York City manager Gary Mills knows that a third straight victory and fifth in six games at the expense of former club Wrexham should move his revitalised charges to within touching distance of finally securing their National League status.
Mills returned for a second spell at Bootham Crescent in October within days of having been sacked by the Welsh club and was soon to fully comprehend the sheer magnitude of the task set before him.
Six months on he will be leading a side that have lost just four times in their previous twenty-five games while winning thirteen of those. And for good measure the famed “Wembley-twice” hero has also given supporters the opportunity of an incredible fifth visit to the national stadium in just eight years.
In contrast, Wrexham’s fortunes would appear to have been heading in the opposite direction over recent weeks with them now seven games without a victory.
Nevertheless the visitors are already comfortably-placed in mid-table and a full six-points better off than their latest opponents – for whom the game is yet another absolutely key encounter.
They’ve still got what could be a really awkward six-pointer at Woking before finally wrapping up proceedings against promotion hopefuls Forest Green Rovers in just under a fortnight’s time.
“We still know we’ve got a lot of work to do and, hopefully, we can go and get another result on Monday at home to Wrexham now,” manager Gary Mills told The Press. “It just shows how far we were behind that we’re still not out of it and, not so long ago, people were writing us off but, if we are coming in saying ‘they’ve won again’, imagine how the others are feeling when they keep seeing our result and what I like most about beating Soilhull is we’ve gone above another team.
“They’ve been dragged into it, as have Guiseley, who possibly thought they were OK three weeks ago,” he added. “People always talk about you needing 50 points and somebody told me recently that 51 would be enough, but I don’t know. It’s probably going to be a weird season.”
York City Team News:
On loan Wrexham defender Hamza Bencherif is ineligible to face his parent club while Danny Holmes must be rated doubtful following a thigh injury during the latest victory at Solihull Moors. Yan Klukowski [calf] may have an outside chance of returning but Lanre Oyebanjo [thigh], Matt Fry [knee], Simon Lappin [Achilles] and Clovis Kamdjo [knee] remain out.
York City (probable): Loach, Rooney, Parslow, Newton, Heslop, Moke, Hall, Whittle, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Oliver
subs: Muggleton, Fenwick, Klukowski, Connolly, Letheren
Player to watch: Sean Newton
Former Wrexham defender who ironically scored their winner when the clubs last met towards the end of August.
Wrexham Team News:
Wrexham have a doubt over their captain Rob Evans after being forced off during their latest defeat to Maidstone United. Ollie Shenton is set to deputise with former York duo Russell Penn and Ntumba Massanka both expected to start.
Wrexham (probable): Jalal, Carrington, Marx, Riley, Jennings, Shenton, Penn, Barry, Rutherford, White, Massanka
Player to watch: Russell Penn
On loan from Carlisle United having previously skippered York to relegation from the Football League last season.
Match Facts & Stats
Wrexham have won only once in their last 29 league visits to Bootham Crescent. Not surprisngly York comfortably lead in games at their home venue with 28 victories and 16 draws in 51 meetings. Their last encounter was though a scoreless draw in November 2011 before a decent 4,295 attendance. Team: Ingham, Challinor, Smith, Fyfield, Meredith, Kerr, Boucaud (Potts), McLaughlin, Blair (Moke), Walker, Chambers.
York’s most recent home success was a couple of years earlier when triumphing 2-1 with goals from Chris Carruthers and Richard Brodie, who thus became the fastest-ever City player to reach twenty goals in a season – beating the legendary Arthur Bottom by six days. Team: Ingham, Parslow, McGurk, Graham, Meredith, Barrett, Mackin, Lawless, Carruthers, Rankine (Gash), Brodie
York – Woking (A); Wrexham – Dagenham (H)
Easter Monday Games: Aldershot v Dover; Barrow v North Ferriby; Chester v Woking; Dagenham v Sutton; Eastleigh v Bromley; Gateshead v Lincoln; Guiseley v Tranmere; Macclesfield v Solihull Moors; Maidstone v Boreham Wood; Southport v Forest Green; Torquay v Braintree; York City v Wrexham