Hednesford Town, fresh from Saturday’s revitalising 4-1 victory against Stalybridge Celtic, have a superb opportunity to return to the summit of the Skrill North this evening as they face Bradford Park Avenue at Keys Park.
The Pitmen currently sit in third place, a point behind Brackley Town and North Ferriby United, and, with tonight’s game being their game in hand on the two teams above them, a victory would give Rob Smith’s team a fantastic opportunity to be top on Christmas Day.
Hednesford boss, Rob Smith, is aware of the history between the two sides but was quick to praise his opponents, stressing that it will be a difficult match for his side.
‘Times have moved on since our Play-Off meeting but the one reminder should be that Bradford were an excellent side then, and still are now. They are very much a model of how to be after winning promotion a couple of seasons ago. They are an excellent team, who, if not for injuries earlier on in the season, would be right up there and still could easily make the play-offs. They beat Kidderminster in the Trophy and by all accounts nearly beat them in the FA Cup which shows how strong they are.’
In some disappointing team news for The Pitmen, Tom Thorley, so influential and impressive in midfield of late, is likely to be out with a groin injury, with Neil Harvey also missing; however Nathan Woolfe will undoubtedly be pushing for a starting berth after his superb second half cameo on Saturday, a performance Smith was very pleased about.
‘I think everyone involved with the Club was pleased for Nathan, he has had a difficult time but deserved that performance. I hope he can take it on now as he is a really top lad.’
The visitors this evening are a team that served as a marker of what can be achieved by a newly promoted team to the Skrill North, and it was Bradford who inflicted the painful 5-0 play-off semi final defeat on The Pitmen in 2011.
The Avenue then went on to beat FC United of Manchester in the Evo-Stik North Play-Off Final and finish the following season in the top half, and despite their manager’s wary comments, the Keys Park faithful, many of whom bore witness to that defeat in rainy Yorkshire two seasons ago, will hope their team can succeed in laying the memories of that day to rest this evening.
Hednesford Town Form – LLWLLW
Previous Result – Hednesford Town 4 Stalybridge Celtic 1 – The Skrill North – Saturday 14th December 2013
Next Fixture – Vauxhall Motors (A) – The Skrill North – Saturday 21st December 2013
League Position – 3rd
Bradford Park Avenue Form – WDWWLL
Previous Result – Guiseley 3 Bradford Park Avenue 0 – FA Trophy Second Round – Saturday 14th December 2013
Next Fixture – Histon (H) – The Skrill North – Saturday 21st December 2013
League Position – 10th
KO – 7.45pm
Address of Ground – Keys Park, Keys Park Road, Hednesford, Staffordshire, WS12 2DZ
Adult Main Stand: £12
Adult Terrace: £11
Concessions Main Stand: £7
Concessions Terrace: £6
Adult/1 Child* Terrace Ticket: £12
Adult/2 Children* Terrace Ticket: £13
Family** Terrace Ticket: £22
* Child under 16
** 2 Adults & 2 Children (under 16)