beast at the J. Davidson Stadium tomorrow. Mark Bower’s side have tightened their backline significantly, keeping two consecutive clean sheets on the road against Darlington and Alfreton Town.

Altrincham progressed into the Third Qualifying round of the competition with a convincing disposal of Whitley Bay, finding the back of the net on five occasions with no reply from their opponents. Bradford’s test was considerably sterner but they advanced regardless, edging past Darlington with a 1-0 victory.

Despite impressing in the Second Qualifying Round, Phil Parkinson’s side head into the clash with Bradford on the back of a defeat to Kidderminster Harriers. Three first-half strikes from the Harriers helped see off the Robins, who failed to mount a comeback despite a flurry of late chances.

Mark Bower is well aware of the threat Altrincham pose but claims that his side are confident ahead of the game:

“You’ve got to take each game on its merits, both teams know each other well, we only played each other a couple of weeks ago and I’m sure they’ll have a plan for us and we’ve got to have a plan for them. It’s a difficult tie away from home, we saw how Altrincham are and they pushed Kidderminster all the way in their last game. But the lads are confident, we’ll go and give it everything we’ve got and hopefully we’ll get that bit of luck that seems to elude us in cup competitions and hopefully get into the fourth qualifying round.”


The Gaffer:

Phil Parkinson

Parkinson was appointed as Robins manager in April 2017. He joined the club from Nantwich Town, who he had been in charge of since February 2015. During his time with the Dabbers, he guided the club to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy in 2016 and the semi-finals of the Northern Premier League play-offs in 2017. An FA Vase-winning captain as a player with Nantwich, he also represented Port Vale after having spells with Crewe Alexandra and Reading as a youth player.

One To Watch:

Jordan Hulme

Hulme is undoubtedly one of the division’s most potent forwards. The clinical finisher has found the back of the net on eight occasions already this season, picking up where he left off last season when he was the Robins’ top-scorer. He was also crowned the Northern Premier League Player of the Year after breaking the 30-goal barrier. Hulme worked with management duo Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson at Ramsbottom United and Salford City before making the move to Moss Lane in July 2017.

Coverage: @BPAFCOfficial on Twitter (live text commentary)


Manarama National League North – September Manager & Player Of The Month

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Jason Ainsley (Spennymoor Town)

Jason Ainsley may have been in charge for 12 years, but even he won’t have had too many months better than the last. After an unconvincing August, he masterminded a Spennymoor Town revival in September.

Now fourth in the National League North, Town actually started last month slowly with a 1-1 draw against Southport.

That proved to be a spark as they secured maximum points after that, starting with a 2-0 win over Leamington, followed by a 3-1 victory versus Nuneaton Borough.

Perhaps their best performance and result of the season came against Hereford last weekend. Ainsley said the 3-0 away win against the Bulls would live long in the memory.

The National League’s longest serving manager was quoted earlier in the month saying: “we are always likely to score goals”.

How right he was. They averaged over two goals per game in their September fixtures and are now the third highest scoring side in the division.


Ed Williams (Kidderminster Harriers)

What a month it’s been for Harriers’ midfield maestro Ed Williams.

With Kidderminster sitting proudly in second, the 23-year-old’s form also piqued the interest of England C manager Paul Fairclough, who selected Williams for their upcoming friendlies this month.

Harriers may have lost for the first time this season during the past few weeks, but elsewhere it’s been a perfect month. An impressive 12 points from 15 has been backed up with a resounding win in the FA Cup.

Williams has more than contributed with six goals in five games throughout September, the summer signing has helped his side to wins against Blyth Spartans and Altrincham, along with a crucial goal as they eased York City aside.

But the stand-out moment has to be an incredible solo effort against Boston United – picking up the ball before beating two defenders and firing low past the Pilgrims’ keeper.


Roy Hackford (Boston United)

Roy Hackford has won Volunteer of the Month for Boston United in the National League North.

Roy is invaluable to the football club and performs many voluntary tasks every season. On home matchdays, Roy acts as a host of the Boardroom and welcomes all visiting Club Directors and guests, making sure their needs are met.

He is very influential around the club on non-matchdays too, carrying out the maintenance tasks that are required to keep the stadium up-and-running and, during the last two summers, has overseen a re-paint of the whole stadium.

On away match days, he helps to transport kit and equipment and helps other volunteers to meet the team coach.


Altrincham FC Away Travel

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The club are running a supporters coach to Altrincham FC Saturday 6th October 2018 and due to popular demand a bigger coach has been booked. Prices for seats have also been reduced to £10 for adults and £5 for under 16’s.

To book your seat please call Neil Fawcett on 07811 959003


Branson Header Sinks Alfreton

Bradford (Park Avenue) picked up their second consecutive win with a narrow victory over Alfreton Town, which saw Mark Bower’s side jump to third in the league table.

Conor Branson scored the only goal of the game in the 71st minute, causing Billy Heath’s side to plummet out of the play-off places.

Chances were few and far between in the first-half and neither goalkeeper faced stern tests. However, Alfreton players did had appeals for a penalty dismissed after Steven Drench collided with Richard Peniket whilst contesting a high ball.

In the opening twenty-five minutes, speculative shots from distance were all either side could muster but Bradford eventually had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock. Ben McKenna delivered from deep towards Branson, who headed back across goal but could only watch as Shane Killock volleyed over the crossbar.

The miss seemed to light a spark in both sides and the game livened up as half-time approached. Declan Bacon found Richard Peniket with an in-swinging cross but the forward skewed wide under pressure from Killock.

Jake Beesley reached the byline and pulled back to Nicky Clee, who blasted over the crossbar from just inside the 18-yard box.

After missing an opportunity just eight minutes prior, Peniket turned provider but Jordan Sinnott sent a volley wide after connecting with the forward’s cross.

A corner routine taken straight from the training ground opened up space for Nathan Hotte to shoot from the edge of the box but Beesley’s deflection took the ball over the crossbar and into the stand behind the goal.

With three minutes remaining until the interval, Bacon picked out Sinnott with an inch-perfect delivery from the let but the former Chesterfield man headed wide.

HALF-TIME: Alfreton Town 0-0 Bradford (Park Avenue)

A bizarre incident took place just three minutes after the restart, when Reds goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom blatantly picked up a pass from defender Josh Gowling. Controversy followed as the referee refused to blow his whistle, causing an incensed Mark Bower to vent his frustration on the touchline.

In the early stages of the second-half, the teams cancelled each other out and both defended admirably, stifling any attempts to attack.

The first clear-cut opportunity of the half fell to Alfreton substitute Callum Chettle, who was denied by Drench after weaving his way past Danny Lowe.

Bradford were provided with two injections of energy as the game approached its final twenty minutes and the introductions of Jamie Spencer and Lewis Knight were the catalysts for an increase in the visitors’ tempo.

The tireless running of forward Beesley had given Alfreton defenders headaches throughout the game but he squandered an opportunity to edge Bradford ahead in the 68th minute. McKenna’s lofted pass landed at his feet and the loanee rounded Ramsbottom, but failed to convert with the net vacated.

His blushes were spared just minutes later, as Branson connected with a corner delivery from Nicky Wroe and powered a header past a helpless Ramsbottom.

The hosts failed to carve open Bradford’s defence in the late stages, despite being in desperate need of an equaliser. Nathan Hotte sent a long-range effort sailing wide and Josh Wilde lashed over from around 25-yards out.

FULL-TIME: Alfreton Town 0-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Alfreton Town: Ramsbottom, Clackstone (Clifton 79′), Wilde, Hotte, Gowling, Shiels (c), Bateson, Johnson, Bacon (Clarke 89′), Peniket, Sinnott.

 Unused substitutes: Nicholson, Platt.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Drench, Ross, Lowe, Wroe (Nowakowski 83′), Killock (c), Havern, McKenna, Branson, Beesley, Dawson (Spencer 65′), Clee (Knight 67′).

Unused substitutes: Toulson, Boshell.

Referee: Matt Corlett

Attendance: 487


Match Preview: Alfreton Town vs. Bradford (Park Avenue)

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Photo: John Rhodes

Bradford (Park Avenue) visit Alfreton Town today, looking to build on last week’s Emirates FA Cup victory over Darlington.

Alfreton also booked their place in the next round of the competition last week but made hard work of it, needing a replay to advance at the expense of Sutton Coldfield Town.

However, focus returns to the National League North today as fourth-placed Bradford take on the sixth-placed Reds, who have made an impressive start to the campaign under the tutelage of Billy Heath.

It was a pulsating affair when the two sides last met in March but six goals couldn’t produce a winner in a 3-3 draw at the Horsfall Stadium. Matt Hill etched his name on the scoresheet and Oli Johnson netted a brace. Bradford last visited the Impact Arena in December 2017, emerging as convincing 3-1 winners.


The Gaffer:

Billy Heath

Heath was appointed as Alfreton boss in May 2018 following the departure of Chris Moyses. A vastly experienced manager, he led North Ferriby United to two promotions during his time there and also guided the club to FA Trophy glory in 2015. In 2016, he left the Villagers to join F.C Halifax Town and oversaw the Shaymen’s promotion to the National League via the play-offs.

One To Watch:

Jordan Sinnott

The son of former Bradford (Park Avenue) boss Lee, Jordan Sinnott is one of division’s most talented midfielders. A creative player with an eye for goal, the 24-year-old’s sensational long-range strike helped the Reds see off Sutton Coldfield Town on Tuesday night. The Bradford-born midfielder began his career with Huddersfield Town but found first-team opportunities limited and enjoyed loan spells away from the club with Altrincham and Bury. He eventually joined Altrincham on a permanent deal in 2015, becoming a key player for the Robins before Billy Heath swooped to sign Sinnott a year later whilst in charge of F.C Halifax Town. Following the Shaymen’s promotion to the National League, he made the switch to Chesterfield but struggled to make an impact. His recent move to Alfreton reunited him with Heath, who had left the The Shay himself in January 2018.

You can follow the action from today’s game via our official Twitter feed – find us at @BPAFCOfficial! 



Altrincham FC Away Travel

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The club are looking at running a supporters coach to Altrincham FC Saturday 6th October 2018 subject to enough interest, with seats costing £13 for adults and £8 for under 16’s.

To book your seat please see Neil Fawcett at the Supporters Information Desk on match day or call him on 07811 959003


MAN v FAT Football Has Come To Bradford (Park Avenue) Football Club

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MAN v FAT Football – an FA-endorsed 14 week football league exclusively for the 56% of UK men who are overweight or obese launches in Bradford from 17th September 2018

The MAN v FAT Football scheme will run at Goals, Eccleshill Bradford on Monday evenings from 7pm – 9pm.

Local men who want to tackle their weight issues now have the chance to join this incredibly successful weight loss league. With 95% of players losing weight and some players losing up to 70lbs during the 14 week league, it’s no wonder that the Football Association have officially endorsed the leagues.

Set up by Andrew Shanahan who himself lost five stone and was fed-up with weight loss classes just for women, MAN v FAT combines football with easy to follow diet and lifestyle advice as well as 24/7 online and offline support. There’s the traditional weigh-ins before each game, but this is then followed-up by a 30 minute game of six-a-side football. Extra goal bonuses are awarded depending on the pounds lost by the players, so it becomes a real team effort.

Karl White, Regional Manager of said, “We’re thrilled to offer this to men in Bradford . We’ve seen that MAN v FAT Football can have an incredible impact on the health of our players with 95% of players losing weight and 93% reporting health improvements from curing sleep apnoea to huge improvements in blood pressure and joint pain. Across 2016 our players lost more than 7 tonnes in weight and we know that we’re going to smash that in 2017 with leagues like the one in Bradford ‘

Currently, there are over 20 million overweight and obese men in the UK, accounting for nearly 7 out of every 10 men. The issue of weight has become such a concern that a recent report suggested that the government should treat this as the number one public health concern. Despite this, funding has been cut to local authorities and men are nearly 300% less likely to get support for their weight than women. Despite this MAN v FAT Football is one of the only options for men who want to lose weight. Fortunately, with more leagues launching across the UK, men who want to lose weight and get back into football now have an opportunity to do something about it.

Jayne Spencer, Community Manager stated ‘ We are delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in this programme for Men in Bradford and we are sure we will increase interest and membership.

It costs £9.99 to register and games cost £6 per week. The only thing you have to lose is weight…

The link is

For MAN v Fat media enquiries contact Jayne Spencer, Community Manager at Bradford Park Avenue Football club

Jayne Spencer – Tel 07807011948


A Disappointing End To FA Youth Cup Competition

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On Wednesday 19th September Bradford’s youngsters took on Harworth Colliery in their FA Youth Cup 1st qualifying round fixture. It was a great occasion with a record crowd down for an academy game and a real buzz around the Horsfall despite the bitterly cold weather.

Park Avenue started well with an early chance for Leahy forcing the Harworth keeper to a finger tip save. Harworth continued to look shakey at the back with a number of chances falling Park Av’s way. However, against the run of play Harworth took the lead. An Avenue hand ball on the edge of the box gave Harworth a free kick which deflected off the wall and into the net. It was 1-0 Harworth. This goal seemed to spring Harworth into life and they came at Park Avenue. Some good defending by both wingbacks kept Avenue in the game and just before half time Avenue found their equaliser. It was the first time Park Avenue strung a number of passes together down the right hand side and it opened up the Harworth defence. A great ball into the box by Conlon was tapped in by Bailey at the back post. The half ended at one a piece in a game Avenue should really have taken hold of. After half time Avenue started to settle and were rewarded with a goal. A free kick from the half way line lifted high into the box by Rowntree was met by Whitrick and headed over the keeper. However, it wasn’t long before Avenue squandered their lead. A soft free kick was given at the edge of the box. Harworth’s players straight strike went straight over Widdop’s head and it was 2-2. The game then started to get away from Park Avenue with a catalogue of individual errors arising. The turning point came when Widdop’s error left a tap in for the Harworth striker. 3-2 to the visitors with Avenue looking unable to reply. Chances for Ali, T.Ali and Rowntree were not converted and it looked like the game was just going to fizzle out. The final blow came when another silly free kick was given away on the edge of the box and was once again converted by Harworth. Avenue substitutes Mayfield, Ikram and Panwar added fresh legs and Avenue kept creating chances but with no final product. A frustrating game all round as Bradford’s youngsters failed to perform on the day, on this occasion. Nerves seem to get the better of the lads on the night as they were miles off the performance they produced at Staveley. This now means its time for them to focus on the U19 and College league as well as the local Pat Rice trophy.

Next game is down at The Horsfall on Monday 24th September verses Huddersfield YMCA.


Alfreton Town Away Travel

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The club are running a supporters coach to Alfreton Town Saturday 29th September 2018, with seats costing £15 for adults and £10 for under 16’s.

To book your seat please see Neil Fawcett at the Supporters Information Desk on match day or call him on 07811 959003