Manager Gary Mills has always considered that York City’s fate could well go right down to their final league game with Forest Green Rovers at the end of April. But the plain fact is there is going to have to be a massive upsurge in results for that to even remain a remote possibility.
Typically given how their dreadful season has gone, what was probably the Minstermen’s singularly most commendable result of the campaign in holding in-form leaders Lincoln City to a 1-1 draw at Sincil Bank in midweek, instead ended up feeling more like a defeat – that after the simply chilling news filtered through of Maidstone United, Guiseley and Woking again surpassing their efforts while accounting for promotion-chasing Dagenham & Redbridge, Barrow and Dover Athletic respectively.
While York have only been beaten twice in their last fourteen games in all competitions, four of their six victories have come against lower-ranked opposition in the FA Trophy. In terms of league points attained during that same period, it currently stands at twelve from an available thirty, and if that particular average is maintained over their remaining dozen games it would realise a final tally of just 43-44 – and with it an abject second consecutive relegation. Such is their dire situation, draws are therefore now virtually redundant – and certainly at Bootham Crescent. It really is win or bust.
Fortunately Eastleigh arrive in simply woeful form and still without a victory since the turn of the year. Their midweek home draw with Aldershot Town finally ended a sequence of four straight defeats – but that’s still only four points taken in their last nine games, including three successive recent home losses in which they failed to even score.
“We’re sitting here with twelve games to go, whose to say we can’t win the next twelve?,” manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York. “We go into Saturday’s game positive, as we have been. We go in confident, we go in with the belief that we’ve got to get a result against Eastleigh – and we hope we can get that result.”
York City Team News:
Striker Vadaine Oliver [dead-leg] will need assessing while defender Yan Klukowski [calf] is again ruled out. Aidan Connolly could therefore earn a recall. York are already without Lanre Oyebanjo [thigh], Matt Fry [knee], Simon Lappin [Achilles] and Clovis Kamdjo [knee]. Former Ajax academy right-back Derwin Martina has received international clearance and may be granted an immediate debut.
York City (probable): Letheren, Parslow, Bencherif, Newton, Martina, Heslop, Hall, Whittle, Oliver, Parkin, Morgan-Smith
subs (from): Moke, Fenwick, Rooney, Nti, Connolly, Simpson
Player to watch: Jon Parkin
Scored in the last two games and is going to need to be ultra-clinical in the remaining dozen.
Eastleigh Team News:
The visitors are already without experienced trio Darius Henderson, Ryan Cresswell and Jason Taylor, while leading scorer Mikael Mandron, Ryan Bird, Luke Coulson and Andy Drury have all recently moved out.
Eastleigh (probable): Clarke, Johnson, Hoyte, Green, Obileye, Garrett, Stearn, Togwell, Wilson, McAllister, Strevens
Player to watch: James Constable
Probably their most recognised player but only a second-half substitute in midweek.
Match Facts & Stats
The 1-1 draw between the sides earlier in the season was a first-ever meeting.
York – Sutton (A); Eastleigh – Barrow (H)
Friday’s Game: Chester 2-3 Tranmere
Weekend Fixtures: Aldershot v Lincoln; Barrow v Sutton; Boreham Wood v Bromley; Braintree v Wrexham; Dover v Solihull Moors; Forest Green v Macclesfield; Gateshead v Dagenham; Maidstone v Southport; North Ferriby v Woking; Torquay v Guiseley; York City v Eastleigh