Five points already separates York City from the top of the table despite them currently being unbeaten in the same number of games – that’s going into the Bank Holiday Monday arrival of FC United of Manchester to Bootham Crescent (kick-off 3.00pm).
Of the seven points so far relinquished by the sixth-placed Minstermen, four of those were following draws with likely promotion rivals Darlington and Southport, while their only defeat rather surprisingly occurred at home to AFC Telford on the opening day of the campaign.
However, that record still leaves them occupying a play-off position and within a couple of points of early title-favourites Salford City – with neighbours Harrogate Town and Brackley Town both presently setting the pace on sixteen points each.
Visitors FC United of Manchester moved off the bottom of the table at the weekend while celebrating their first win of the season against nine-man Boston United – 2-1 the final scoreline at Broadhurst Park.
Their only additional point thus far had come from a creditable 3-3 draw at City’s weekend opponents Southport, when only being denied a maximum return by a late equaliser.
Aside from a recent comfortable 3-0 reversal at Bradford Park Avenue, their three other losses have notably all been by the odd-goal against current top-three outfits Brackley (A 1-2) and Spennymoor Town (H 2-3), in addition to last season’s runners-up Kidderminster Harriers (H 1-2).
“It’s important that we look after ourselves,” manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York. “The lads will go and have a little swim on Sunday and get their legs right for Monday. This league is relentless and you have to be strong and you have to look after yourselves.
“I’ve got to make decisions,” he continued. “Mokes [Adriano Moke] is missing. Do I start with two big men down the middle? Do I start with Muggy [Sam Muggleton]? But that’s what I get paid for so we’ll have to wait and see – and hopefully I’ll get it right.
“We’ve taken eleven points from fifteen in the last five games, so if we continue to do that then we’re going to get out of this league. I’m a happy manager that my players have responded really well.”
York City Team News:
Midfielder Adriano Moke (thigh) is definitely ruled and therefore joins Matt Fry (knee) and Clovis Kamdjo (cruciate knee) on the sidelines. He could now be absent for as long as the next couple or months. Striker Jon Parkin appears certain to be recalled having not started the previous four games, while there could be first starts of the season for Theo Wharton and Sam Muggleton.
York City (probable): Worsnop, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Whittle, Heslop, Wharton, Newton, Almond, Parkin, Morgan-Smith
subs (from): Sukar, Muggleton, Connolly, Felix, Rankine, Smith
Player to watch: Simon Heslop
Scored a couple of fine goals on his last home appearance but now without fellow schemer Adriano Moke.
FC United of Manchester Team News:
The visitors earned their first league victory of the season with Nathan Lowe (penalty) and Connor McCarthy both on target during the first-half of their weekend 2-1 success against Boston United.
FC United of Manchester (possible): Allinson, Brady, Fagbola, Hughes, Wisdom, Lindfield, Kay, Lowe, McCarthy, Connor, Gilchrist
subs: Senior, Irwin, Hooper, Greaves, Logan
Player to watch: Scott Kay
Midfielder named as man of the match in their recent draw at Southport.
Match Facts & Stats
These two clubs have never previously met.
York – Chorley (A); FC United – Leamington (H)
Bank Holiday Monday Games: Alfreton v Curzon Ashton; Blyth v Harrogate; Boston v Nuneaton; Brackley v Kidderminster; Bradford PA v Chorley; Darlington v Spennymoor; Gainsborough v North Ferriby; Leamington v AFC Telford; Salford v Southport; Tamworth v Stockport; York City v FC United of Manchester
League Table (Top):
1. Harrogate 6 – 16 (+13)
2. Brackley 6 – 16 (+11)
3. Spennymoor 6 – 15 (+7)
4. Southport 6 – 14 (+7)
5. Salford 6 – 12 (+4)
6. YORK CITY 6 – 11 (+7)
7. Darlington 6 – 11 (+5)