Tamworth v York City
The Lamb Ground
Sat 3rd Feb
Having won five straight games across the start of the year, York City now chase a first victory in three at mid-table Tamworth this weekend.
That's after their recent 2-2 home draw with promotion rivals Spennymoor Town was followed by a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Stockport County at Edgeley Park.
And that was sufficient to drop the visitors a couple of places in the table to sixth, and seven points behind the crucial third position having also played a game more than current occupiers Brackley Town.
Meanwhile, City are also trailing leaders Salford City, who are next up at Bootham Crescent on Saturday-week, by a massive sixteen points with fourteen games remaining.
Tamworth have won just three of their their fourteen outings since completing a late 3-2 triumph at Bootham Crescent in October.
Seasoned non-league goalscorer Reece Styche grabbed a couple of goals that afternoon but has since left the club for Darlington.
"We've got to get back to winning ways," manager Martin Gray told BBC Radio York. "We were on such a good run and looking at Stockport, I feel the performance was very good second-half. I thought we started the game off well first-half and finished quite strong at half-time.
"But a seven minute window, we conceded two goals. We did feel if we could keep a clean-sheet in the second-half and got a goal early on, we could have kicked on. So we take the positives out of the game and the previous games building up to that. Momentum has been good so there's lots of positives to take out of the Stockport game without the result.
"We've got to go to Tamworth with a point to prove," he insisted. "They pinched a 3-2 win against us here, which was very disappointing and we deserved more than that on the day. So we've got to go there all guns blazing to get a performance and three points."
Tamworth Team News:
Tamworth were hoping to include latest recruit Rhys Sharpe, a former Northern Ireland Under-21 international left-back who's had previous spells at Swindon Town, Notts County and Derby County, subject to clearance. Defenders Stephan Morley [dead leg] and Luke Jones [head] are both chasing selection after recent knocks.
Tamworth (possible): Stevens, Burns, Lane, T. Shaw, Jones, Kettle, Powell, Verma, Taylor, Turner, Kotwica
subs: Reid, Knights, Coulson, Hayden, C. Shaw
Player to watch: Darryl Knights
Former Kidderminster Harriers, Newport County and Solihull Moors winger who scored an injury-time winner at Bootham Crescent back in October.
York City Team News:
The Minstermen are without 25-goal leading marksman Jon Parkin due to the artificial 3G pitch, but fellow striker Louis Almond is recalled to the squad having been sidelined for three months with a dislocated shoulder. Midfielder Clovis Kamdjo [cruciate ligaments] is also working his way back but still weeks away from a return. Defender Daniel Parslow could be recalled to the starting eleven should there be a change of formation. The departure of striker Amari Morgan-Smith on the day before the game would appear to confirm the return of Aidan Connolly following illness, although the visitors now appear desperately light in attack without further reinforcements.
York City (probable): Bartlett, Parslow, Burn, Bencherif, Brown, Moke, Heslop, Newton, Ferguson, Connolly, Correia
subs: Smith, Simpson, Law, Gray, Almond
Player to watch: Aidan Connolly
A lot of additional responsibility now on his slender frame going forward.
Match Facts & Stats
York have made seven previous visits to Tamworth, winning three times and drawing twice, including a 0-0 FA Cup first round tie in January 1971. Team: Hillyard, Mackin, Burrows, Davidson, Topping, Newman, Henderson, Boyer, Aimson, Hewitt, Jones. York comprehensively won the replay just two days later 5-0, courtesy of a Paul Aimson hat-trick, plus further strikes from Phil Boyer and Dick Hewitt.
Link: Red Rewind - City recover from traumatic week
Tamworth - Alfreton (A); York - Salford (H)
Weekend Games: Brackley P-P Boston; Chorley P-P Spennymoor; Curzon Ashton v Gainsborough; Darlington v Blyth; Harrogate P-P Alfreton; Kidderminster P-P Stockport; North Ferriby v Leamington; Nuneaton v FC United of Manchester, Salford v Bradford PA; Southport v AFC Telford; Tamworth v York City