York City can probably save themselves a whole load of anxiety during the closing weeks of the season if they can finally record a victory against lowly Barnet at Bootham Crescent. The Minstermen still haven’t won since New Year’s Day while taking just four points from an available twenty-one. They have also scored only four goals during that sequence and conceded twelve. Despite a few recently improved results third-bottom Barnet are currently without a victory in three games and no club in the division has lost more games on their travels this term. But their three successes to date have come at tough venues Chesterfield, Gillingham and Rotherham United. However, a win for York would perhaps decisively take them eleven points clear of their North London opponents with less than a third of the season remaining.
“We have to start taking chances and getting a couple of wins under our belt,” manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York. “All these points from draws are fantastic, but three from this game would put a big, big smile on my face. We have to be more ruthless and not be afraid to miss, not be afraid to shoot. It’s important that when we don’t win we don’t lose, and we’ve been doing that. It’s a team below us again on Saturday, and a win would put us 11 points clear of them.”
York City Team News:
York have lost the services of full-back Jon Challinor for six weeks with a broken fibula. But skipper Chris Smith returns from a toe injury while fellow defenders David McGurk, Lanre Oyebanjo and Chris Doig and forward Michael Coulson remain on the sidelines.
York City (probable): Ingham, Parslow, Smith, O’Connell, Fyfield, Obeng, Kerr, McGrath, Blair, Rankine, Chambers
subs: Musselwhite, Allan, Potts, McLaughlin, Rodman, Walker, Everson
Player to watch: John McGrath
Should be a particularly interesting contest in midfield for the new loan signing when up against the threat of Edgar Davids.
Barnet Team News:
Former Celtic and West Bromwich Albion striker Craig Beattie is set for a debut after Ricky Holmes was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with a foot injury. Steve Kabba and Liam O`Brien are similarly unavailable for the visitors.
Barnet (probable): Stack, Fuller, Johnson, Stephens, Iro, Oster, Byrne, Davids, Yiadom, Beattie, Nurse
Player to watch: Edgar Davids
Legendary 39-year-old former Dutch international and current head coach of the Bees who has represented some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Ajax, Inter, Barcelona, Juventus and Milan.
Match Facts & Stats
Barnet have won once and drawn once in five previous Football League trips to Bootham Crescent. The most notable of those games was a top-of-the-table Third Division clash in November 1992. York triumphed 2-0 in front of a crowd of 6,425 with goals from Nigel Pepper (pen) and Paul Barnes. Team: Kiely, McMillan, Hall, Pepper, Stancliffe, Atkin, McCarthy, Borthwick, Barnes, Swann, Blackstone (Canham). The Minstermen were also victorious in their one Conference meeting in March 2005 with Kevin Donovan and Paul Maloney on target in a 2-1 win. Their line-up was: Porter, Law, Maloney, Groves, Smith, P. D. Robinson, Webster, Donovan, Dunning, Merris, Bishop
D. Coote (Nottinghamshire)