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Dossier critical to York City as drop noose tightens
YORK City assistant manager Fred Barber made a 300-mile scouting trip to Torquay last night ahead of Saturday’s crucial clash at the Devon strugglers.
The Gulls won 2-1 against Chesterfield with Barber watching on to provide a detailed dossier of the Minstermen’s next hosts for manager Nigel Worthington.
And it will need to prove invaluable after that result and others tightened the relegation battle and ensured City dipped into the drop zone for the first time this season. They are now just one spot above new anchor club Aldershot in npower Championship Two.
Against all odds, Torquay, Barnet, Plymouth and former bottom club Accrington Stanley all won their games in hand over the Minstermen to each rise above manager Worthington’s charges.
And it will mean Barber’s lowdown on City’s next opposition, the Gulls, will be vital.
Previous City boss Gary Mills was not a strong believer in studying opposing teams in advance but Worthington, his successor at Bootham Crescent, reckons players should be fully prepared for all fixtures.
He said: “You always concentrate most of all on your own performances and doing what you need to do.
“But I feel it is important you know what you are playing against to make players aware of the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses by feeding them information.
“I was always brought up being given information and it’s about doing your homework.
“That’s my philosophy but every manager is different and has their own ways and that doesn’t mean they are right or wrong.”
The Tuesday torment of the Minstermen was headed by Accrington Stanley, who thrashed previous strugglers AFC Wimbledon 4-0.
The first two goals were bagged in the opening 20 minutes by none other than former Everton, Arsenal and England “fox in the box” Francis Jeffers, who was playing ten years to the night after coming on for his Champions League debut for Arsenal to whom he moved from his native Merseyside for £8 million.
It was more humble surroundings last night for Jeffers, but Stanley won’t mind after his brace paved the way for the emphatic crushing of the Dons.
And as if to rub salt into City’s wounds, former City trialist Will Hatfield was also on target for the hosts.
City’s next opponents Torquay profited from an even more rapid one-two to shade their home clash against the Spireites.
Joss Labadie and Rene Howe struck for the Gulls to put them 2-0 up within eight minutes.
However, the Devon side were made to hang on after Chesterfield’s 77th-minute reply from Liam Cooper brought about an attack of the jitters for the Plainmoor faithful.
Torquay’s Devon rivals Plymouth, meanwhile, travelled well to bag all three points at Southend.
Manager John Sheridan’s charges secured the critical win thanks to second-half goals from Paul Wootton and Reuben Reid.
The galling game in hand gloom for the Bootham Crescent brigade was completed by Barnet.
Even without suspended player-coach Edgar Davids, the Bees beat visitors Fleetwood 2-0.