THE fact that Bradford Park Avenue’s home match was played last Saturday and Bradford City’s wasn’t may have caused a few raised eyebrows.

The Bantams’ drainage problems have been well documented, both now and a few years ago, but Avenue manager Mark Bower likes to think that last weekend’s disparity is more down to positive things that have happened at his club.

He said: “I can remember coming to Horsfall with Guiseley and Halifax Town and the pitch was horrendous.

“Obviously with it being owned by Bradford Council, there is a limit to what we can do as a club, but credit has to go to our groundstaff and volunteers for not only getting games on but for getting the pitch in decent condition.

“Many clubs with much greater resources than us have pitches that are looking a real mess at the moment and this has led to several postponements, but we have managed to get our pitch rolled and forked etc and we have managed to clear the snow off it when necessary.”

Bower added: “Spennymoor have only played 27 matches, and face matches on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, which can’t help them in the run-in.”

Everyone else in the division has played from 30 to 34, with Avenue on 33.

If the footballing gods were smiling on Avenue earlier in the season, Bower reckons that they have turned against his team in their defeat to North Ferriby United and draws against Salford City and, last Saturday, Alfreton Town.

“It is frustrating that we have only taken two points from these matches when we could have got nine as, poorly as we played against North Ferriby, we had enough chances to win.

“The game against Alfreton must have been great for the neutral, with two teams playing an old-fashioned 4-4-2 and having a really good go at each other, but for us it was two points dropped.”

Play-off chasing Avenue, who are ninth, host Telford United, who are third from bottom, tomorrow.