Tag: Bradford Park Avenue

The Twohundredpercent Play-Off Jamboree: Bradford Park Avenue 0-2 FC United of Manchester

The Southern League play-offs weren’t the only matches being played last night. Play-off semi-finals were also being played in the Northern Premier League and we were lucky enough to have Andrew Gibney offer to write up the match between Bradford Park Avenue and FC United of Manchester for us. The month of April began with Bradford Park Avenue sitting unspectacularly in mid-table. Home wins again Burscough and Kendal Town sparked a wonderful run of eight games unbeaten. The twenty three days that had passed saw 23 goals scored and only four conceded and Avenue had climbed from tenth place in the Evostik League Premier Division to third. Promotion was now a realistic possibility. Opponents FC United of Manchester had enjoyed an imperious run themselves; only two defeats in nineteen games had made the play-offs a certainty, defeat against Kendal Town on the last day of the season meant they finished fourth and not second, setting up a “War of the Roses” at Horsfall Stadium. A crowd of just over 500 had enjoyed the last home game of the season against Woksop Town, the highest gate since Halifax Town had been the visitors back in January. Tonight would be something much different. Bus upon bus of FC United’s faithful arrived in the sleepy suburb of Bradford; impeccably behaved the fans were only there to cheer on their team. Expectations were...

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Why Bradford City Should Stay At Valley Parade

The issue of Bradford City leaving Valley Parade for rugby league club Bradford Bulls’ Odsal Stadium, which the council would like to redevelop as a “sports village”. What, though, is the major benefit for Bradford City when they have a perfectly good – if expensive – facility on a long term lease?

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When Is A Pre-Season Tour Not A Pre-Season Tour?

Well, it seems like a fairly obvious question, doesn’t it? The pre-season tour has become part of the football landscape, with clubs of all shapes and sizes taking advantage of cheap air flights to take the opportunity to get in some pre-season bonding and throw in a couple of practice matches at the same time. However, up in Yorkshire, newly-promoted Unibond League side Bradford Park Avenue took the peculiar decision to, well, fabricate a pre-season tour and report it as fact. It started with a report on the official Bradford Park Avenue website’s news section, stating that the club had undertaken a tour of Spain, playing friendly matches against Soto FC, a “local side”, and FC Benus, and a mysterious “Russian/Bulgarian XI”. Their new signing from FC United, Rory Patterson, scored a hat-trick and they found a trialist called “Stefan Brookster”, and generally had a lovely time. All well and good, then. The plot only thickened when an FC United supporter that happens to know Rory Patterson texted him to congratulate him on his debut hat-trick. Patterson replied, saying (basically), “what on earth are you talking about?”. Patterson hadn’t been to Spain, and hadn’t kicked a ball in anger since the end of last season. This, we thought, was strange. Perhaps there was some sort of mistake. So, we had a bit of a root around, and found that...

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The Ex Files

Well done Accrington Stanley, for dumping Nottingham Forest out of the League Cup last night. A little bit of digging and delving has established that the first round of this year’s competition is one-legged, so a place in the second round and a possible tie against Tottenham’s reserves (an eminently winnable tie, given Spurs’ recent cup form) could well await. The recent kerfuffle about Stanley’s return to the league has, over the last few weeks, set me thinking about those teams that we have loved and lost. The introduction of promotion and relegation between the Conference and the League was, of course, utterly justified. Too many lower division clubs had been treading water for too long, and non-league football had, of it’s own accord, got it’s house in order and created a national league. There are now twenty fully professional non-league teams, which makes a mockery of the big clubs’ belief that the world is only interested in them, and this has come about because mobility is not merely limited, as it was as recently as 1986, to the top of the “fifth division”. Prior to this, though, it was somewhat more difficult to get into the League. For years, the Football League had effectively run itself as a cartel, and the cartel was called “Re-Election”. It was something of a sop to the upward ambitions of non-league clubs....

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