York City v Gateshead
Tue 21st Feb
Manager Gary Mills faces former club Gateshead this evening with the clock continuing to relentlessly tick down on York City's National League existence.
The Minstermen once again allowed an early advantage to slip at the weekend as their alarming inability to win league games continues to seriously threaten their survival.
Having already drawn more than any other team in the division [thirteen] while simultaneously registering the fewest number of victories [five], York's current success tally is three lower than the next worst return of Southport.
On the positive side, City have lost just once in eleven games and remain undefeated on their travels since early December - suggesting there is still genuine hope if they can start winning home fixtures on a regular basis.
Gateshead already thrashed York 6-1 earlier in the season and are on a three-match winning sequence following recent victories against Forest Green Rovers, Chester and Southport; although manager Neil Aspin has often been left frustrated at their levels of consistency while admitting to never quite being certain of which of his teams were going to show up.
"It will be a tough test," manager Gary Mills told The Press. "They've been a bit inconsistent this season, but they've found a bit of form coming into this game and had a really good win at Forest Green at the weekend. They're not playing on Saturday now, so will feel the need to pick up points to stay close to the play-offs, but we've got to make sure they don't get them."
York City Team News:
Defender Yan Klukowski is again ruled out with a calf injury while midfielder Simon Lappin [Achilles], Clovis Kamdjo [knee) and Matt Fry [knee] are similarly sidelined. Manager Gary Mills could decide to revert to a three-man back-line, which could witness the return of Shaun Rooney in defence, and continuation of a three-pronged attack.
York City [probable]: Letheren, Rooney, Bencherif, Parslow, Oyebanjo, Heslop, Newton, Whittle, Oliver, Parkin, Morgan-Smith
subs: Moke, Holmes, Fenwick, Connolly, Simpson
Player to watch: Amari Morgan-Smith
Really excellent goal-return and attitude since arriving on loan from Cheltenham Town last month, with four in six games so far.
Gateshead Team News:
Gateshead are set to include former York Wembley-twice duo Patrick McLaughlin and Jamal Fyfield, in addition to one-time City trialist and fourteen-goal leading scorer Danny Johnson. He should be partnered by ex-FC Halifax Town marksman Jordan Burrow, with lively former Wrexham winger Wes York providing the service.
Gateshead (probable): Montgomery, Bolton, Hogan, M Smith, Fyfield, E. Smith, Mafuta, McLaughlin, York, Burrow, Johnson
Player to watch: Patrick McLaughlin
Former York midfielder who always appeared capable of playing at a higher level.
Match Facts & Stats
The Minstermen have won two and lost one of three previous meetings with Gateshead at Bootham Crescent. The most recent of those was a 2-1 defeat in February 2012, when the hosts suffered only a second league reversal in twenty-one games, despite substitute Jamie Reed replying to a couple of Micky Cummins goals. Team: Ingham, Challinor, Smith, Doig, Gibson, Kerr, Brown (Reed), McLaughlin, Blair, Walker (Blinkhorn), Chambers (Swallow). The previous Gateshead club made 23 visits in the Football League, York winning twelve and drawing eight.
York: Brackley Town FATQF (H); Gateshead - Macclesfield (A)
Tuesday's Games: Dagenham v Bromley; Eastleigh v Macclesfield; North Ferriby v Lincoln; Tranmere v Boreham Wood; York City v Gateshead