On Saturday Bradford (Park Avenue) welcome high-flying Solihull Moors to the Horsfall Stadium in the Vanarama Conference North.
The home side come into the game in fairly high spirits after a well earned comeback win at Goole in the county cup on Tuesday.
It seemed Avenue came through that game with no new injury concerns, captain Nathan Hotte completing a full 90 minutes for the first time since his injury, after being brought off at Colwyn Bay last Saturday.
Nathan Turner, who also made a return from injury at Colwyn Bay, sat on the bench at Goole after completing the full match on the Saturday, where he was joined by Chris Lever who seems to be progressing well from his own injury problems. Danny Frost is another who played almost the full game at Goole, and despite 2 minutes limping early on, he seemed to come through unscathed.
The returnees will make team selection tough for Avenue manager John Deacey, who now has a large number of options at his disposal, especially going forward.
New signing Dan Clayton- not registered for the County Cup tie- impressed at Colwyn Bay, and will be looking to make his home bow in front of the Avenue faithful. But he faces stiff competition out wide, as Danny Frost and Joe Colbeck were both impressive at Goole, as was half time substitute Paul Walker, who along with Colbeck was singled out by Deacey after the game for their contributions. Add into the equation another new signing in Jay Davis, and there is a plethora of players for Deacey to choose from.
The defensive situation is hard to call, as all the defenders seem quite hot and cold of late, or as assistant manager Martin Drury put it after the Colwyn Bay side, “we are like Jekyll and Hyde at the moment” Ryan Qualter may come back into the side after being afforded a rest, but who for is difficult to say.
In midfield, captain Nathan Hotte will continue, presumably with Jack Rea returning alongside him. Should he stick with the same formation, Deacey is likely to select his son Jordan to play in the advanced midfield role. Chib Chilaka may be recalled after seeing all of a one minute substitute appearance at Goole, but scorer of Avenue’s first that night Brad Barraclough cannot be ruled out, nor can Lamin Colley, who impressed in his appearance off the bench at Colwyn Bay.
The visitors will provide stiff opposition, coming into the game on a 9 match unbeaten run in the league, including the reverse fixture against Avenue. That has been rewarded with manager Marcus Bignot winning the manager of the month award for November.
One player to look out for will certainly be striker Omar Bogle. Bogle is the division’s leading scorer this season with 12 goals, and has been called up to the England C squad for this Tuesday’s International Trophy match against Estonia U23 at The Shay (7.30pm kick off, free entry).
However, Solihull have only kept 4 clean sheets in the all competitions this season, but also have the joint most potent attack, so a high scoring match could be in store.
League Form (Last 5 matches)
Bradford (Park Avenue)
Solihull Moors (A) L 4-1
Barrow (H) W 2-1
Hednesford Town (A) D 1-1
Tamworth (H) L 4-2
Colwyn Bay (A) D 0-0
Oxford (A) W 4-1
Chorley (H) W 3-1
Boston (A) W 2-1
Gloucester (A) D 1-1
Hyde (H) W 3-0
Don’t forget that due to the international break Avenue will be offering £5 entry to season ticket holders of ANY other football club. It is also free entry for under 16s. Please come down and support the boys and build a bumper crowd! For more details click here.
Adults – £11.00
Senior Citizens – £7.00
Students (on production of a current NUS card) – £7.00
Under 16s – Free
Armed forces personnel (on production of warrant card) – Free