Play-Off Preview: Harriers v Bradford Park Avenue
Harriers face Bradford Park Avenue for the second time in four days this evening when the play-offs begin at Aggborough.
It's winner takes all and loser goes home tonight in the first knock-out stage; whoever wins tonight will travel to Brackley on Sunday and whoever loses faces another season in National League North.
John Eustace will change the team around from the one that was beaten by Bradford on Saturday; Ryan Croasdale, James McQuilkin, Joe Ironside and Jimmy O'Connor were all rested while Dan Bradley and James Pearson only played 45 minutes each. All but Pearson are likely to start while his participation depends on whether Fraser Horsfall's ankle injury picked up in the game at North Ferriby has healed enough for him to continue.
Bradford come into the game on a high after their dramatic 94th minute winner on Saturday, scored by former Harrier Adam Boyes, sealed their play-off spot at the expense of Spennymoor who though that they'd done enough by beating Southport. Avenue picked up a few knocks in the game at the weekend and so will have to run the rule over the fitness of some players before making their team selection; they didn't have the luxury of having enough players to rotate the squad at the weekend.
Saturday was the first time that Avenue had beaten Harriers at Aggborough but Harriers still have the best of the series with four wins to two from the eight games.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-3-3): Hall, L. Vaughan, Taylor, O'Connor, Horsfall; Weeks, McQuilkin, Croasdale; Bradley, Ironside, Ngwatala.
Subs (from): Austin, Brown, Digie, Palmer, Pearson, Sonupé, Truslove, N. Vaughan, Waring.
Missing (dual-reg): Finch, Webb.
Tonight's referee will be Declan Bourne from Nottinghamshire who will be taking charge of his second Harriers game of the season having done the FA Trophy draw at Boston. In total he has overseen five Harriers games that have ended in two wins, two draws and one defeat.
The weather this evening is forecast to be mostly clear by kick-off time with a temperature of ten degrees and no chance of rain.