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Match preview: Bradford City v York City
FORMER York City left-back James Meredith will be restored to Bradford’s starting line-up against his old team tomorrow.
The Australian defender was rested for Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy triumph at Hartlepool but that match was the first competitive fixture he has missed since making his summer switch from Bootham Crescent.
That makes the 24-year-old Bantam the only player to have featured in all 14 of the club’s previous matches and he will return tomorrow in place of understudy Carl McHugh.
Top scorer Nekhi Wells, who has netted seven times despite only starting the same number of matches, will also be recalled after Garry Thompson was given a run out at Hartlepool but right-back Rory McArdle will be unavailable after being drafted into Northern Ireland’s squad for their World Cup qualifier in Portugal on Tuesday.
As a consequence, Stephen Darby will carry on at full back with Luke Oliver returning after a hip injury in the centre of defence, where McArdle deputised in midweek.
Ex-Barnsley midfielder Nathan Doyle, meanwhile, will regain his place in Phil Parkinson’s 4-3-1-2 line-up at the expense of Ritchie Jones.
Gary Jones and Kyel Reid remain injured though and will play no part in tomorrow’s contest.
Including Tuesday’s penalty shoot-out success at Hartlepool that ended 0-0, the eighth-placed Bantams are without a win over 90 minutes in four matches.
Bradford have also failed to net in three of their last four games and an eight-game unbeaten home run ended with a 1-0 defeat against high-flying Port Vale in their last Valley Parade encounter.
A home return of 12 points, however, is still only matched by Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham in League Two.
Rochdale are the one other team in the division who can boast a miserly goals conceded column of three goals on their own soil.
Bradford (probable): McLaughlan, Darby, Davies, Oliver, Meredith, Atkinson, Ravenhill, Doyle, Connell, Hanson, Wells.
City’s last League visit to Valley Parade was on March 2, 1996, when the Second Division (League One) encounter was drawn 2-2.
The City scorers were Nigel Pepper (penalty) and substitute Richard Cresswell with his first goal for the club.
The game marked the last in City colours for Paul Barnes prior to his transfer to Birmingham City and the line-up was: Kiely, McMillan, Atkinson, Pepper, Barras, Atkin, Murty, Bushell (Jordan), Barnes, Naylor (Cresswell), Himsworth.
In total, City have made 31 League trips (1938-1996) winning eight and drawing nine. The last time City won at this venue was in 1979/80 when Ian McDonald and Gary Ford netted in a 2-1 Fourth Division success. Since then the clubs have met 12 times (home and away) and City have failed to win any of them (six draws, six defeats).
The Minstermen have suffered two heavy defeats at Bradford – 6-0 in 1938/9 and 5-0 in 1968/9.
Players to have appeared for both clubs over the years include Matt Middleton, Ron Mollatt, Peter Wragg, Barry Tait, Dick Hewitt, Barry Swallow, Paul Aimson, Archie Taylor, Tony Clegg, Neil Tolson and current City duo Scott Kerr and Lee Bullock.
It happened on October 13
1951: City enjoyed a 3-0 home win over Mansfield Town with Billy Fenton (2) and John Linaker the scorers, watched by 7,577.
1956: Gordon Brown and Billy Hughes were on target in a 2-1 win at Barrow.
1984: In Division Three (League One) City lost 1-0 at Bradford City and making his last appearance for the club was John Byrne prior to his transfer to Queens Park Rangers.
1989: Gary Himsworth netted both goals in a 2-0 win at Colchester United in the Fourth Division.
2007: A 3-0 success at Woking in the Blue Square Premier with Onome Sodje (2) and Martyn Woolford on the scoresheet.
Compiled by David Batters