Fight for survival continues against Banbury.
Bradford (Park Avenue) continue to fight for their National League North status as they prepare to host Banbury United at the Horsfall Community Stadium on Saturday.
The Green Army head into the game on a three-match unbeaten run, having picked up four points over the Easter weekend, a double-header which could have seen the club relegated to the Northern Premier League had results not gone their way. As it was, the Avenue got their weekend off to a great start by dispatching Southport in a comfortable 2-0 victory on Good Friday, before fighting to an impressive 2-2 draw away to promotion-chasing Darlington just three days later.
It will be another nervous weekend for the Avenue faithful as, once again, results elsewhere could see Bradford relegated if they taste defeat at the hands of Banbury United. The Green Army currently sit 23rd on 39 points, seven points from safety and with a game in hand over other relegation-threatened sides Leamington and Kettering Town.
Manager Mark Bower will be hopeful that Will Longbottom can continue his fantastic form in recent weeks having netted three times in his previous four appearances, including both of Avenue’s goals at Darlington last time out. Likewise, academy graduate Myles La Bastide has adapted well to first team football, his late goal at home to Southport last Friday being the icing on the cake of a much-needed win for the club.
This weekend’s opposition will arrive at the Horsfall in 16th place sitting seven points above the drop zone, knowing that a win will all but guarantee their place in the National League North for another season. The Puritans are unbeaten in their previous five matches, four of which were draws. Manager Andy Whing will be hoping midfielder Giorgio Rasulo can re-discover his goalscoring form. Nine goals in the first half of the season makes Rasulo Banbury’s top goal scorer this campaign, however the Puritans captain hasn’t found the net since a 2-1 defeat at AFC Telford United in early-December.
Banbury United’s promotion to the National League North this season meant that the reverse fixture back in November was the first time these two clubs had met in league competition. The game, a Tuesday night fixture in late-November, looked to be heading for a goalless draw when an 89th minute winner from Banbury’s Jay Williams secured all three points for the home side. Bradford (Park Avenue) will be eager to equal the head-to-head record this Saturday in what is another must-win game for the Green Army’s survival hopes.
Match Preview by Stephen Grimshaw (@sgsportswriter on Twitter and Instagram)
Saturday 15th April – Bradford (Park Avenue) vs. Banbury United
Kick off: 15:00
Where To Find Us:
Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC, Horsfall Community Stadium, Cemetery Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD6 2NG
Directions By Car:
Leave the M62 at junction 26 and follow signs for the M606. Continue on the M606 to junction 3 and take the A6117 exit to Ring Road West. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit on to Rooley Lane / A6036 signposted Halifax. Pass the Odsal Stadium on the left hand side and at the next roundabout take the 3rd exit on to Halifax Road / A6036 signposted Halifax. After approximately one mile turn left down Cemetery Road immediately before the Kids Planet Children’s Nursery, and the ground is 150 yards on the left. We have a car park which will be signposted off Cemetery Road and parking charges may apply.
Directions By Train:
Bradford Interchange rail station is the nearest to the ground and trains operate on the Calder Valley Line timetable from Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Manchester, Preston and York.
From there you can catch the bus directly to the ground (details below):
Bradford Forster Square rail station There are regular services from Leeds (Leeds-Bradford Line timetable), Skipton (Airedale Line timetable) and Ilkley (Wharfedale Line timetable).
From Forster Square it is a 10 minute walk to Bradford Interchange bus station for a bus onwards to the stadium.
Directions By Bus:
From Bradford Interchange bus station bus services 681 and 682 and Halifax Bus Station bus services 508, 681 and 682.
These services stop at the Halifax Road Cemetery Road stop near to the stadium.
The turnstiles open around an hour and a half before kick off and are located at either end of the ground on Cemetery Road and Park Road. Matchday prices for league games are as follows:
Adult – £14
Concession – £10
Student – £5 (With Valid ID)
Youth (12-17) – £3
Junior (under 12, must be accompanied by an adult) – £1