Bradford Park Avenue have to wait and hope they get final-day opportunity

Bradford Park Avenue manager Mark Bower.
Bradford Park Avenue manager Mark Bower.
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BRADFORD PARK AVENUE manager Mark Bower is facing a waiting game this week with his side’s National League North play-off hopes on the line.

They occupy the final berth following their impressive weekend win over Harrogate Town.

However, with rivals Chorley and Spennymoor having one and two games in hand respectively, there is every chance Bradford could find themselves knocked out of the reckoning by Saturday’s final game of the season.

“There isn’t a lot we can do,” said Bower. “I will probably spend the next few nights refreshing Twitter on my phone and hoping for the best.

“To be fair, four or five weeks ago we couldn’t have imagined being in this position. But we have been on a good run and it would be great to take it to the final weekend.”

A rejig of the National League set-up this season means six sides will compete in the play-offs, as opposed to the previous four.

Avenue hope to hold on to seventh place, but are just a point ahead of Spennymoor, who host Telford tonight and then North Ferriby United on Thursday. Sixth-placed Chorley, two points ahead of Bradford, are at Brackley tomorrow night.

“I would rather be in their position than ours, if I am honest,” said Bower, whose side sit two places and two points above York City in the table. “But strange things can happen at this stage in a season. Spennymoor have had a lot of games lately.”

Avenue’s standing is impressive in a division where seven teams, including Harrogate and York, are full-time. Avenue’s average crowd of 524 is also the fifth-lowest.

“We were favourites to go down along with Gainsborough at the start of the season,” added Bower. “But I knew that the players we had brought in would do well. I just hope we can still be in with a chance come Saturday.”