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Hectic end to 'nightmare' season for Bradford Park Avenue
It will be a very hectic and testing run-in to the end of the season for Bradford Park Avenue with 11 games in just 36 days.
With more bad weather forecast for this weekend, that equation could become even more challenging.
The punishing schedule will no doubt influence Bradford’s bid for a play-off finish and possible tilt for promotion in their first season back in the Conference North.
Going into this weekend, Avenue have 11 points to make up to get back into the frame for the end- of-season extras.
Their target will be 33 points from those 11 games but, coming so thick and fast, it is highly unlikely that they will win every game between now and April 27.
The long and drawn-out winter has affected all the clubs, not just the ones with promotion and relegation issues to contend with.
In fact the prolonged spell of erratic weather has impacted on the Football League clubs, let alone the semi-pro outfits.
Bradford boss John Deacey said: “This season has been an absolute nightmare. It has been stop- start since November, which has been rubbish for us trying to get games played, and it has affected training on so many occasions.
“We really need a good run of back-to-back games - the last thing we need is any more postponements.
"I’m not holding my breath though because I don’t think we will get to our last game without any more disruption.”
Avenue have had three of their last four Blue Square North games postponed, and their most testing period in the upcoming congested spell is in early April as a direct result of last weekend’s back-to-back fixtures against Oxford City being called off.
John Deacey’s men travel to Hinckley United on Saturday April 6, host Oxford the following Monday, make the long trip to Oxford two days later, host Droylsden the following Saturday and then have the re-arranged game against Lee Sinnott’s Altrincham at Horsfall Stadium on Wednesday, April 17.
Those five games in a dozen days will test Avenue’s compact squad and Deacey’s management skills to the limit.
Avenue’s 11 remaining league games are: Boston United (A), Saturday, March 23; Harrogate Town (A), Saturday, March 30; FC Halifax Town (A), Monday, April 1; Hinckley United (A), Saturday, April 6; Oxford City (H), Monday, April 8; Oxford City (A), Wednesday, April 10; Droylsden (H), Saturday, April 13; Altrincham (H), Wednesday, April 17; Bishop’s Stortford (A), Saturday, April 20; Colwyn Bay (H), Monday, April 22; Histon (H), Saturday, April 27.