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Match preview: Exeter City v York City
HIGH-FLYING Exeter City are hoping prolific veteran Jamie Cureton shrugs off a hamstring injury to line up against York City tomorrow.
Cureton has netted five goals in as many league games on his return to St James’ Park following an unproductive season with Leyton Orient.
The evergreen 37-year-old only managed to hit the target once in 22 outings for the London team but, in his second spell with the Grecians, the former Bristol Rovers, Norwich and QPR forward has displayed all the predatory instincts that have brought him 231 goals in 678 games during a career that has spanned all four top English divisions.
Cureton, who only trails six-goal Port Vale striker Tom Pope at the top of the League Two scoring charts, bagged a brace in last weekend’s 4-2 victory against Oxford but had to be substituted 57 minutes into the game after feeling a muscle twinge.
Manager Paul Tisdale will now weigh up whether pitching Cureton back in against the Minstermen would risk further damage.
Waiting in the wings, if needed, is former Spanish under-19 international and Swansea striker Guillem Bauza, who replaced Cureton at the Kassam Stadium.
Whichever player starts, John O’Flynn is expected to occupy the deep-lying forward role behind them in Tisdale’s 4-4-1-1 formation.
O’Flynn has deputised impressively for Alan Gow in that position with the former Rangers and Blackpool midfielder sidelined by a thigh problem. Exeter go into tomorrow’s match having won their last four league games since a surprise 3-0 opening day home defeat to Morecambe.
The second-placed Devon club’s goal tally of 12 is also the best in the division after Port Vale, who have netted one more time.
Tisdale’s team have, however, only won one of their four home games this term – a 3-0 triumph over Burton.
Otherwise, that defeat against Morecambe came either side of exits in the Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy against Crystal Palace and Aldershot respectively.
Exeter’s early-season form has owed much to a settled side with nine players having started every league game, including Cureton and another seasoned campaigner in 35-year-old, former Southampton midfielder Matt Oakley.
The Minstermen will also encounter a familiar face in goal with one-time loan signing Artur Krysiak the Grecians’ number one.
Krysiak played two matches for City after then parent club Birmingham City allowed him to cover for an injured Michael Ingham at the start of the 2008/09 season.
The Polish shot-stopper’s stay was cut short, however, after he was crocked himself in his second outing.
Exeter (probable): Krysiak, Amankwaah, Coles, Baldwin, Woodman, Sercombe, Bennett, Oakley, Davies, O’Flynn, Cureton.
YORK City have made 18 Football League visits to St James’ Park, winning five times and losing on the 13 other occasions.
They were successful on their first trip to Exeter 2-0 in March 1959, with Charlie Twissell and Barrie Tait on target, and won 1-0 on their last League visit on October 5, 2002, when Watford loanee Lee Cook scored.
The line-up that day was: Fettis, Edmondson, Smith, Brass, Hobson, Potter, Bullock, Brackstone, Duffield (Mazzina), Nogan (Parkin), Cook (Wood).
Their other successes on this ground were 2-0 in 1965/6, when Ian Burden scored twice on his debut, 2-0 in 1970/1 with John Mackin and Paul Aimson on the scoresheet, and 2-1 in 1993/4 courtesy of goals from Glenn Naylor and Gary Swann.
The heaviest defeat was 5-0 in 1968/9.
In the Conference, City were unbeaten in four visits, winning twice and drawing twice.
Dave Merris scored the only goal of the game in 2004/5 and the following season Neal Bishop, Andy Bishop and James Dudgeon were on the mark in a 3-1 win.
Their last two trips ended in 1-1 draws, with Craig Farrell scoring in 2006/7 and Onome Sodje netting the equaliser on August 20, 2007.
The side for this televised game was: Evans, Craddock (Purkiss), McGurk, Parslow, Robinson, Sodje, Panther, Hutchinson (Brayson), Greenwood, Woolford, Brodie (Beardsley).
Players who have appeared for both clubs include John Edgar, Barry Pierce, Brian Joy, Tom Kelly, Craig Farrell and Manny Panther.
It happened on September 15
1951: Alf Patrick (2) and Billy Fenton scored in 3-1 win over Hartlepools United at Bootham Crescent watched by 5,646.
1973: A 3-1 home win over Port Vale with goals from Barry Swallow (2) and Jimmy Seal. The crowd for this Third Division (League One) encounter was 3,172 and making his City debut was Barry Lyons.
1979: Gordon Staniforth scored a hat-trick in 5-2 Fourth Division win at Wigan Athletic.
1984: A 3-1 win at Orient in the Third Division with Keith Walwyn, John Byrne and Gary Nicholson on the mark. It was the last goal from Byrne prior to his £100,000 move to Queens Park Rangers.
2007: City lost 2-0 at home to Stevenage Borough watched by 2,052.
Compiled by David Batters
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