York City commence back-to-back away trips by visiting promotion hopefuls Dagenham & Redbridge this weekend, before travelling to FA Trophy final opponents Macclesfield Town just three days later.
The Minstermen are now unbeaten in seven games while remarkably losing just two of their previous nineteen, but are still five points from immediate safety with only nine more fixtures remaining.
However, the situation can soon change in football, and while York are currently that same number of points clear of bottom place following their dramatic midweek victory against Southport, they were at one stage of the evening worryingly back in very last position.
That was before them completing a valiant recovery for the fourth successive game as, inspired by Jon Parkin’s two goals and couple of tremendous assists, City rallied for an absolutely imperative 5-3 triumph.
Promotion-chasing Dagenham have rather stumbled of late while losing four of their last five games, despite recently accounting for leaders Forest Green Rovers 2-1.
“It was nice to come back from 3-1 down and win the game [against Southport) and score five goals,” manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York. “That’s three against Eastleigh and five the other night, two against Lincoln, so ten goals in three games. It’s nice to score goals and win every one of those games, which is what it’s all about and what we’ve got to do more of in the next nine games, obviously. So it was a good evening for us.”
Dagenham & Redbridge Team News:
Former York midfielder Andre Boucaud is unavailable because of international duty while on loan West Bromwich Albion defender Shaun Donnellan misses out for the same reason. Midfielder Luke Guttridge was expected to return from injury but fellow schemer Sam Ling remains doubtful. Both Matt Robinson [broken leg] and Luke Pennell [cruciate ligament] have been longer-term casualties.
Dagenham & Redbridge (probable): Justham, Sheppard, Doe, Williams, Widdowson, Guttridge, Robinson, Maguire-Drew, Whitely, Romain, Hawkins
Player to watch: Jordan Maguire-Drew
Lively on loan Brighton forward already into double figures for goals this season.
York City Team News:
Former England Under-21 goalkeeper Scott Loach makes his debut in place of the injured Kyle Letheren [back] while defender Alex Whittle [hamstring] also returns to the squad. Yan Klukowski [calf] remains sidelined but could be available for the midweek visit to Macclesfield Town, and both Lanre Oyebanjo [thigh] and Matt Fry [knee] are nearing a return. Otherwise, Simon Lappin [Achilles] and Clovis Kamdjo [knee] are out for the season.
York City (probable): Loach, Rooney, Bencherif, Parslow, Heslop, Hall, Newton, Whittle, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Oliver
subs: Connolly, Moke, Muggleton, Fenwick, Holmes
Player to watch: Jon Parkin
Midweek hero with two goals and a couple of assists just three days after the veteran goalscorer had played the full 120 minutes in the epic FA Trophy aggregate victory at Lincoln City.
Match Facts & Stats
York have won three of seven previous visits to Dagenham, including on their first two Conference trips when not even conceding a goal. But the teams are yet to draw at Victoria Road.
The Daggers have triumphed on the last three occasions, taking the corresponding game 1-0 last season after York skipper Russell Penn was sent-off and goalkeeper Scott Flinders saved a penalty. That was remarkably a first home victory for them at the twentieth attempt. Team: Flinders, Hendrie, Winfield, Cameron, Ilesanmi, Penn, Summerfield (Hyde), McEvoy (Berrett), Galbraith, Oliver, Fewster (Carson).
But York fans will have far happier memories of an absolutely vital 1-0 triumph at the same venue back in April 2013, when skipper Chris Smith’s 68th minute winner directly in front of 1,159 travelling City followers ensured survival in their first season back in the Football League. Team: Ingham, Oyebanjo, Smith, McGurk, O’Connell, Parslow, A. Reed, Platt, Blair (Coulson), Walker (J. Reed), Chambers
Dagenham – Eastleigh (H); York – Macclesfield (A)
Weekend Fixtures: Bromley v Chester; Dagenham v York City; Eastleigh v Gateshead; Guiseley v Dover; Lincoln v Forest Green (12:15pm); Macclesfield v Aldershot; Solihull Moors v Barrow; Southport v Boreham Wood; Sutton v North Ferriby; Tranmere v Braintree; Woking v Maidstone; Wrexham v Torquay