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York City vs. Oxford United

Bootham Crescent

Sat 21st Dec


Minstermen face Oxford examination

York City tackle league leaders and away specialists this weekend as Oxford United arrive at Bootham Crescent. The visitors remain unbeaten in the league on their travels this season with six victories and three draws despite regularly having to contend with a seriously high number of injuries. Recent worries of them losing underrated manager Chris Wilder to Portsmouth is now also a thing of the past. Oxford have been functional rather than spectacular this season, although there can be little doubt they deserve their success. While such levels of consistency have thus far continued to elude misfiring York, they too have certainly displayed moments of real inspiration this season, albeit much too fleetingly. The simple fact is that (at present) they don't win games, as displayed by just one victory in their last thirteen matches and only four all season. On the flip side, however, it's just one defeat in their last six games and crucially a significant tightening up at the back over recent weeks. That fact alone can allow them to prepare for their latest challenge with some confidence.

Yorkshireman Chris Wilder is looking at another promotion

Vital Quotes:

"The table tells you they are a good side but we have held our own against the top three or four teams and we must be positive and turn up mentally right from 1.30pm tomorrow," manager Nigel Worthington told The Press. "That is important because, even if one player is not ready mentally and has a blip, that can cost you. We need to put them on the back foot and go at them but, because of what they have got up front, they will have chances and we have got to deal with that and put our heads in where it hurts."

York City Team News:

Striker Ryan Bowman once again misses out as he completes a four-game ban. Defensive pair Chris Smith and Daniel Parslow are also on the sidelines while goalkeeper Michael Ingham is still not yet fully fit but should make the bench. However, on loan full-back Luke O'Neill has recovered from a slight knock and is likely to continue, which could be bad news for Ryan Brobbel as the hosts can only include five loanees.
York City (probable): McCarey, O'Neill, Lowe, McGurk, Davies, Oyebanjo, Montrose, Whitehouse, Carson, Jarvis, Fletcher
subs (from): Clay, Chambers, Platt, Coulson, Puri, Murray, Dickinson, Ingham

The loan quota rule has stalled Ryan Brobbel's promising run

Player to watch: Luke O'Neill

Although appearing to be on his way back to parent club Burnley in January, classy right-back O'Neill has had York fans positively purring over his capabilities on the ball.

York fans have regularly hailed the ability of Luke O'Neill

Oxford United Team News:

League leaders Oxford are still without long-term injury victims Alfie Potter, Andy Whing and Jon Meades. But striker Dave Kitson has escaped suspension and is again ready to partner nine-goal top scorer James Constable in attack.
Oxford United (probable): Clarke, Hunt, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Williams, Hall, Rose, Ruffles, Kitson, Constable

James Constable has nine goals so far this season

Player to watch: Ryan Williams

Australian-born midfielder who has extended his loan stay from Fulham for the rest of the season and was comfortably their best player in the recent FA Cup win at Wrexham.

Match Facts & Stats

Oxford have made thirteen previous Football League trips to Bootham Crescent, winning five and drawing two. But York clinched the most recent of those when Michael Coulson, Ashley Chambers and Patrick McLaughlin helped them to a 3-1 triumph in September 2012. Once again the visitors had arrived as league leaders but couldn't prevent their opponents claiming their first home victory since returning to the Football League. Team: Ingham, Oyebanjo, C. Smith, Carlisle, Taylor, J. Smith, Parslow, McLaughlin, Coulson (Fyfield), Walker (Blair), Chambers (Challinor). In four Conference meetings both sides won one and the other two were drawn - the last of those in October 2009 when the visitors once more topped their division. Michael Rankine netted for York, who later had left-back James Meredith sent-off, in a 1-1 scoreline. Team: Ingham, Purkiss, Sangare, Parslow, Meredith, A. Smith (McGurk), Lawless, Barrett, Ferrell, Rankine (Boyes), Brodie.

Michael Coulson scored when enjoying some of his best form

Ref Watch:

K. Hill (Hertfordshire)

Next Fixtures:

York - Accrington (A); Oxford - Plymouth (H)

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Writer: Vital York Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 20 2013

Time: 3:23PM


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