Bottom-of-the-table York City need at least nine victories from their remaining nineteen league games to have any opportunity of avoiding a second successive relegation, according to manager Gary Mills.
With the Minstermen having accumulated only a solitary triumph from exactly that same number of fixtures over the previous four months, and just four in their twenty-nine league games played so far, it provides a staggering indication of the kind of dramatic improvement required over the coming weeks.
Added to that City’s next four games are against sides currently occupying fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth in the table; and with already a deeply concerning five-point margin to make up in order to even register parity alongside their fellow strugglers, the ‘win-at-all-costs’ maxim surely can’t be very far away.
Latest opponents Dover Athletic can undoubtedly score goals (55), with the likes of Braintree Town (6), Sutton United (6), Eastleigh (4), Forest Green Rovers (4) and most recently Maidstone United (4), served previous evidence of their attacking prowess.
But they are also noticeably vulnerable at the back having already conceded thirty-nine times – and heavily in meetings with
Chester (5), Gateshead (5), Boreham Wood (4) and Tranmere Rovers (4).
However, the redoubtable part-times are once more punching well above their weight and seeking to achieve an end-of-season play-off status for the second consecutive year.
“We go down to Dover, a tough place to go as we know,” manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York. “They’re doing well at the moment and got themselves back in the play-offs. So we’ve got to go there and work hard and fight for everything that we need to get. It’s always round about the fifty [point] mark that you’re going to need. So looking at it like that, we’re going to need nine wins, maybe ten. So we need half the wins with the games we’ve got left really.”
Dover Athletic Team News:
Former West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City utility man James Hurst could be involved after arriving from AFC Telford United. Midfielder Joe Healy is also available in a full-strength squad. As well as leading marskman Ricky Miller (29), both Ademola Moses (11) and Ross Lafayette (10) have similarly reached double figures this season.
Dover Athletic (probable): Arnold, Magri, Sterling, Grimes, Thomas, Moore, Parkinson, Orlu, Lafayette, Moses, Miller
Player to watch: Ricky Miller
Twenty-nine goals already for the striker currently attracting plenty of interest from elsewhere.
York City Team News:
Midfielder Adriano Moke [dead-leg] is set to to join Aidan Connolly, Lanre Oyebanjo and Danny Galbraith on the sidelines for the visitors, while both Aarran Racine and Rhys Murphy make their final appearances of a current loan arrangement.
York City (probable): Letheren, Rooney, Klukowski, Racine, Heslop, Holmes, Lappin, Newton, Whittle, Parkin, Murphy
subs (from): Fry, Woodland, McDaid, Rzonca, Dixon, Nti
Player to watch: Jon Parkin
Still awaiting his first league goal since returning to the club.
Match Facts & Stats
Dover’s 1-0 victory at York in September was the only previous meeting between the sides.
Dover – Macclesfield (A); York – Harlow (FAT2R) (A)
Weekend Fixtures: Aldershot v Southport; Braintree v Chester; Bromley v Forest Green; Dover v York City; Guiseley v Maidstone. North Ferriby v Dagenham; Solihull Moors v Gateshead; Torquay v Boreham Wood; Wrexham v Woking
Tuesday 10th Jan: Barrow v Southport; Braintree v Sutton; Eastleigh v Forest Green; Macclesfield v Dover