Match preview: Fleetwood Town v York City

Skipper Chris Smith, above right, is under pressure, while namesake Jonathan Smith, centre, may earn a recall

Skipper Chris Smith, above right, is under pressure, while namesake Jonathan Smith, centre, may earn a recall

First published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

York Press: Benenden Healthcare Society - Proud sponsor of York City FC

YORK City manager Gary Mills is contemplating making changes to his team for tomorrow’s trip to Fleetwood Town.

A defensive reshuffle looks the biggest consideration for the City chief, who has seen his side fail to keep a clean sheet for ten matches since the 0-0 draw at Southend in October.

The central-defensive axis of captain Chris Smith and Chris Doig could come under threat with the side having conceded 12 goals in six matches since the pair were pitched together in mid-November.

With Lanre Oyebanjo fit again and ready to return at right-back, Dan Parslow could be switched to central duty while David McGurk and rookie Tom Allan are other options.

Should McGurk not feature at Fleetwood, then the home meeting with Burton would represent a full year since he made a first-team appearance despite making the bench for the last 14 games after recovering from a succession of knee, calf and throat problems.

Teenager Allan has been used as a substitute during the last two games when City were leading 4-1 at home to Bristol Rovers and trailing Chesterfield 3-0 but Mills is keen to nurture him in the correct manner before throwing him in for his first senior start.

Mills could also choose to bolster his midfield with recalls for Jonathan Smith and Lee Bullock but his attacking choices remain limited by injuries to Ashley Chambers (stomach), Michael Coulson (knee), Oli Johnson (groin) and John McReady (shoulder).

The City boss said: “You always have to consider changes when you’ve just lost a game. My job is to pick the team and it’s the players’ job to perform.”

On the prospect of 18-year-old Allan getting his full debut, Mills added: “We’ve put Tom on in the last two matches and it’s all about bringing him on in the right way.”

Mills is also warning his players they cannot afford a repeat performance of the second-half showing at Chesterfield, where a promising first period was undermined by three sloppily-conceded goals after the break.

On facing Fleetwood, he said: “I’m expecting a similar challenge to the one we had at Chesterfield.

“They are a good side with a strong squad so we will have to be at our best for 90 minutes, as you have to be every week in this League.”


Match facts

CITY made two Blue Square Bet Premier trips to Fleetwood.

In 2010/11, they went down 2- 1 in a game which marked Richard Brodie’s last in City colours. Greg Young was the scorer.

Last term the fixture was goalless on August 27, 2011, and the side lined up: Ingham, Oyebanjo, McGurk, Smith, Meredith, Boucaud (Fyfield), Kerr, McLaughlin (Challinor), Moké (Pilkington), Walker, Chambers.

It happened on December 29

1973: Brian Pollard scored the goal in a 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at Bootham Crescent watched by 6,274. The unbeaten League run was extended to 19 matches and City were second in Division Three (League One).

1979: A 1-1 draw at Lincoln City with Andy Clements on the scoresheet in the Division Four match.

1984: A Bootham Crescent crowd of 9,665 saw Hull City win 2-1. Keith Walwyn was on target and City were in the top half of the Third Division (League One).

1990: Ian Blackstone netted a hat-trick in a 4-0 Fourth Division win at Wrexham.

Central defender Ray Warburton was the other scorer.

1992: City slipped to second in the Third Division (League Two) following a 1-1 home draw against Halifax Town. The attendance was 4,068 with Paul Barnes the marksman.

2006: City lost 1-0 at home to Woking but remained in the top five of the Conference. The attendance was 3,173.

2007: Martyn Woolford and David McGurk netted in a 2-0 Blue Square Premier win over Weymouth at Bootham Crescent in front of 2,546.

compiled by Dave Batters

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