MATCH PREVIEW – Bradford (Park Avenue) vs Leamington

Fight for survival hots up with Leamington visit.

Bradford (Park Avenue) will welcome fellow strugglers Leamington to the Horsfall Community Stadium this Saturday in what could well be a relegation six-pointer in the Vanarama National League North.

The Avenue will be desperate to secure all three points to steer themselves away from the relegation zone, having now gone eight league games without a win. This weekend’s fixture follows successive away defeats last week at the hands of Kings Lynn Town and Gloucester City respectively, both professional outfits chasing promotion this season.

Bradford manager Mark Bower will be sweating on the fitness of a handful of important first-team players, noting after the defeat to Gloucester City that “we lost Reece Staunton injured which is a blow, with the likes of Blythy (Blyth), OJ (Johnson), Jordan Preston out, Spenner (Spencer) and Lundy (Lund) not a hundred per cent fit yet, we are thin”. Bower will be hoping for some good news in the coming days to strengthen the cause on Saturday.

This weekend’s visitors have also struggled for form in the National League North this season and are currently enduring a thirteen-game winless run dating back to October, managing only one victory in their previous 19 league matches. Indeed, Leamington have arguably become draw specialists this term, sharing the spoils in fourteen of their 27 league fixtures. As well as this, the Brakes have failed to find the net in each of their last three fixtures. Considering these figures, the Green Army will be confident that they can extend Leamington’s poor form even further beyond this Saturday.  

Despite losing to Leamington 1-0 at the New Windmill Ground in the reverse fixture back in September, Bradford (Park Avenue) can take optimism from the Brakes’ terrible away record, with the visitors failing to win any of their twelve away matches this season. The Avenue faithful will also fondly recollect this fixture from last season, as the Green Army recorded a 2-1 victory at the Horsfall courtesy of goals from Brad Dockerty and Luca Havern.

If the form table is anything to go by, home advantage could be crucial for the Avenue this Saturday. Bradford (Park Avenue) head into the game occupying 19th spot, one point and one place above visitors Leamington having played three games more. Following the midweek fixtures, Bradford are now just two points clear of the relegation zone with the three sides directly below holding games in hand. A win this weekend would definitely see Avenue leapfrog either Buxton or Kettering Town as both sides clash this weekend, whereas defeat could prove damaging in the race for survival.

Match Preview by Stephen Grimshaw (@sgsportswriter on Twitter)

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.

Turnstiles: PAY ON GATE

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

Youth (12-17) – £3

Junior (under 12, must be accompanied by an adult) – £1