Bradford return to the Horsfall Stadium after two away trips to host the side that they pipped to the post in last season’s race for the final play-off spot.
Spennymoor Town crumbled as the finishing line approached in the 2017/18 season, allowing Mark Bower’s side to secure a 7th-placed finish on the final day in dramatic fashion.
The Moors, however, have invested heavily in their squad over the summer and are among the favourites for promotion this season.
Jason Ainsley’s side are yet to succumb to a defeat and will be hoping that their record remains unblemished after tonight’s fixture. Despite avoiding defeat against Chester, Darlington and Altrincham, Spennymoor failed to clinch victory in all three ties and find themselves two points adrift of their opponents for the evening, who sit in 6th despite losing to Leamington in their previous fixture.
Bradford will be keen to make the Horsfall Stadium a fortress this season after celebrating victory there on the opening day, and welcome sides to their West Yorkshire home in quick succession with Stockport County awaiting after tonight’s visit from Spennymoor.
Tonight’s hosts last welcomed the Moors to the Horsfall in January, and suffered a 2-1 defeat despite Nicky Clee’s second-half strike sparking hope of a comeback.
Two members of Bradford’s 2017/18 squad could feature for the opposition, with Rob Atkinson and Adam Boyes now plying their trade in County Durham. Former Bradford loanee Jake Hibbs also joined the Moors during the summer and could line-up against his former employers.
The signing of former Leeds United forward Lewis Knight was announced today and he could be in line for a debut after receiving international clearance.
GUIDE TO THE OPPONENTS:
48-year-old Ainsley has been in charge at The Brewery Field since 2007, where he took the reigns after bringing his playing career to an end and enjoying a spell as Assistant Manager. He has delivered four promotions, five league titles, two domestic cups and lifted the FA Vase as manager in 2013. As a player, he captained Spennymoor and also represented the likes of Hartlepool United, Blyth Spartans and Barrow. The former midfielder also played in Singapore and Australia. The 2018/19 season marks his 12th in charge of the Moors, making him one of the longest-serving bosses in the country.
One To Watch:
The robust 28-year-old forward has already notched two goals this season, including a crucial equaliser in a 4-4 draw with Altrincham. Taylor has proven himself to be a prolific marksman, surpassing the 20-goal mark last season having netted 19 in the 2016/17 campaign. A former FA Vase winner with Whitley Bay, he scored over 100 goals during his spell with Ashington and spent time with Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy in the summer of 2017.