Bradford Park Avenue vs. Alfreton Town – Match Preview
Both sides will be relishing a return to action after their respective fixtures fell victim to the ‘Beast from the East’ last week but for very different reasons.
Avenue suffered a humiliating defeat to rock-bottom North Ferriby United in their last outing, with manager Mark Bower describing their performance as the worst he had seen since his appointment.
Alfreton, on the other hand, have shown significant improvement since former Halifax Town defender Chris Moyses took charge in mid-January. They suffered narrow defeats to high-fliers Salford City and Harrogate Town in February but have also brushed aside Leamington, Blyth Spartans and Tamworth since the managerial change. In their last league outing, defender Tom Allan struck against his former club York City to secure a valuable point at Bootham Crescent before they booked their place in the Derbyshire Senior Cup final three days later. A commendable effort from volunteers to clear the snow at the Impact Arena allowed the Cup tie to go ahead, and the hardy souls were rewarded with the witnessing of a 2-0 win over Ilkeston Town.
In the last meeting between the sides, Mark Ross turned a cross into his own net to give Alfreton the lead but saw his blushes spared by second-half strikes from Adam Boyes and Oli Johnson, as well as a bullet header from Shane Killock.
GUIDE TO THE OPPONENTS:
52-year-old Moyses was appointed as Alfreton boss in January after nearly two years away from football. He began his managerial career in February 2010 when he was handed the reins at Lincoln Moorlands Railway in the NCEL Premier Division, and he helped guide them to safety in remarkable fashion as they secured 22 points from their final eleven league games. In the following season, he steered the club to a sixth-placed finish but resigned in May 2011. After spending time coaching within Lincoln City’s youth set-up, he took up the role of first-team manager in December 2014 after a brief spell as caretaker manager. The Imps finished 15th in his first season, before climbing to 13th in the following campaign. Current Lincoln manager Danny Cowley replaced Moyses in May 2016. As a player, he lined-up for our Yorkshire counterparts Halifax Town between 1984 and 1985 before dropping into non-league to represent Boston United, Shepshed Charterhouse and Grantham. He also represented the club he would go on to manage, Lincoln, during a stint with the Imps in 1984.
The 23-year-old utility man has established himself as a key figure for Alfreton this season having penned a new one-year deal with the club in June 2017. Allan ascended the ranks of hometown club York City after agreeing youth terms with the club aged eight and made his debut for the Minstermen as a substitute in a 4-1 win over Bristol Rovers in December 2012. He represented Hucknall Town and Harrogate Town during loan spells whilst with York, before leaving in 2014 to join Gateshead. Despite making 22 appearances in the top tier of non-league football in the 2014-15 season, he was released by newly-appointed Tynesiders manager Malcolm Crosby in June 2015. Allan was snapped up by Alfreton following his release and has featured regularly in the first-team either side of a loan spell with Tadcaster Albion. He helped the Reds pick up a vital point on the road in their last league outing with an equalising goal against former club York.
The 24-year-old product of Crewe Alexandra’s academy is a tricky winger who is no stranger to football in Yorkshire having lined-up for Harrogate Town in the 2014-15 season. He netted 22 goals in 40 appearances at the CNG Stadium, earning a move to AFC Fylde in May 2016. He helped the club achieve promotion to the National League in his debut season but didn’t follow them into the top tier of non-league football, joining Alfreton instead in August 2017. He has already notched 13 goals in 30 appearances so far this season and will be looking to add to his tally on Saturday.
Westcarr trails Daniels by one goal in Alfreton’s goal scoring chart this season but has been equally as impressive. The 33-year-old has found the back of the net on 12 occasions and is currently enjoying his second campaign at the Impact Arena having joined from Mansfield Town in 2016. He became Nottingham Forest’s youngest ever first-team player when he made his debut as a 16-year-old in 2001 but dropped into non-league four years later after agreeing terms with Cambridge United. The former England under-21 international then joined Kettering Town in 2007, where three impressive seasons earned him a move back to the Football League with Notts County in 2009. He helped fire County to the League Two title in 2010 and scored the opening goal against Sunderland in an FA Cup giant-killing at the Stadium of Light in January 2011. He left Meadow Lane in 2011, and represented Chesterfield, Walsall, Portsmouth and Mansfield Town in the Football League before a loan spell with Southport returned him to the non-league game in 2016.
Saturday’s game kicks-off at 3pm at the Horsfall Stadium, with admission priced at just £10 for adults, £7 for concessions, £5 for students and £2 for under-18s