Bradford Park Avenue headache at loss of key men

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Paul Walker in action for Avenue against Altrincham in midweek Paul Walker in action for Avenue against Altrincham in midweek

The disappointment of losing at former boss Lee Sinnott’s Altrincham in midweek was still sinking in with the Bradford Park Avenue players and staff as they prepared for tomorrow’s visit of Brackley Town.

John Deacey’s men had been on a good run that had seen them win three of their previous four league fixtures, also claiming clean sheets in all four of those unbeaten games.

Avenue press officer Lewis Sale said: “It looked like a bad defeat at Altrincham but the 4-1 score was a little harsh on John and the lads.

“We started really well but then had a bit of a poor spell and let two goals in. But Jordan (Deacey) got us out of trouble and at 2-1 we didn’t want half-time to come because we were looking like we might do something.

“There was an injury to one of the officials, so the half-time break was longer than normal and that didn’t help. Neither did going down to ten men but I thought Ryan’s (centre back Qualter) foul on Jamie Walshaw was a clear red card.

“That was probably worse than the defeat really. We were on a decent run but were up against a side packed with quality in Altrincham. We had been defending really well but Ryan will get a three-game ban now.

“James Knowles and Nathan Hotte also have suspensions coming up and Richard Marshall and Nathan also picked up injuries.

“It is a concern and the deadline for loan signings is this week, so it looks as though John will have to go with what he has until the end of the season.”

One player never under threat of suspension for accumulation of yellow cards or facing a ban because of a red is Paul Walker, who Deacey describes as ‘Mr Consistency’ because of his attitude and performance levels.

Avenue historian Tim Clapham said: “Walker’s winning goal at Brackley Town last weekend was his tenth of the season and he’s now the leading scorer.

“He made his 93rd consecutive appearance at Altrincham in midweek but with only six games left he will have to wait until next season to complete his ton.

“Avenue went 376 minutes (excluding stoppage time) without conceding a goal in their recent run, highlighting that Knowles and Qualter seem to have a good understanding.”

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