One down and eleven to go as manager Gary Mills continues to target as many victories as possible for his York City side from their final dozen league games. This weekend their attention focuses on tackling gallant FA Cup fighters Sutton United on their 3G pitch at Gander Green Lane.
The Minstermen’s latest 3-1 success against Eastleigh was only their sixth triumph in the National League this season, but was sufficient to move them within five points of immediate safety and with a game in hand; although the ongoing improvement of fellow strugglers Maidstone United, Braintree Town and Guiseley has seen them all recently hitting the forty-point mark.
With bottom club Southport next up in the league at Bootham Crescent, it’s obviously really important that City extract as many points as possible from those two encounters ahead of a couple of potentially difficult trips to Dagenham & Redbridge and Macclesfield Town.
From thereon in, York should regularly fancy their chances over the final month of the campaign, with a possibly decisive visit to currently fifth-bottom Woking immediately prior to wrapping up their programme at home to title-challengers Forest Green Rovers.
They’ve also got Braintree, Bromley and Mills’ improved former charges Wrexham at their own stadium, while successive departures to fading Chester and Solihull Moors shouldn’t really overly concern a side that is impressively still undefeated on the road this year.
“There’s no doubt playing on 3G pitches is a totally different game,” manager Gary Mills told The Press. “Balls that would go out of play on grass don’t and the pace of the surface isn’t the same either. Personally, I think every game should be played on grass, because I don’t think it’s a true or proper game of football otherwise. People talk about postponements due to bad weather, but the grass pitches are so good now that I don’t think that’s a big problem. We won’t be making it an excuse if things don’t go right for us.”
Sutton United Team News:
Potent striker Roarie Deacon, Craig Eastmond and Simon Downer are all unavailable due to suspension while goalkeeper Ross Worner is currently sidelined with a groin injury. Experienced goal-grabber Matt Tubbs has returned to Eastleigh and fellow forward Dan Fitchett also been told to find a new club.
Sutton United (probable): Puddy, Amankwaah, Beckwith, Spence, May, Collins, Gomis, Bailey, Cadogan, Biamou, Coombes
Player to watch: Dean Beckwith
Strong centre-back who proved outstanding during their recent FA Cup run into the last sixteen.
York City Team News:
Defender Yan Klukowski [calf] and midfielder Aidan Connolly [knee] were both expected to be available for the visitors, who are currently missing Lanre Oyebanjo [thigh], Matt Fry [knee], Simon Lappin [Achilles] and Clovis Kamdjo [knee].
York City (probable): Letheren, Parslow, Bencherif, Newton, Heslop, Moke, Hall, Whittle, Oliver, Parkin, Morgan-Smith
subs: Klukowski, Fenwick, Rooney, Connolly, Holmes
Player to watch: Vadaine Oliver
Really key and reinvigorated performer in last week’s vital 3-1 home victory against Eastleigh.
Match Facts & Stats
The 2-2 draw at Bootham Crescent back in October was a first meeting between these two clubs. Significantly York are only likely to start with three of that particular team and with a fourth on the bench.
Sutton – Forest Green (H); York – Lincoln (FATSF1) (H)
Weekend Games: Bromley v North Ferriby; Dagenham v Forest Green; Eastleigh v Barrow; Guiseley v Aldershot; Lincoln P-P Chester; Solihull Moors v Braintree; Southport v Torquay; Sutton v York City; Woking v Boreham Wood; Wrexham v Gateshead
FA Trophy Semi-Final (first-leg): Macclesfield v Tranmere