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Match preview: York City v Barnet
YORK City manager Gary Mills will pit his wits against another former European Cup winner when Dutch legend Edgar Davids brings his Barnet team to Bootham Crescent tomorrow.
Former Ajax, AC Milan, Juventus, Barcelona and Tottenham midfielder Davids, who turns 40 next month, is set to play for the visitors, having racked up 16 appearances for the Bees since his arrival as player/head-coach and captain in mid-October.
Davids won the 1995 Champions League with Ajax 15 years after Mills had become the youngest-ever European Cup champion at the age of 18 during Nottingham Forest’s victory over Hamburg.
As one of the players chosen by Pele to feature in the FIFA 100, a list of the world’s greatest living footballers, Davids also won 74 caps for Holland in his pomp and played in three European Championships and one World Cup.
Davids is expected to be joined in tomorrow’s visitors’ starting line-up by a striker who once moved from Celtic to West Brom for £1.25 million with Craig Beattie poised to make his Bees debut.
The 29-year-old forward has arrived as a free agent from St Johnstone, where he has only made four appearances this season with his last outing coming against Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup on December 17.
Beattie’s last goal, meanwhile, was a 90th-minute penalty that sent Hearts through to the final of the Scottish Cup last April at the expense of former club Celtic.
The ex-Scotland international, who won seven caps for his country, has been recruited by Davids following the news that frontman Ricky Holmes will be out for the rest of the season with a foot injury.
Holmes has joined Steve Kabba and Liam O’Brien in the treatment room and Beattie will now contest a starting place with eight-goal top marksman Jake Hyde.
Should he play, Beattie will become the 37th different player Barnet have used this season.
The North London club are currently third-bottom but have improved since failing to win any of their opening 14 fixtures prior to Davids’ first game – a 4-0 triumph against Northampton at Underhill, the 123-year-old home they will leave for a new stadium at their Harrow-based training ground next season.
Nevertheless, the Bees’ record of 12 away points remains the lowest tally in League Two and no other side in the division have lost more games on their travels in 2012/13 than the ten defeats they have suffered.
A record of 11 away League goals is also the joint-worst in the table although, under Davids, they have claimed some notable scalps with wins at Chesterfield, Gillingham and Rotherham.
Barnet will tackle the Minstermen without a win in three games but they drew 0-0 with top-of-the-table Port Vale at the weekend following back-to-back defeats at improving Bristol Rovers (2-1) and promotion hopefuls Burton (1-0).
Barnet (probable): Stack, Fuller, Johnson, Stephens, Iro, Oster, Byrne, Davids, Yiadom, Beattie, Nurse.
Barnet have made five previous Football League visits to Bootham Crescent winning once and drawing once.
The London club won 4-1 on their first trip in 1991/92 but the following season City won a top-of-the-table Third Division clash (League Two) encounter 2-0 in front of a crowd of 6,425 with goals from Nigel Pepper (penalty) and Paul Barnes.
In 1993/94, the fixture was drawn 1-1 and City won both the other two games 1-0. In 1999/2000, Matt Hocking was the marksman and the following campaign Colin Alcide was on target.
The clubs met just one in Conference on March 1, 2005, when City won 2-1 with Kevin Donovan and Paul Maloney on the scoresheet. The line-up was: Porter, Law, Maloney, Groves, Smith, P D Robinson, Webster, Donovan, Dunning, Merris, Bishop.
Players who have appeared for both clubs include Gary Bull and Mike Basham.
It happened on February 16
1952: Alf Patrick hit a hat-trick in a 6-2 home win over Halifax Town with Billy Fenton (2) and Billy Hughes also on target.The attendance for this Division Three North fixture was 7,902.
1957: A Boothferry Park crowd of 15,697 saw Hull and City draw a Northern Section game 1-1 with Peter Wragg the scorer.
1977: In Division Three (League One), Chris Galvin netted in a 1-1 draw at Reading.
1980: Derek Hood was the marksman in a 1-0 Fourth Division win over Portsmouth at Bootham Crescent watched by 2,509.
1985: A Bootham Crescent crowd of 13,485 saw City and Liverpool draw 1-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Ian Rush opened the scoring with Ricky Sbragia netting a late equaliser.
2002: A 1-0 win at home to Hartlepool United in the Third Division (League Two) courtesy of a Lee Nogan goal watched by 4,823.
2008: A run of 11 Blue Square Premier games without defeat ended with a 3-1 reverse at Histon. Nicky Wroe scored the consolation goal from the penalty spot.
Compiled by Dave Batters