York City v Brackley Town
Sat 25th Feb
York City take a temporary break from the National League as they host Brackley Town in the FA Trophy quarter-finals at Bootham Crescent.
The Minstermen's hopes of avoiding a second consecutive relegation suffered a massive blow in midweek with their 3-1 home defeat to Gateshead, although it should be remembered that was a first reversal for them in eight games.
That statistic would be fine in itself if those fixtures related purely to their ongoing survival fight and included a decent number of victories. But it is excessive draws rather than sporadic defeats that are in reality far more likely to take York down now given their increasingly perilous situation.
Brackley achieved their first league victory since the turn of the year at the expense of Gloucester City on the same evening but have regularly proved themselves a difficult side to beat on their travels, while including a 2-2 draw at League One club Gillingham in the FA Cup first round before then overcoming the Kent outfit 4-3 in the reply.
Tickets for the game have been specially reduced to £8.00 for adults and £4.00 concessions.
"First-half performance was fine [against Gateshead], I thought," manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York. "You look back at the first- goal. Kyle [Letheren], every day in training, will save a shot like that. It's a hard one to explain the first goal, which in the first minute puts us under a little bit of pressure. But with the squad of players that I talk about, we responded well. Vadaine's [Oliver] got himself a good goal and us back in the game and then we were the better side. Performance-wise for forty-five minutes was what we've been - putting teams under pressure and creating chances. Second-half we just didn't perform, it was almost like a little bit of desperation and trying to force the ball too much. So nothing major for me; it's gone, it's what it is."
York City Team News:
York were expected to hand a debut to latest signing Asa Hall while being hopeful that Yan Klukowski [calf] can return at the back. Otherwise, Simon Lappin [Achilles], Clovis Kamdjo [knee) and Matt Fry [knee] remain sidelined.
York City [probable]: Letheren, Bencherif, Klukowski, Parslow, Heslop, Hall, Newton, Whittle, Oliver, Parkin, Morgan-Smith
subs (from): Rooney, Moke, Holmes, Oyebanjo, Fenwick, Connolly, Simpson
Player to watch: Asa Hall
Brought in to compensate for the loss of playmaker Simon Lappin.
Brackley Town Team News:
James Clifton and Jordan Gough are both cup-tied for the part-timers while midfielder Shane Byrne is suspended. But former York centre-back Luke Graham was again expected to start.
Brackley Town (probable): L. Walker, Myles, Gudger, Lowe, Graham, Dean, G. Walker, Armson, Moyo, Diggin, A. Walker
Player to watch: James Armson
Twenty goals already from midfield this season, including a hat-trick against Gillingham.
Match Facts & Stats
Another first-time opponent for York.
York - Lincoln (A); Brackley - Kidderminster (H)
FA Trophy Quarter-Final: Boreham Wood v Lincoln; Dulwich Hamlet v Macclesfield; Tranmere v Barrow; York City v Brackley
National League: Aldershot v Bromley; Braintree v Maidstone; Dover v Eastleigh; Forest Green v Woking; Guiseley v North Ferriby; Solihull Moors v Wrexham; Southport v Chester; Torquay v Sutton