Bradford (Park Avenue) welcome Gloucester City to the Horsfall Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a game which involves two reeling sides desperate for a victory.
It’s safe to say that it’s not been the season both Avenue and Gloucester fans would have been hoping for at the start of the season, and with both teams staring relegation directly in the face as we reach the final few months of the season, anything but three points will be a disaster to either side when they meet this weekend.
The two sides have already played each other twice this season and the results were shared — Gloucester ran out 1-0 winners in October, while Bradford gained revenge with a 2-0 victory in the FA Trophy a month later, with both games taking place at City’s Jubilee Stadium.
Since that result against Bradford in the FA Trophy, Gloucester’s run of form has taken an almighty turn for the worst. At that point, they sat comfortably in mid table in the National League North, but since then, they have gone on a run involving just one win in ten, with a 6-1 defeat to Alfreton Town just last week, which leaves them languishing in 20th place — just one spot above the relegation zone.
Avenue, though, are in an even worse position and three points are neccessary for Mark Bower’s side this weekend if they are to have any hope of surviving relegation this season. A loss, or even a draw against one of their main relegation rivals will probably leave Bradford resigned to their fate with still over 2 months left to play in the season.
The Green Army are still showing plenty of fight, and they proved it last time out in a thrilling 3-3 draw away at playoff chasing Southport. It was a game in which they took the lead twice through Lewis Knight and Tom Clare, but ultimately they could not hang on for all three points and needed a Billy Priestley header to equalise late on and rescue a draw.
Hard work isn’t the issue for Avenue, and they are playing relatively well in games but defensive lapses and at times, not showing enough of a clinical nature are what is haunting them this season and leaves them in the position they are in. But hopefully the three goal output at Southport will be the start of a more clinical approach for an Avenue side desperately in need of points in order to make what would be an unbelievable great escape.