A morale-boosting victory against National League North leaders Salford City last weekend should provide York City with plenty of added momentum as they next travel to lowly Curzon Ashton.
However, the Minstermen must continue to reproduce exactly that same level of performance over their remaining twelve games if they are to seriously reduce the current six-point gap separating them from the leading three clubs in the division.
Despite overcoming the title-favourites courtesy of Aidan Connolly’s fifth goal of the season, York are still a full dozen points behind their latest victims and have also completed a game more than each of their main rivals.
Meanwhile, Harrogate Town similarly enjoy a sizeable ten-point advantage over their more illustrious neighbours while still holding firm in second place.
Struggling Curzon actually lifted themselves out of the relegation zone after their midweek 3-0 victory at AFC Telford United.
Prior to that they had allowed a three-goal lead to slip while drawing 3-3 at Boston United; that following successive home defeats to Kidderminster Harriers and Chorley, and either side of another reversal at FC United of Manchester.
“They had a great 3-0 win at Telford on Tuesday night,” manager Martin Gray told BBC Radio York. “They’ve scored six goals in their last two games. They were 3-0 up against Boston, until they got it back to 3-3. So not to be underestimated.
“We’ve just beat Salford, that’s all we’ve done. No more than that,” he stressed. “The three points that we’ve gained, Curzon now is an even bigger game because we have to have the same approach and mentality. If you don’t you’ll get beat because that’s what happens in football. You’ve got to have the same respect for Curzon as you had for Salford. And if you do things right you’ll win the game.”
Curzon Ashton Team News:
Joe Guest could be recalled at wing-back having completed a three-game suspension following his recent sending-off at FC United of Manchester.
Curzon Ashton (possible): Mason, Rowney, Baillie, Hunt, Shaw, Regan, Dunwoody, Walker, Cummins, Dwyer, McKenna
Player to watch: Niall Cummins
Scored the winner to knock York out of the FA Cup after a replay last season, despite goalkeeper Luke Simpson saving his initial penalty. Cummins had already equalised for the visitors in the first meeting at Bootham Crescent.
York City Team News:
The Minstermen could remain unchanged following their much improved victory against leaders Salford. That would witness latest signings Marcus Williams (Guiseley) and Alex Kempster (Whitley Bay) restricted to challenging for a place amongst the substitutes.
York City (probable): Bartlett, Brown, Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson, Moke, Heslop, Newton, Pattison, Connolly, Parkin
subs (from): Almond, Simpson, Correia, Parslow, Smith, Williams, Kempster
Player to watch: Connor Brown
The right-back completed a permanent move until the end of the season this week having initially been on loan from Guiseley.
Match Facts & Stats
York have made a single previous visit when losing an FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay 2-1 in October 2016, despite earlier taking the lead through Richard Brodie. Team: Simpson, Rooney (Kamdjo), Higgins, Fry, Whittle, Oyebanjo, Heslop, Klukowski (Fenwick), Galbraith, Brodie, Felix (Nti)
Curzon Ashton – Southport (A): York – Alfreton (H)
Weekend Games: Alfreton v Salford; Blyth v Bradford PA; Boston v Leamington; Brackley v Darlington; Chorley v Gainsborough; Curzon Ashton v York City; FC United of Manchester v Stockport; Kidderminster v Harrogate; North Ferriby v Southport, Spennymoor v Nuneaton; Tamworth v AFC Telford