Stockport County v York City
Sat 27th Jan
Extending their unbeaten sequence to seven games will be York City's main objective when travelling to former Football League rivals Stockport County, and while playing in front of what's certain to prove comfortably the biggest attendance in National League North as the two best-supported outfits collide this weekend.
Five wins and a draw have recently moved the visitors up to fourth in the table, while offering renewed hope they can still force their way into the top-three come the end of the season. Should that be achieved, it would allow them a more favourable route through the play-offs, venue-wise, and numerically less elimination fixtures.
One of the teams likely to be involved in those are Spennymoor Town, who City were held by at home following a 2-2 draw in their latest game. But that followed successive victories over AFC Telford United, Bradford Park Avenue, Darlington and North Ferriby United [twice].
The Hatters approach the contest having lost their last couple of games, notably 4-1 at Harrogate Town in midweek, when York's management duo of Martin Gray and Dave Penney were interested spectators.
That followed a 3-1 weekend defeat at Southport, although County remain unbeaten at home since October.
"We're obviously delighted with the pick-up in points - five wins and a draw out of the last six," assistant manager Dave Penney told BBC Radio York. "It's a matter of just keeping that going, keeping a high points ratio to games if we can, and seeing where we end up.
"Off the back of a 4-1 [defeat at Harrogate], Jim's [Gannon] looking for a reaction and no doubt he'll have let them know that," he warned. "It's a big game for the home clubs when we come calling. Obviously they've got a decent fanbase as well, so it all makes for a nice game."
Stockport County Team News:
Former York loan striker Rhys Turner is considered doubtful while defenders Kallum Mantack [broken leg] and Sam Minihan [groin] are already ruled out.
Stockport County (from): Ormson, Cowan, O'Halloran, Ball, Smalley, Stott, Thomas, Winter, Oswell, Stopforth, Stephenson, Dixon, Duxbury, McKenna Warburton, Hinchliffe
Player to watch: Jason Oswell
Already scored 23 goals this season and narrowly trails the league's top scorer, York's Jon Parkin (25).
York City Team News:
Midfielder Simon Heslop [hamstring] and centre-back Hamza Bencherif [knee] have both recovered after being substituted during the latest 2-2 draw with Spennymoor Town. Leading goalscorer Jon Parkin is also declared as available despite carrying a tight hamstring in the last couple of games. Fellow forward Louis Almond [shoulder] could be back in action next week following three months on the sidelines. But Clovis Kamdjo [knee] and Michael Rankine [high blood pressure] remain out.
York City (probable): Bartlett, Brown, Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson, Moke, Heslop, Newton, Connolly, Correia, Parkin
subs: Law, Parslow, Morgan-Smith, Gray, Simpson
Player to watch: Jon Parkin
Not scored in the last couple of games amid reports of a tightening hamstring, but that won't unduly concern the big striker who is always capable of discovering the net.
Match Facts & Stats
The Minstermen won by a 2-1 scoreline on their most recent visit in October 2011, courtesy of goals from Matty Blair and Jason Walker. Team: Ingham, Challinor, Smith, Fyfield, Meredith, Kerr, Boucaud (Potts), McLaughlin (Parslow), Blair, Walker, Chambers. That was their only previous Edgeley Park trip whilst operating in non-league. Prior to that, York triumphed in seven and drew six of 42 Football League visits since 1930.
Link: Red Rewind - Walking back to happiness
Link: Red Rewind - Battling City overcome the odds
Stockport - Nuneaton (H); York - Tamworth (A)
Weekend Games: Boston v Blyth; Brackley v Salford; Chorley v North Ferriby; FC United of Manchester v Curzon Ashton; Gainsborough v Alfreton; Harrogate v AFC Telford; Kidderminster v Southport; Leamington v Darlington; Nuneaton v Bradford PA; Spennymoor v Tamworth; Stockport v York City