Maximum points the minimum requirement for Avenue.
Bradford (Park Avenue) remain alive in the National League North heading into the final two league games of the season, however they must win both fixtures and rely on results elsewhere to stand a chance of survival.
The Green Army will be hoping their recent revival is not a case of too little, too late, having put together an impressive five-game unbeaten run to close the gap on the sides above. Sitting six points from safety with two games remaining, the first of which is a game in hand, the Avenue will need to win both of their remaining fixtures and hope that Leamington, Blyth Spartans and Kettering Town all lose on the final day. There will also need to be a five-goal swing, with Bradford’s goal difference being four less than 20th placed Kettering. If the stars align and all of these permutations fall into place, Bradford (Park Avenue) will be a National League North club again next season.
On Wednesday evening, the Avenue will welcome play-off hopefuls Alfreton Town to the Horsfall Community Stadium in a fixture that was twice re-arranged last month, first because of the weather and again, two days later due to travel issues for the away side.
Alfreton’s league position has improved since the postponements, and The Reds will travel to West Yorkshire in fourth place knowing that a win would guarantee a play-off spot before facing a tricky away trip to fifth placed Brackley Town on the final day.
The Avenue defence will no doubt be aware of the threat posed by Alfreton’s experienced forward and top scorer Matt Rhead. The 38-year-old has netted an impressive 13 league goals this season, including one in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at home to Blyth Spartans.
The reverse fixture saw Bradford (Park Avenue) pick up a hard-fought point in a goalless draw at North Street back in November. The Green Army will also remember with fondness the last time Alfreton Town visited the Horsfall. A stunning second-half performance from the Avenue back in February 2022 saw them run out 5-0 winners against this weekend’s visitors. In fact, Bradford (Park Avenue) hold an impressive record when hosting Alfreton, unbeaten in their previous six encounters between the pair in BD6.
Bradford (Park Avenue) will then turn their attention to their final league game of the season as they host title-chasing AFC Fylde on Saturday in a fixture that could have major implications at both ends of the table. The Coasters were well on course for winning the league until back-to-back respective losses earlier this month against Spennymoor Town and Kidderminster began to cast doubt on their title-winning credentials. At the time of writing, AFC Fylde sit in second place, one point away from leaders King’s Lynn Town with a superior goal difference and a game in hand away to Curzon Ashton on Tuesday night. A win there would mean they head to the Horsfall in pole position to lift the league title on Saturday. Either way, Bradford (Park Avenue) will hope to throw a spanner in the works in front of their own fans.
Another accolade that AFC Fylde will be hoping to secure this season is that of the National League North top scorer. Attacking midfielder Nick Haughton currently leads the way with 24 goals this season, including four last time out in a 5-1 victory over struggling Leamington. Bradford (Park Avenue) have already been stung by Haughton this season, with the Fylde star netting twice in the reverse fixture, a 3-1 away defeat for the Green Army back in September.
If Bradford (Park Avenue) are to pull of the great escape they will need to improve their dismal head-to-head record against AFC Fylde, having never beaten them in league or cup since the latter were founded as Kirkham and Wesham in 1988.
This really is a crucial week for Bradford (Park Avenue), and the club needs you to back Bradford, starting with Wednesday’s visit of Alfreton Town. Adults and concessions can attend the game for a reduced price of just £5, with Director of Football Martin Knight on hand at the clubhouse after the game for a Q&A with fans. Why not get behind the Green Army and contribute to what could be the greatest escape in National League North history!
Match Previews by Stephen Grimshaw (@sgsportswriter on Twitter and Instagram)
Wednesday 26th April – Bradford (Park Avenue) vs. Alfreton Town
Kick off: 19:45
Tickets for this game are reduced! Pay on the gate with cash or card:
Adult – £5
Concession – £5
Youth – £3
Junior – £1 (under 12, must be accompanied by an adult)
Director of Football Martin Knight will be at the game and available for Q&A.
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.
Saturday 29th April – Bradford (Park Avenue) vs AFC Fylde
Kick off: 15:00