ALL you need to know ahead of Bradford (Park Avenue)'s Vanarama National League North clash with Chorley.

Kick-off: Saturday, October 31 (1pm)

Venue: Horsfall Stadium

Odds: Bradford 7/5, Chorley 6/4, Draw 5/2

Opponent profile

Since achieving promotion to Step Two in 2014, Chorley were a side in relentless pursuit to go up again. A couple of failed playoff attempts were followed by success in 2019.

Jamie Vermiglio's men had finally reached the promise land of non-league, but were soon dealt with a harsh reality as they finished rock-bottom of last season's points-per-game finalised National League campaign.

Ultimately, four wins from 38 matches condemned the Magpies who will be aiming to bounce straight back up this term.

Form guide

Well what a win that was for Mark Bower's men at Hereford. An Oli Johnson double put Bradford on the board after opening defeats to Gateshead and Kettering Town.

The visitors have had a miserable start to their campaign, losing all four of their outings. York City, Gloucester City, Southport and Kidderminster Harriers have profited.

While, the hosts fell out of the FA Cup in the second qualifying round, Chorley have defeated Gateshead and York. A bye allowed them to reach the first round where they will face Wigan Athletic next week.

Team news

Bradford have a bit of a crisis in the wingers department with both Tabish Hussain and Brad Dockerty unavailable. The latter rolled his ankle at Hereford and is expected to be out for a couple of weeks at least.

Lewis Knight will be fit to feature in the 16-man squad after recovering from illness, while Lewis Bradley has returned to parent club Rochdale after a disappointing loan spell.

The ever-present Scott Leather will captain the visitors whose strengths lie through the middle in their 4-1-3-2 formation.

Possible line-ups


GK Dan Atkinson, RB Mark Ross, CB Mitch Lund, CB Luca Havern (C), LB Matty Downing, CM Nicky Clee, CM Jake Hibbs CM Isaac Marriott, RW Oli Johnson, ST Adam Nowakowski, LW Harry Boyes. Subs: Jacob Fawcett, Ryan Toulson, Jordan Windass, Lewis Knight, Jamie Lyons.


GK Matt Urwin, RB Arlen Birch, CB Andy Halls , CB Scott Leather (C), LB Lewis Baines, DM Sam Walker, CM Elliot Newby, CM Mike Calverley, CM Ollie Shenton, ST Harry Cardwell ST Conor Hall. Subs: Harvey Smith, Tyler Garratt, Billy Conn-Clarke, Jack Baxter, Sewa Marah, Lewis Reilly.

Battle to watch: Johnson v Cardwell

Three goals in two games has allowed 'OJ' to begin showing the sort of form which earned him double figures in consecutive seasons (16 in 2017/18 and 10 in 2018/19). The 32-year-old will again look to be a threat from out wide.

Signed on a free after being released from Grimsby in the summer, Harry Cardwell appeared in a loan spell at Victory Park last season before sustaining a season-ending injury.

With other clubs hunting for his signature, Chorley managed to snap up the forward. The well-rounded number nine is almost back to full fitness and, on his day, is a nightmare to deal with.

Head to head

Chorley have the better record in the 12 meetings, six wins to four with the other two matches finishing level.

Interestingly, they have never lost in the home fixture (5W,1D) while Bradford have only been defeated at Horsfall once (4W,D1), a 3-0 hammering in October 2016.

Both teams exchanged victories in the 2018/19 season. Firstly, a Jake Beesley goal separated the pair before a thriller was played out at Victory Park.

Louis Almond bagged a last minute winner to complete his hat trick and cancel out Beesley's early penalty and a Johnson strike.