Writer: Vital York
Date:Thursday August 16 2012
Sat 18th Aug
York City mark their return to the Football League with an opening day visit from Wycombe Wanderers this weekend. The two clubs were actually separated by a couple of divisions last season, as the Chairboys suffered a second relegation in three years while their opponents were tasting glory in the play-offs beneath the Wembley arch. Both of them exited the Capital One Cup last week despite valiant performances against higher-ranked hosts and will therefore be searching for their opening victories of the new campaign at Bootham Crescent.
"My aim last year was promotion and it is the same this season," manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York. "People talk about consolidating but to me that's a negative approach. It's simple, I want to get promoted. We've worked hard in pre-season and we have the momentum from last season still. We've kept the nucleus of the squad from last year and the new signings have gelled in fantastically well."
York are without a number of players on their Football League return. Midfielder Scott Kerr [knee] and centre-back David McGurk [knee] remain absent from last season and have since been joined on the sidelines by defender Lanre Oyebanjo [thigh] and striker Jamie Reed [hamstring]. Summer recruit John McReady has also missed out recently through illness. But there should be an immediate league debut for Scarborough-born winger Michael Coulson in addition to special homecomings for former midfielders Lee Bullock and Jonathan Smith.
York City (probable): Ingham, Parslow, C. Smith, Doig, Fyfield, Bullock, J. Smith, McLaughlin, Coulson, Walker, Chambers
subs (from): Musselwhite, Challinor, Blanchett, Potts, Platt, Johnson, Henderson, Blair
A truly great summer acqusition for York. The 25-year-old combative midfield enforcer marked a quick return to the club just twelve months after leaving them for Swindon Town, where he played 48 times and scored three goals on the way to a championship medal last term.
Leading striker Stuart Beavon has recovered from illness but Marvin McCoy is ruled out for the next three months with a fractured left fibula and ankle ligament damage. However, ex-Aldershot Town defender Dave Winfield is over a recent thigh problem while winger Dennis Oli and striker Matt McClure could also be involved following knee injuries. Defender Danny Foster remains sidelined with a damaged knee.
Wycombe Wanderers (from): Bull, Stewart, Doherty, Johnson, Dunne, Bloomfield, Lewis, Spring, Grant, Wood, Logan, Beavon
Striker recently the subject of a bid from Preston who scored 25 goals in League One last season despite the Chairboys being relegated.
Eleven previous meetings between these two clubs - including an FA Cup third round tie in January 1986. Six of those have been at Bootham Crescent and the hosts came out on top five times with one draw, scoring eleven goals in the process and conceding just one. The latest of them was in August 1998, when Neil Thomson (2, 1 pen) and Richard Cresswell helped York to a 3-0 win before a 2,775 attendance in the old League Two [now League One]. The Minstermen were still relegated at the end of that season after losing their final game 4-0 at current Premier League champions Manchester City. Wycombe actually helped to seal their fate by winning their last game 1-0 at Lincoln City while Oldham Athletic were simulatanously disposing of visitors Reading 2-0.
Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)
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Date:Thursday August 16 2012
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