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Match preview: York City v Torquay United
TORQUAY United will be without suspended skipper Lee Mansell when they arrive at York City hoping to end a run of four games without a win.
Mansell was red-carded during last weekend’s thumping 4-1 home defeat to Southend and will start a three-match ban against the Minstermen.
Fellow midfielder Ian Morris (Achilles tendon) and striker Lloyd Macklin (broken metatarsal) also remain unavailable to the Gulls, who have slipped to 13th in the League Two standings.
Reading defender Angus McDonald has rejoined the club on loan having spent a first stint at Plainmoor last season.
But the 20-year-old centre-back is only expected to provide cover for first-choice pair Brian Saah and Aaron Downes, having only played two games during his previous four-month stay with the club.
Torquay’s miserable four-game run includes three defeats – one of which was a 1-0 home reverse to City’s non-League neighbours Harrogate Town in the FA Cup.
Bottom-of-the-table Barnet have also beaten the Gulls 1-0 during that sequence, prior to Saturday’s nadir.
Torquay were 4-0 down after 46 minutes in that game with substitute Ryan Jarvis’ consolation the only goal Martin Ling’s men have managed in that sorry quartet of games.
Mansell later received his marching orders for a reckless challenge on Shrimpers striker Britt Assombalonga.
The Southend result represented Torquay’s first home defeat in League Two this season but, on the road, the Devon side have won just one of their last 13 away games since the end of March — a 1-0 victory at AFC Wimbledon in mid-September.
Rene Howe is the Gulls’ top scorer with ten goals from 17 League games with only three players – Tom Pope, Jamie Cureton and Adebayo Akinfenwa – having netted more goals in the division.
The 14stone-plus power-house has not hit the target in his last five outings however and only Barnet have netted fewer times on the road in League Two than Torquay, who have got on the scoresheet just six times in nine away games.
But promotion hopefuls Fleetwood (six) and Gillingham (seven) are the only sides to have conceded fewer away goals than the nine Torquay have shipped on opposition grounds.
Torquay (probable): Rice, Oastler, Saah, Downes, Nicholson, Thompson, Bodin, Cruise, Craig, Howe, Jarvis.
Torquay United have made 21 previous Football League visits to Bootham Crescent and this fixture has been drawn no fewer than 12 times, including 0-0 the last time the clubs met here in the League on March 13, 2004.
City’s line-up that day was: Porter, Wise, Smith, Hope, Wood, Cooper, Dunning, Merris, Bell, Nogan, Offiong (Yalcin).
The last of City’s seven wins was in 2002/3 when they triumphed 4-3 with Peter Duffield, Lee Nogan and Jon Parkin (2) on the scoresheet.
The Gulls have recorded two wins in the series – 2-1 in 1964/5 and 3-2 in 1983/4.
By contrast the Devon club won on both their Conference trips 1-0 in 2007/8 and 2-1 the following season when Mark Greaves was City’s scorer.
The City team on November 15, 2008, was: Ingham, Purkiss, Parslow, McGurk, Kelly (Farrell), Robinson, Greaves, Rusk, Hogg (Russell), Sodje, Dyer (McBreen).
Players who have represented both clubs include Trevor Wolstenholme, Tommy Spratt, Micky Cave, Eddie Rowles, Sean Haslegrave, Alan Hay, Alan Pearce, Tom Kelly, Paul Baker, Mark Robinson, Anthony Lloyd and Nicky Wroe.
It happened on November 24
1951: In the first round of the FA Cup, City and Bradford Park Avenue drew 1-1 at Bootham Crescent in front of 12,015. Alf Patrick was the marksman.
1962: Peter Wragg and Norman Wilkinson netted in a 2-1 home win over Crewe Alexandra in the second round of the FA Cup watched by 6,163.
1979: A 5-2 home win over Mossley in a first round FA Cup tie thanks to goals from Kevin Randall, Terry Eccles, John Byrne, Peter Lorimer and Ian McDonald (penalty). The crowd was 3,872.
1985: In Division Three (League One), City won 4-3 at Lincoln City with Dale Banton (2), Steve Senior and Keith Walwyn on target.
1989: A 3-1 Fourth Division victory at Scarborough with Ian Helliwell, Gary Howlett and Tony Barratt on the scoresheet.
2007: In Colin Walker’s first match in charge as manager, Darren Kelly and Craig Farrell netted in a 2-1 Conference victory at Weymouth.
Compiled by David Batters