BRADFORD (Park Avenue) boss Mark Bower thinks similar tactics to those which nearly helped his side stun FC Halifax Town in the FA Trophy in midweek could prove fruitful in their big Boxing Day clash at home to York City.

The counter-attack caused the Shaymen all sorts of problems at Horsfall on Tuesday night, as Avenue managed to draw 3-3 before losing on penalties.

And Bower thinks that could be key to beating their Yorkshire rivals in the National League North on Sunday, rather than drawing on last season's superb 4-2 win over the Minstermen at Horsfall.

The Avenue manager said: "You can't really take anything from last year's game, as there are different squads on both sides and they have a new manager (John Askey) in the dugout.

"We'll do the usual homework on how they set up now they've had that change of manager, and we already know they like to play out from the back, and through the thirds.

"On that basis, I think they'll enjoy our 3G pitch, as it suits passing sides like them.

"We'll probably look to counter-attack, like we did on Tuesday, as we exposed Halifax a bit, even though they had their first choice back line and goalkeeper playing."

Isaac Marriott will go into the York game full of confidence, with the midfielder having netted twice against the Shaymen in midweek.

He also scored a brace in the FA Cup defeat at Gateshead in September, but bizarrely, he has yet to find the net in the league this season.

Bower said: "It's funny how things can work like that, but I don't think there's any real reason for it.

"He got those goals at Gateshead, and he'd have hoped to get some more after that.

"But he showed his quality against Halifax and it's on him now to add more goals to his game.

"He set up Brad Dockerty's goal nicely at Leamington in the league the other week, so he's producing quality at the top end of the pitch again, and his performance against Halifax really put him in the shop window.

"Obviously we don't want to lose him, but we're all about giving young players at Avenue the platform to move up the divisions."

Marriott will be hoping to strut his stuff in front of a big crowd at Horsfall on Boxing Day, after the disappointment of fog forcing the Halifax game to be moved from last Saturday to Tuesday.

Bower moaned: "We had just short of 900 fans in for Halifax, which was good for a Tuesday, but we'd have had a fair few more if it had gone ahead on the Saturday instead.

"We'd have had a stronger squad to pick from at the weekend too, as Reece Staunton and Nickseon Gomis both picked up injuries ahead of Tuesday.

"Then there's the disappointment of going out and missing out on the prize money for making the next round, which is massive for a club like ours."

Bower admitted there is the fear of getting phone calls related to positive Covid tests at the moment, but for now, Avenue will play York as planned.

And the boss enthused: "Reece and Nickseon should be fit for the York game and Guiseley next Tuesday, and though Sunday may come too soon for Simon Richman (after he went off injured against Halifax), he should be okay for the trip to Nethermoor a couple of days after that."