Bradford Park Avenue put Saturday’s stoppage-time defeat firmly behind them with an excellent home win on Monday night – but they still had bad news in midweek.
Striker Alex Davidson will be out for up to eight weeks after pulling up in the closing moments of last weekend’s 2-1 home loss to Hednesford Town.
Avenue had used all three of their substitutes by then and it was an indication of how bad Davidson was that they played eight minutes of time added on with just ten men.
Horsfall boss John Deacey said: “Alex will be out for at least two months because he has damaged his knee ligaments. He can’t even stand on it yet, the pain and swelling is so bad.
“Nicky Boshell and long-term injury Martin Drury are also out, so that means we have exactly 15 players for a big game at Harrogate Town.”
Avenue overhauled neighbours Guiseley thanks to Monday’s 3-2 win over Leamington but the Lions clawed their way back above Deacey’s men just 24 hours later. That leaves Bradford 11th as they head to Harrogate, who are eighth.
The hosts are four points outside the Skrill North play-off zone, while Avenue are nine off, but neither side has given up hope of reaching the end-of-season extras and, despite his depleted squad, Deacey is looking forward to the derby.
“We might not have enough players to have five substitutes – but I think Harrogate could field two teams because they have a massive squad,” he said.
“Good luck to them, because they have put themselves in that position, and they will be in the shake-up for promotion. We have an outside chance at best but we will push on and do our best.
“Our own board have been very good and really backed us. We might have four players out but we have got recent signings in and they have done well.
“I was pleased with Grant (Black, who was signed from Buxton and made his debut against Leamington) and Ryan (Qualter) on Monday.
“I have been chasing Grant for a little while, about a year and a half, but he was on contract so it was difficult.
“I was impressed with him and I’m sure he’ll do well. He gives us a different option on that right-hand side and provides quality crosses.
“Ryan also did well in his first start for us. He had played as a substitute before.”
Deacey added: “We have played Harrogate three times this season but not yet in the league.
“We were narrowly beaten in the West Riding Cup and had a draw and a win in the FA Trophy, so it should be a good game.”