Doubtless significantly buoyed by completing an excellent league double at forthcoming Wembley opponents Macclesfield Town in midweek, York City continue their fight for survival while targeting a fifth successive victory at home in all competitions when facing relegation rivals Braintree Town at Bootham Crescent.
The Minstermen still remain deep in trouble towards the foot of the table despite their latest heroics and are still four points from immediate safety with only seven games remaining, although they do perhaps crucially hold one of those in hand on the two clubs just above them.
Defeating Braintree this weekend would, however, certainly drag them right back into the mix, particularly as York also have another seemingly winnable home fixture against mid-table Bromley in midweek.
Their recent form would certainly suggest they are more than capable of achieving ‘The Great Escape’ having lost only three of their previous twenty-one games in all competitions.
More importantly, City’s league results over their last half-a-dozen games have been considerably better than all of their immediate relegation rivals, with the notable exception of Maidstone United.
Visitors Braintree will be attempting to avoid a third straight defeat but have already impressively triumphed seven times on their travels this term, including recently hitting five at Bromley and also winning at Eastleigh only last month.
“The fans were incredible on Tuesday night at Macclesfield and getting that vocal support at home is massive for us,” manager Gary Mills told The Press. “Make no mistake about it, it’s great for the players when they hear that noise and see the flags waving as they run out of the tunnel at 2.55pm. It plays a big part in what we’re trying to achieve.
“I’ve got nothing but praise for our fans, considering what they`ve been through and are going through. I’m just hoping I can get us over the line, because they’ve been a credit to the club and no other set of supporters in the country deserve to stay up more.”
York City Team News:
Former England Under-21 international goalkeeper Scott Loach retains his place despite the return of Kyle Letheren from a back injury. Midweek goal-hero Simon Heslop once again faces a fitness test on a groin problem but defender Yan Klukowski [calf] may be considered. Otherwise, Lanre Oyebanjo [thigh], Matt Fry [knee], Simon Lappin [Achilles] and Clovis Kamdjo [knee] remain sidelined.
York City (probable): Loach, Parslow, Bencherif, Newton, Heslop, Moke, Hall, Whittle, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Oliver
subs: Rooney, Holmes, Muggleton, Fenwick, Connolly
Player to watch: Jon Parkin
Ten goals already and numerous assists, and an absolutely massive – and magnificent – influence.
Braintree Town Team News:
Braintree have selection problems at the back with Ian Gayle and Frankie Musonda currently ruled out, while Manny Parry and Jake Goodman are rated as doubtful. First-choice goalkeeper Sam Beasant is another casualty, leaving former Concord Rangers stopper Ben McNamara between the uprights.
Braintree Town (probable): McNamara, Clohessy, Mbulu, Goodman, Okimo, Corne, Hall-Johnson, Isaac, Barnard, Cheek, Midson
Player to watch: Michael Cheek
One of the most dangerous strikers at this level with already over twenty goals this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Braintree have never beaten York in three previous meetings and were comprehensively thrashed 6-2 on their only visit to Bootham Crescent in October 2011. Team: Ingham, Challinor, Smith, Fyfield, Meredith, Kerr, Boucaud (Parslow), McLaughlin, Blair, Walker (Reed), Chambers (Moke)
York – Bromley (H); Braintree – Dover (H)
Weekend Games: Boreham Wood v Macclesfield; Dagenham v Eastleigh; Dover v Gateshead; Forest Green v North Ferriby; Lincoln v Bromley; Maidstone v Barrow; Solihull Moors v Aldershot; Southport v Guiseley; Torquay v Chester; Woking v Sutton; Wrexham v Tranmere (12.15pm); York City v Braintree
Link: Red Rewind – Six of the best for dominant York