The cities of York and Coventry collide for the first time in over half-a-century in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Bootham Crescent this evening. The Minstermen approach their third home game in a week having not scored in the previous two and with only one victory from their last seven games. Meanwhile, Coventry’s start to the season had been so bad it required an immediate change of manager. Former Barnsley and Rotherham United boss Mark Robins has come in to steady the ship and the visitors are currently unbeaten in their last three games after finally ending a simply awful sequence of fourteen winless league fixtures. His opposite number Gary Mills comes up against one of his former clubs, having previously been first-team coach at the 1987 FA Cup winners around a decade ago. Coventry defeated Burton Albion 10-9 on penalties in the opening round of the competition and the outcome of tonight’s tie will once again be decided on the night.
“We’ve not had too many wins of late and need to get back to winning ways,” York manager Gary Mills admitted to The Press. “You could put out a couple of young players in a weaker side because you want to have a look at them in that environment but then you can end up losing and that’s dangerous because you always want a winning mentality at your club.”
York City Team News:
Former Norwich City striker Oli Johnson appears set for a full debut as the hosts could make changes following successive scoreless games. However, manager Gary Mills has insisted there will be no overall weakening of his line-up. On loan Peterborough United midfielder Daniel Kearns may well come into contention for a start alongside the likes of Clarke Carlisle and Jamie Reed, while midfielder Scott Kerr again hopes to be involved after making his comeback at the weekend. Lanre Oyebanjo remains doubtful with a thigh injury and long-term casualty John McReady (dislocated shoulder) is the only confirmed absentee.
York City (possible): Ingham, Challinor, C. Smith, Carlisle, Fyfield, Parslow, Blair, Kearns, Johnson, Walker, Reed
subs (from): Musselwhite, Blanchett, Kerr, Potts, Doig, Taylor, Chambers, Coulson, McLaughlin, Bullock, McGurk
Player to watch: Matty Blair
York’s top scorer from last season comes up against his local club and the one he always hoped to face in the competition.
Coventry City Team News:
Joint leading goalscorer Cody McDonald is ruled out by a knee injury alongside William Edjenguele (hip) and Connor Thomas. Former £4m-rated Birmingham City striker Gary McSheffrey is doubtful with a foot injury. Otherwise, French-born centre-back Kevin Malaga has recently been transfer-listed while Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane also appears to have fallen out of favour.
Coventry City (probable): Murphy, Clarke, Wood, Cameron, Reckord, Baker, Bailey, Moussa, Ball, McGoldrick
Player to watch: David McGoldrick
On loan from Nottingham Forest, with three goals in his last four games.
Match Facts & Stats
Only five previous meetings between these two sides. York won the first 3-2 in an FA Cup third round tie in January 1938 and when on their way to the quarter-final of the competition. Sammy Earl, Peter Spooner and Jimmy Hughes were on target in front of a 13,917 Bootham Crescent attendance. Coventry then had the edge in subsequent league meetings with two wins and a draw against one defeat between 1958-60 – during when both clubs shared a promotion season to the third division.