AFC Telford United v York City
New Bucks Head
Sat 9th Dec
Weather permitting, York City take their deeply frustrating campaign to mid-table AFC Telford United this weekend with much to prove after their latest performance.
The Minstermen will certainly require a massive improvement from their totally deflating 2-1 defeat at lowly Boston United last time out - a result that certainly sent further shock waves reverberating amongst increasingly distraught fans already let down far too many times over recent years.
Prior to that City were in fact undefeated in their previous four outings while winning three of them; although the price you pay when the club is operating at a level it should be absolutely nowhere near in the first place, is that every defeat is viewed as a real calamity, whereas victory is simply what should have been expected anyway - and for the most part thoroughly unremarkable.
Despite that, supporter loyalty has remained simply incredible since floundering into the sixth level at the end of last season, and with work finally beginning this week on the long-awaited new community stadium, they have received a timely boost and the potential of far more stable and better times ahead - at least once the tenacity and determination shown by those in achieving that outcome off the pitch is regularly matched by those actually on it.
"If you go back to the performance when we've been very good, we've used the ball better and kept the ball for bigger spells," manager Martin Gray told BBC Radio York. "But equally we've got to be more focused and with attention to detail. The desire not to concede a goal, not to lose the header. The desire to take a big block, the desire to stop a cross. The hunger. We've got to get back to that tough, tough mentality because all the work out there and pre-match means nothing if it's not carried out for an hour-and-a-half on a Saturday. Player for player, we are strong. There's no question about that. But again that means nothing. You've got to back that up with performances and results."
AFC Telford United Team News:
The Bucks are set to give a debut to former England under-21 international striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, while defensive pair Ryan Wilson [concussion] and Connor Johnson [hamstring] could return. But midfielder Jack Rea [ankle] is still out and former York loanee Jordan Lussey may come into contention.
Player to watch: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
The former Premier League striker with Wolverhampton Wanderers is set for a league debut after already scoring twice in the 4-2 FA Trophy victory against Droylsden.
York City Team News:
The visitors could hand an immediate debut to latest recruit Sean McAllister after arriving on a month's loan from Grimsby Town. Manager Martin Gray, who was reporting no fresh injury concerns, appears likely to move Daniel Rowe into his favoured right-back role at the expense of Daniel Parslow.
York City (probable): Bartlett, Rowe, Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson, Moke, McAllister, Newton, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Gray
subs : Parslow, Law, Simpson, Connolly, Smith
Player to watch: Sean McAllister
Experienced on loan Grimsby Town midfielder brought in to try and give the visitors more control in games over the full duration.
Match Facts & Stats
The Minstermen remain unbeaten in both previous visits, including a scoreless draw in their only league meeting in December 2011. Team: Ingham, Challinor, McGurk, Fyfield, Meredith, Kerr, Boucaud (Reed), McLaughlin, Blair, Walker (Ashikodi), Chambers (Pilkington). Prior to that York won an FA Trophy semi-final first-leg tie 2-0 in March 2009, with goals from Simon Rusk and Ben Purkiss. Team: Ingham, Purkiss, Pejic, Parslow, Robinson, Mackin, McWilliams, Rusk (Greaves), Brodie (Sodje), Boyes (McGurk), McBreen
AFC Telford - Blyth (FAT1) (A); York - Kidderminster (FAT1) (A)
Weekend Games: AFC Telford v York City; Blyth v Alfreton; Boston v Southport; Bradford PA v Tamworth; Chorley v Kidderminster; Darlington v Salford; FC United of Manchester v Brackley; Leamington v Gainsborough; North Ferriby v Curzon Ashton; Nuneaton v Harrogate; Stockport v Spennymoor