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Bradford Park Avenue eyeing FA Cup windfall
Bradford Park Avenue know exactly how tough tomorrow’s FA Cup third qualifying-round opponents Penrith will be.
Avenue manager John Deacey went on a personal scouting mission to check on them when they beat Scarborough in a replay at home in the last round.
If any further assurance was needed that Penrith are a difficult team to face, a quick glance at their cup exploits this season is all that’s needed.
Deacey’s men will be seen as the favourites at home against a club from a lower step on the pyramid. On the other hand, the Northern League top-tier outfit will have nothing to lose and have already got a feel for knock-out football.
Avenue’s 2-1 victory in the big derby against Conference North rivals Gusieley in the last round was their first involvement in this season’s FA Cup. As a lower ranking club, Penrith had to come into the competition earlier and were in fact in at the first hurdle, the extra-preliminary round.
Penrith have racked up no fewer than five FA Cup games this term, including the replay, and can boast an unbeaten record in cup football.
On top of their success in the FA Cup, which has banked them just under £11,000, Penrith have progressed through two rounds in the FA Vase.
Bradford have played just the one cup game so far – as a step two non-league club they are exempt from the early rounds of the FA Trophy as well as the FA Cup – but it was a sweet 2-1 win at Nethermoor with goals from Alex Davidson and Richard Marshall.
That banked Avenue a £4,500 winners’ cheque and Deacey realises if he can add the £7,500 on offer from tomorrow’s tie it will keep the club’s hierarchy happy and some of that cash might filter down to the playing budget.
Deacey said: “The FA Cup means a lot to the club, as it does to all the other clubs who win through a few rounds. I’m sure Penrith are delighted with the run they have had so far.
“A win tomorrow would keep me on the right side of the board of directors. But this will be a very, very hard game because they are a decent side.
“It’s always tough playing against sides from the Northern League because most of the top division are Evo-Stik Premier Division quality.
“The cost of travelling prevents all but a handful of the more well off clubs applying for promotion.
“I was very impressed with Penrith when I went watch them, they played some decent stuff and against a Scarborough side who have a lot of very good players that we know all about.”
Deacey has virtually all of his squad available after Adam Clayton, Ross Daly and Martin Drury all made starts recently.
Defenders Jamie Price and Adam Quinn and forward Nicky Boshell are all on the comeback trail.
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