York City can move back into the play-offs when entertaining Bradford Park Avenue at Bootham Crescent this weekend.
A sequence of three successive victories have propelled the hosts to within a point of the top-seven and another maximum-points return would allow them to leapfrog their latest opponents in the table.
It’s the first of a trio of crucial games for the Minstermen over the next week, with a visit to AFC Telford United on Tuesday evening being followed by the arrival of another of the promotion hopefuls, Spennymoor Town, just four days later.
Since crashing 5-0 at home to York back in August, Bradford, managed by former City loan defender Mark Bower, have surprisingly risen above them in the division and currently harbour genuine hopes of being involved in the end-of-season play-offs.
Their success has largely been built upon a miserly defence away from home, where they actually remain five games unbeaten and number recent victories at Southport, Alfreton Town and North Ferriby United.
Meanwhile, former York duo Oli Johnson (14) and Adam Boyes (12) have been regularly finding the back of the net for the visitors at the other end.
“It’s massive because obviously they’re just above us in the league,” leading goalscorer Jon Parkin told BBC Radio York. “We went there near the start of the season and beat them five. From then they’ve kicked on, surprisingly to me. I watched the game and thought they would struggle. But they must have got themselves sorted out. They’re just above us in the league so are obviously doing something right.”
York City Team News:
Portuguese striker Raul Correia comes into the squad having joined on loan from Blackpool for the remainder of the season. However, midfielder Alex Pattison’s loan spell from Middlesbrough has ended, while Sean McAllister has also returned to his parent club. Fellow recent newcomer Jonny Burn was expected to continue following his early knock in the victory at Darlington. Otherwise, Clovis Kamdjo [knee], Louis Almond [shoulder] and Michael Rankine [high blood pressure] remain sidelined.
York City (probable): Bartlett, Law, Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson, Rowe, Moke, Newton, Connolly, Morgan-Smith, Parkin
subs: Parslow, Correia, Gray, Simpson, Smith
Player to watch: Raul Correia
An unknown quantity who has arrived from Blackpool to boost an attack far too often reliant on a single goalscorer.
Bradford Park Avenue Team News:
Experienced defender Shane Killock remains a doubt after suffering a recent back injury. However, ex-City trio Nicky Wroe, Adam Boyes and Oli Johnson should all start.
Bradford Park Avenue (possible): Drench, Ross, Hill, Wroe, Nowakowski, Havern, Brooksby, Boshell, Boyes, Johnson, Spencer
subs:: Vidal, Clee, Toulson, Hall, Knight
Player to watch: Nicky Wroe
Former York midfielder who was one of five players notably reaching double figures in terms of goals for them during the 2007-08 season.
Match Facts & Stats
It’s a first meeting at Bootham Crescent since Bradford re-founded in 1988. In total, York played the former Park Avenue club nineteen times at home in all competitions, winning eleven and drawing three times.
Link: First visit but long history
Bradford – Gainsborough (H); York – Telford (A)
Weekend Games: Alfreton v Darlington; Brackley P-P North Ferriby; Curzon Ashton v Chorley; Gainsborough v Nuneaton; Harrogate P-P Stockport; Kidderminster v FC United of Manchester; Salford v AFC Telford; Southport v Leamington; Spennymoor P-P Boston; Tamworth P-P Blyth; York City v Bradford PA