On Wednesday night, 10th February at 1945hrs and weather permitting of course, Ossett Albion take on Bradford Park Avenue at the Horsfall Stadium, Bradford in the semi-final of the West Riding County Cup. If Albion should triumph they will be one win away from lifting the trophy for the first time since 1999. Avenue, however will have different ideas and must be odds-on favourites considering they play two levels higher than Albion in the “pyramid”
In reaching the semi final, Ossett have defeated Knaresborough Town, on penalties in Round 1 and then Goole Town, again after a penalty shoot-out in Round 2. Both of these ties were away from home. Then, on 8th December last year, they met Garforth Town from the NCEL Premier Division in the quarter-finals at Dimple Wells and ran out comfortable winners by 2 goals to nil.
It wasn’t until last Wednesday, 3rd February, that Albion learnt who they would be playing for a place in the final. Bradford Park Avenue overcame a resurgent FC Halifax Town from the Conference National in a thrilling match played on neutral territory at Garforth FC. After 90 mins the score was 3-3. Halifax were down to ten men and Bradford missed a penalty. Avenue won the penalty shoot-out 5-4 after 8 penalties apiece. Prior to the quarter-final win over Halifax, Bradford had “scraped” through their Round 2 match away at Albion Sports by seven goals to nil. I think it’s fair to say that both clubs are taking the competition seriously and I would expect them to play strong line ups given that the trophy is now within touching distance. In the other semi-final, Harrogate Town play Silsden.
So, should the rain Gods allow, I shall be venturing over to the Horsfall Stadium on Wednesday night and will report on the match shortly afterwards within these blog pages.
I’ve been to the ground before and I must admit, if they’re half as good as they have been on previous occasions, I’m looking forward to the chips! There is usually a decent atmosphere under the main stand and good vocal home support. As it’s not too far (about 14 miles or so) from Ossett, I’m hoping to see plenty of Albion colours at the ground too.
Can Albion win the match? Well, it will be a tall order but there is plenty of room for optimism. In their last two matches, both away from home in the league, Albion have performed well and taken four points. Another solid defensive performance on Wednesday night, together with some good fortune in front of goal, could well see Albion cause a cup upset, and should they lose? …. well, they can then concentrate on the league, can’t they!