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Injury-hit Bradford Park Avenue out to stop rot
Bradford Park Avenue are looking to bounce back from three consecutive defeats when they head to Cambridgeshire to take on Histon in the Conference North on Saturday.
Back-to-back losses to neighbours Guiseley, including one in the FA Trophy, plus a midweek reversal at Hednesford have given Bradford boss John Deacey plenty to think about.
What he cannot contemplate is the luxury of having a full squad at his disposal, which is a big concern going into the busy Christmas and New Year period.
Just a fortnight ago Avenue enjoyed a 2-0 win at Vauxhall Motors, leaving them looking at a push for the play-off places and progress to the latter stages of the FA Trophy.
Things are different now as they are out of all the cup competitions and need to win at 17th-placed Histon to cling on to their place in the top ten.
Deacey still has selection problems for this must-win game. Midfielder Richard Marshall (illness), defender Jamie Price (toe) and the versatile Adam Clayton (groin) all missed Wednesday night’s game at Hednesford Town, who went top following their 2-0 victory.
Assistant boss Mark Hume has been busy sitting on the bench as one of the substitutes for most of the recent games and he played for the last ten minutes plus five of stoppage time in last Saturday’s Trophy defeat at Guiseley.
Hume will be hoping he can concentrate on his management role this weekend but he may still be one of the five substitutes.
Avenue have some suspensions coming up during the holiday period but Saturday’s team will be defined by who is fit.
Price, Clayton and Jason St Juste, who has been in and out of the starting line-up because of a niggling ankle injury, and Chib Chilaka, who likewise has missed games due to a troublesome hamstring strain, will all be doubtful.
However, Marshall is expected to have recovered from the virus that kept him out in midweek.
The back-to-back league defeats have taken Avenue into a negative goal difference and leaves them nine points off the play offs.
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