The games continue to come thick and fast with York City still worryingly occupying a dreaded relegation place despite suffering only a third defeat in twenty at the weekend.
A late concession at Dagenham & Redbridge hardly did much to improve their cause and the subsequent levels of disappointment exhibited by understandably frantically concerned supporters perhaps gives an indication of their recently increased levels of expectancy.
However, a narrow setback at a top-five side still with definite ambitions of making an immediate return to the Football League isn’t really the kind of fixture that is going to determine York’s fate across the final month of the season.
The Minstermen have eight more games to fulfil and the vast majority of those should be considered as perfectly winnable.
As always when embroiled in a desperate relegation battle, the absolutely decisive encounters will be those taking place in front of their own supporters (although one particular away game must also be added to that list).
York have actually won their last four games at home in all competitions and a repeat of that particular sequence against Braintree Town, Bromley, Wrexham and Forest Green would leave them already seriously closing in on the great escape.
Meanwhile, following tonight’s visit to Macclesfield, later trips to Chester and Solihull Moors shouldn’t offer them too many fears prior to the potentially vital clash at Woking on the penultimate weekend.
But, ultimately, it’s Bootham Crescent that holds the key (Woking apart) and anything else should be considered as a hugely welcomed bonus.
“We talk about options, we haven’t got that many with the amount of personnel we’ve got at the moment,” manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York. “Do we change it and go different with maybe putting Sean Newton in there [midfield], or even Hessie [Simon Heslop] if he’s fit?
“But I think we’ve been strong at the back with the five that we played on Saturday. I think we look strong with that and don’t look like conceding goals. It gives us a balance with Sean on the left and Hessie on the right.
“Yes, we’ve got options. We haven’t got too many though. But I thought Mokes [Adriano Moke] and Asa’s [Hall] done okay.”
Macclesfield Town Team News:
Midfielder Danny Whitehead [hernia] is the only absentee for the hosts, who are expected to again include former York duo Scott Flinders and Luke Summerfield, with a third, centre-back John McCombe, amongst their substitutes.
Macclesfield Town (probable): Flinders, Halls, Byrne, Pilkington, Fitzpatrick, Browne, Summerfield, Norburn, Whitaker, Holroyd, Dudley
Player to watch: Scott Flinders
Goalkeeper rebuilding both career and confidence following a difficult eighteen months at Bootham Crescent.
York City Team News:
The visitors must check on skipper Simon Heslop [groin], with Danny Holmes standing by as his replacement. Defender Yan Klukowski [calf] and goalkeeper Kyle Letheren [back] once again miss out. Otherwise, Lanre Oyebanjo [thigh] and Matt Fry [knee] are closing in on returns while Simon Lappin [Achilles] and Clovis Kamdjo [knee] remain out for the season.
York City (probable): Loach, Parslow, Bencherif, Newton, Holmes, Moke, Hall, Whittle, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Oliver
subs: Rooney, Fenwick, Connolly, Muggleton, Simpson
Player to watch: Vadaine Oliver
A totally different player under Gary Mills and could end up as the unlikeliest of heroes.
Match Facts & Stats
This is a first non-league meeting between the clubs at Moss Rose. The Minstermen’s record was very decent in the Football League with two victories and a single defeat in six meetings.
York triumphed 2-1 on the first occasion in April 1999 through opening-half goals from Rodney Rowe and Mark Tinkler. Team: Mimms, Dawson, Thompson, Jordan (Hocking), Jones, Fairclough, Pouton, Tinkler, Williams, Rowe (Tolson), Garratt (Skinner).
They were also victorious on Boxing Day 2000 with a 75th minute winner from on loan striker Chris Iwelumo. Team: Fettis, Thompson, Sertori, Patterson, Alcide, Stamp, Jordan (Hall), Fox, Potter, Iwelumo, Mathie (McNiven).
However, the most recent encounter was a scoreless draw in September 2003. Team: Ovendale, Cooper, Wood, Brass, Hope, Merris, Ward, Dunning, Bullock, George, Wilford (Crowe).
Macclesfield – Boreham Wood (A); York – Braintree (H)
Tonight’s Games: Chester v Barrow; Macclesfield v York City; Solihull Moors v Torquay; Sutton v Lincoln; Tranmere v Dover