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Match preview: York City v Bradford City
BRADFORD City will recall first-choice strikers Nakhi Wells and James Hanson for tomorrow’s League Two clash at York City.
Wells and Hanson both started on the bench during Wednesday’s home match with Dagenham & Redbridge following their exertions in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley three days earlier.
But, after being hailed from the bench, the pair combined for Hanson’s 86th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw against the Daggers.
Hanson’s goal was his ninth of the season, while Wells has contributed 18 despite starting only 26 games.
Having not netted for four matches, however, he is currently enduring his leanest spell of 2012/13.
Andy Gray and Garry Thompson, striking partners against Dagenham, are poised to make way and Matt Duke will also return in goal for Jon McLaughlan after serving the one-match ban he incurred following his red card during Sunday’s 5-0 defeat to Swansea at Wembley.
On the left flank, meanwhile, Will Atkinson is likely to be preferred to Kyel Reid.
Behind him, right-back Stephen Darby will continue to fill in at left-back in the absence of specialists James Meredith and Ryan Dickson.
Former Minsterman Meredith has not featured since being replaced at half-time during the 0-0 New Year’s Day at Morecambe, having contracted glandular fever.
The Australian defender has returned to light training but is unlikely to be considered for selection until April.
Dickson, on loan at Valley Parade from Southampton, has also been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
Centre-back Luke Oliver, last season’s player of the year, will also be sidelined until the summer due to cruciate ligament damage.
Bradford will arrive at Bootham Crescent having lost six and won only one of their last nine matches – a 3-0 victory at Wycombe on February 12.
That sequence stretches back to their superb 3-1 first leg Capital One Cup semi-final victory over Aston Villa.
The Wycombe match also represents the only occasion Phil Parkinson’s men have kept a clean sheet in their last 11 outings.
As a consequence, the former Premier League club have dropped to 12th in the League Two standings and are now a point closer to the relegation zone than they are the play-off places.
Bradford: (probable): Duke, McArdle, Nelson, Davies, Darby, Hines, Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells.
THE Bantams have made 31 previous Football League visits between 1938 and 1995 and honours are even with 11 wins to each side and nine draws.
Bradford are, however, unbeaten in their last eight League trips to Bootham Crescent and City’s last home win over their West Yorkshire rivals was back in 1971/72 when Kevin McMahon, Tommy Henderson and Paul Aimson scored in a 3-1 victory.
City’s biggest win in the series was 4-0 in 1961/62 and the biggest attendance to watch the clubs at York was 12,272 in 1957/58.
In March, 1985, City v Bradford attracted 10,442 – the last time Bootham Crescent hosted a five-figure League crowd.
The last League game between the clubs at York was on Boxing Day 1995 when, in front of 5,218, Bradford won a Division Two (League One) encounter 3-0.
City’s line-up was: Kiely, McMillan, Hall, Pepper, Tutill, Atkin, Murty, Bushell, Barnes (Baker), Matthews (Peverell), Stephenson.
Among the players who have appeared for both clubs are Matt Middleton, Ron Mollatt, Barrie Tait, Barry Swallow, Peter Wragg, Paul Aimson, Archie Taylor, Dick Hewitt, Tony Clegg, Nigel Pepper, Barry Conlon and James Meredith.
It happened on March 2
1968: City drew 0-0 at Bradford City in the Fourth Division watched by 6,040.
1970: A 1-1 Fourth Division home draw against Grimsby Town. The crowd was 2,729 and Mick Mahon, left, was the marksman.
1974: Jimmy Seal and Barry Lyons (penalty) were on the scoresheet in a 2-1 win at Grimsby Town and City were second in Division Three (League One).
1985: Tony Canham scored on his League debut in a 1-0 win at Bootham Crescent against Brentford. This Third Division (League One) encounter was watched by 4,288.
1996: A 2-2 draw at Valley Parade against Bradford City in the Second Division (League One). The marksmen were Nigel Pepper (penalty) and substitute Richard Cresswell with his first goal for the club. It was Paul Barnes’ last game in City colours.
Compiled by David Batters