York City host Tamworth desperately needing to return to the winning track have fallen badly short at title-favourites Salford City last weekend.
While a 3-2 defeat on the surface wouldn’t appear that much of a disaster, the performance certainly was as more catastrophic defending witnessed the visitors falling even further behind in the promotion chase – and indeed slipping out of the play-off places.
A couple of late goals may have offered at least very minor consolation to another large away following, but a frantic final ten minutes of bravado certainly didn’t compensate for what had passed previously.
However, with three of their next four games at home, it should offer the opportunity of making up valuable ground over the next few weeks.
Following the arrival of the Lambs, City have meetings with Curzon Ashton and Kidderminster Harriers either side of travelling to Alfreton Town.
Tamworth arrive having lost their previous four games, including league fixtures against bottom-half-of-the-table trio FC United of Manchester (A 1-3), Gainsborough Trinity (H 1-2) and Alfreton (H 2-3).
They also recently suffered an FA Cup second qualifying round defeat at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Stafford Rangers (0-1).
“They’re having a bit of a bad run, but we’ve got to maximise on that,” manager Martin Gray told BBC Radio York. “We understand that. But it’s about us and it’s all I care about – and my focus is on how we start and end the game this Saturday.
“You’ve got to earn the right to win games,” he stressed. “You can’t expect just because you have a badge and Football League status behind you that it gives you a God-given right to win games. I’ve been down this road many times. Teams will always come to Bootham Crescent and it’s their cup final.
“So we have to make sure we have the same energy as we did against Brackley in our last home game. And give the crowd something to really shout about because that’s so important as a twelfth man. We’ve got to make sure that everybody turns up come Saturday – and as a group and city put on a massive performance.”
York City Team News:
Newcomer Daniel Rowe goes straight into the squad and could receive an immediate debut having joined on an eighteen-month deal. Aidan Connolly continues to push for a start after impressing from the bench last week, while Louis Almond was another hoping for a recall.
York City (possible): Peacock-Farrell, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Whittle, Connolly, Rowe, Newton, Ferguson, Gray, Parkin
subs (from): Simpson, Wharton, Almond, Moke, Morgan-Smith, Heslop
Player to watch: Daniel Rowe
New signing capable of playing across the back four, or as a defensive midfielder with a decent passing range.
Tamworth Team News:
Aman Verma (ankle) and Callum Powell (head) should both recover in time but Jack Lane (dislocated toe) remains out.
Tamworth (possible): Rowley, Burns, Morley, Deeney, Jones, Upton, Coulson, Verma, Styche, Taylor, Knights
subs: Strong, Fox, Shaw, Reid, Curley
Player to watch: Reece Styche
Well-travelled striker with an impressive eight goals in eleven appearances this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Tamworth have won twice and drawn twice in six previous league visits to Bootham Crescent. They notably remain unbeaten on their last four trips. York’s biggest win was actually an FA Cup first round replay in November 1970. Paul Aimson scored a hat-trick alongside Phil Boyer and Dick Hewitt in a comprehensive 5-0 success. Team: Hillyard, Mackin, Burrows, Davidson, Swallow, Topping, Taylor, Boyer, Aimson, Hewitt, Jones
Link: Red Rewind – Lambs chopped down by City
York – Curzon Ashton (H); Tamworth – Chorley (A)
Weekend Games: AFC Telford v Southport; Alfreton v Harrogate; Blyth v Darlington; Boston v Brackley; Bradford PA v Salford; FC United of Manchester v Nuneaton; Gainsborough v Curzon Ashton; Leamington v North Ferriby; Spennymoor v Chorley; Stockport v Kidderminster; York City v Tamworth