Avenue aim to end winless run at Curzon Ashton.
Bradford (Park Avenue) will be aiming to turn around their torrid form as they travel across the Pennines to take on Curzon Ashton on Saturday. A disappointing home defeat at the hands of Buxton last weekend means the Avenue are now eight games without a win, and, more crucially, nine points adrift of safety. With only seven games to go, their chances of survival in the Vanarama National League North are looking slimmer by the week.
A positive run of results is therefore essential for the Green Army to give themselves the best possible chance of pulling off the great escape, and they will look to kick-start this against The Nash at The Tameside Stadium. This weekend’s hosts occupy 11th place in the league, and a current four-match unbeaten streak has made them hopeful of a late push for the playoffs.
One player the Avenue will need to keep quiet this weekend is Curzon Ashton striker Tom Peers, with the attacker notching 15 goals in 37 league appearances this season, including two in his previous three games. Peers’ impressive tally is the joint-fourth highest in the National League North this season.
Bradford (Park Avenue) will look to take inspiration from their 2-1 home victory in the reverse fixture with Curzon Ashton back in October, a result which holds particular significance in the Green Army’s season. Trailing with less than ten minutes of normal time remaining, quick fire goals from Will Longbottom and Oli Johnson turned the game on its head and gave the Avenue their first win of the campaign, ending a run of ten games without a victory at the start of the season. The result triggered a sequence of three successive wins, something that the Avenue will need to do again if they are to save themselves from the drop.
On the topic of Longbottom, the Avenue attacker came in for particular praise from manager Mark Bower in the aftermath of Saturday’s defeat to Buxton. A first half injury to Brad Dockerty led to Longbottom being tasked with leading the line, and Bower said: “I thought he was our best player by a country mile. I thought he did really well, looked a threat, and like he always does, he ran his socks off.” The Yorkshireman’s display was rewarded with a goal from the penalty spot, and Bower will no doubt be counting on Longbottom to build on his impressive display away to Curzon Ashton this weekend.
The Green Army will be hoping October’s victory over Curzon Ashton has changed their fortunes in this fixture, as prior to this season The Nash had won their previous five encounters against the Avenue. The Avenue faithful would have to look back to February 2017 for their most recent victory at The Tameside Stadium, with goals from James Knowles and current assistant manager Danny Boshell securing a 2-1 win for the visitors. Interestingly, Curzon Ashton were on a four-match unbeaten run on that occasion too, as the visitors brought the three points back to Bradford and took a big step towards safety. The Avenue will be hoping history can repeat itself in more ways than one this weekend.
Match Preview by Stephen Grimshaw (@sgsportswriter on Twitter and Instagram)
Kick off: Saturday 1 April 2023, 15:00.
The Tameside Stadium, Richmond Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL7 9HG
M60 (from Stockport) Junction 23 turn left off slip road, then get into the second from left lane to go through the lights onto the A6140 sign-posted Ashton. Keep on the A6140 until you come to a set of traffic lights with a cinema on your right, turn left at these lights, follow road over a bridge then over a mini-roundabout then turn left after the mini-roundabout. Ground is at the bottom. ALL VEHICLES MUST PARK IN THE CAR PARK ON THE RIGHT. COACH PARK ON LEFT
Free car parking is available with six disabled spaces. There is also a large ‘Over-Spill’ car park located on the left at the beginning of the approach road to the stadium.
All tickets can be purchased on Match Days at the turnstiles using either cash or card.
Concessions: £10.00 (Over 65)
Students: £10.00 (ID must be shown on entry)
16’s to 18’s: £5.00
Under 16’s free (Must be with Full paying Adult)