National League North Playoffs Preview

By Will Hopper

There is the potential for an all-Yorkshire clash between Harrogate Town and Bradford Park Avenue in the National League North playoff final.

Last night, Bradford Park Avenue defeated Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 in the National League North playoff qualifying round. Goals from Avenue’s top scorer Adam Boyes and Oli Johnson were enough to clinch a spot in the next round.

Some might say that Bradford Park Avenue were lucky to even qualify for the playoffs. It was only thanks to Avenue’s superior goal difference over Spennymoor Town that gave them the chance to fight for promotion. Twenty-eight points was the gap between league champions Salford City and Avenue, but that doesn’t matter now as their promotion hopes are still alive and kicking.

Bradford Park Avenue now face a visit to Brackley Town in a one off match to decide who will reach the National League North playoff final. The form guide is certainly in Avenue’s favour as they have already been victorious over their upcoming opponents 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.

Harrogate Town knew they had already qualified for the playoff semi-final as they finished the league in 2nd position. It had been a great campaign, but unfortunately automatic promotion was a step too far as Town finished an agonisingly close six points behind league champions Salford City.  Harrogate Town have home advantage when they face Chorley this Sunday, a team they have also already beaten twice this season.

There is now huge potential for a Yorkshire derby in the playoff final, and with so much at stake it would surely make for a great game. The first meeting this season between Harrogate Town and Bradford Park Avenue finished in a 1-1 draw. However, when the two clubs met again just two weeks ago, it was Avenue who were convincingly victorious 3-1.

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