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Change of day matters little to Bradford Park Avenue as John Deacey aims to seal promotion
Bradford Park Avenue’s destiny will be known on Sunday after they host great rivals FC United of Manchester in the final of the Evo-Stik League Premier Division play-offs.
The clash was originally scheduled for tomorrow and Avenue had their allocation of tickets on sale before they were informed that the authorities would not sanction the game.
A combination of Bradford City being at home to Paulo Di Canio’s League Two champions Swindon Town, the police being stretched by two high-profile matches with simultaneous kick-offs and the local council being concerned about two sets of out-of-town supporters in the city centre at the same time led to Avenue’s game being put back a day.
Avenue director Kevin Hainsworth said: “Both the clubs (Avenue and FC United) wanted the original date and kick-off time but the decision was taken out of our hands.
“As I have said previously, it doesn’t matter who holds the safety certificate for the ground or who is providing the stewards, once that decision had been made the clubs had to fall into line.
“I certainly didn’t want it moved because I had arranged to go to the Guiseley game on Sunday.
It was a superb effort in the last game, a real team performance with good play despite dreadful conditionsJohn Deacey
“We have a great relationship with FC United – they played us here in last season’s play-offs on a midweek night and everything was fine. We are looking forward to the game and I’m sure it will be good one.”
Avenue manager John Deacey is pleased with his squad following their 5-0 victory over Hednesford Town in the semi-finals that set up this meeting of old foes.
The final would have been a roses derby in any event as FC United beat fellow Lancastrians Chorley in their last-four clash.
Deacey said: “It was a superb effort in the last game, a real team performance with good play despite dreadful conditions.
“I thought all the lads were magnificent but – I’m sorry, I have to say it – Jordan was man of the match for me.
“He had a hand in four of the five goals and was superb in the midfield linking up play and making intelligent runs.”
Jordan Deacey is the manager’s son and usually not singled out for praise by the boss.
There was a scare for Avenue against Hednesford when James Knowles, skipper on the day in the absence of injured club captain Rob O’Brien, signalled to the bench that his central defensive partner James Riley could not continue.
Deacey said: “James has come back from a hamstring injury and he felt it tighten up, so it was just a precaution to substitute him.
“Rob will also be available for Sunday, so I’ve got a selection headache but a nice one.
“I am picking the best side for the situation on the day to give this club the best chance of gaining promotion.
“I have done all I can, Mark (assistant Hume) has done all he can and it is all about the players now. I just hope we can deliver.”