Avenue came up from the Evo-Stik Premier through the play-offs after finishing twenty-two points behind Chester, and five points behind second placed Northwich.
They have built upon last year’s success and have made a solid start to the 2012/13 season. Both their wins this season have come on the road, beating Corby by one goal in nine most recently, thanks to braces from Tom Greaves and perennial goal scorer Danny Holland, with a Corby Own goal all that separated the two teams. Prior to that they beat Vauxhall Motors 3-1 in Ellesmere Port. At home, they might be unbeaten, but they have yet to record a win, either. Halifax and Worcester both getting draws at Cemetery Road.
It’s been seven years since the teams last met, and Celtic had the best of the last two meetings, beating Bradford 1-0 away 1-0 in the league (Scott Bonsall the scorer), and most recently, 1-0 at Bower Fold in the Setanta Shield. Avenue did beat Celtic at Bower Fold in the 04/05 season, beating us 4-1. Celtic also won their previous encounter with Avenue at Cemetery road, in September 2003, a game we won 3-2 thanks to goals from Kenny Mayers, Gregg Pearce and the sublime finish to win the game from Colin Potts. Bradford’s only win at Cemetery Road over Celtic came the season before that, when they won 2-1 in April 03.
Unsurprisingly, Danny Holland is setting his store for being Bradford Park Avenue’s top scorer, and has already found the net four times, putting him joint fifth in the goal scorers chart. They’ve scored an average of 2.4 goals a game (1.5 at home) with twelve in total (three at home). They concede 1.8 per game (1.5 at home) with nine in total (three at home). Their most prolific period is around half time, with three quarters of their goals scored in this period.
Bradford have no suspension worries ahead of the game, and though they saw the return of veteran central defender Amjad Iqbal, they could be without eight players through injury, with long term injuries to Ross Daly, Matty James, Alex Davidson, Jamie Jackson and Nathan Hotte all unlikely to feature. In their last match, the 5-4 win over Corby Town, James Riley, Adam Clayton and Michael Douglas were added to their injury list. In that match, Bradford Park Avenue lined up as:
1. Tim Deasy
2. Liam Wakefield
3. Martin Drury
4. Richard Marshall
5. James Knowles
6. James Riley
7. Adam Clayton
8. Rob O’Brian
9. Danny Holland
10. Jordan Deacey
11. Paul Walker
Sam Egerton is still in contention for a starting place, with his one match suspension not kicking in until the Histon match a week on Saturday. Adam Pepper will have to be assessed after he picked up a slight knock in Celtic’s comprehensive 4-0 win over Hinckley United. In that match, Celtic lined up as:
1. Alex Cairns
2. Kelvin Bleau
3. Mark Lees
4. Tim Ryan
5. Joel Bembo-Leta
6. Jordan Barrow
7. Adam Pepper
8. Greg Wilkinson
9. Dennis Sheriff
10. Corey Gregory
11. Mitchell Austin
Celtic’s match at Bradford is the only one taking place on Monday, with the rest of the league playing on Tuesday or Wednesday (Chester v Halifax), so a win for Celtic could see them propelled, however briefly, into the top five, whilst another home draw for Bradford would leave the table unaltered. Celtic will be going into the game full of confidence on the back of back-to-back wins, whilst Bradford will be keen to get their first win at home in the Blue Square North.
From the M67 join the M60 towards Oldham.
Stay on the M60 to the junction with the M62 and M66.
At the roundabout, turn right (exit 3 of 4) to join the M62 towards Leeds.
Stay on the M62 for 27 miles to junction 26 (Bradford, M606).
Join the M606.
Stay on the M606 for just over 2 miles to the very end and leave the motorway (follow signs for Halifax).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn left (exit 2 of 7) to join the A6036 (Rooley Avenue).
After 1/2 a mile, you will reach a roundabout with the A641 - go straight across (exit 3 of 6) signposted Halifax, to stay on the A6036 (now called Halifax Road).
You will pass Ordsal Stadium on your left.
After nearly a mile, you will see a sign for Horsfall Stadium by a left turn at the Kings Head pub.
Turn left here onto Cemetery Road.
The ground is 300 yards on the left.