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Match preview: York City v Gillingham
GILLINGHAM will arrive at York City tonight hoping to break a club record.
Martin Allen’s men are targeting an 11th away League win of the season at Bootham Crescent to take their place in the Priestfield history books.
A victory would also see the Gills return to the top of the npower League Two table with current leaders Port Vale without a fixture.
Torquay remain the only host team to beat Gillingham in a League Two fixture this term back in mid-October when the Gulls won 2-1 at Plainmoor.
No other team from the country’s top four divisions can boast an away record of just one defeat in 2012/13.
League One promotion hopefuls Doncaster, meanwhile, are the only side from the Premier League or Football League that can match a tally of 33 away points although the South Yorkshire outfit have played a game more on their travels.
Gillingham’s record of just nine goals conceded on the road, including seven clean sheets, is also better than any of the other 91 teams in the professional game, while Oxford are the only home side to keep the Kent club off the scoresheet in a League match this campaign following a 0-0 draw at the Kassam Stadium.
The Gills have stayed in Yorkshire after winning 1-0 at Bradford on Saturday, using Leeds United’s Thorp Arch training ground while also visiting the pub, the cinema, playing board games and enjoying a Chinese takeaway in the evenings.
But Allen is now concentrating fully on setting a new club landmark for away victories, saying: “We want to hammer that record don’t we?
“You don’t set out to break a record but it’s nice to be part of the history of the football club and, without a shadow of doubt, we can be record breakers. So, of course, that’s special.
“It was special when we equalled it and it will be brilliant when we beat it.”
Gillingham are likely to be without 12-goal top marksman Danny Kedwell tonight.
He missed the Bradford game with a hamstring problem but, in any case, had not started a match since the Minstermen’s 1-1 draw at Priestefield last month and has only netted once in his last 13 outings.
On-loan Coventry striker Cody McDonald has taken over the scoring mantle, however, hitting the target three times in four matches since his arrival from the Ricoh Arena.
At the other end of the pitch, only Swindon (21) and Manchester City (24) have conceded fewer times in the Premier League and Football League this season.
The visitors are also expected to name an unchanged starting line-up from the team that kicked off at Valley Parade at the weekend although winger Myles Weston could earn a recall at the expense of Charlie Allen.
Gillingham (probable): Nelson, Fish, Legge, Barrett, Martin, Whelpdale, Robinson, Frampton, Allen, Burton, McDonald.
THE Gills have made 18 previous Football League visits to Bootham Crescent, winning five times and drawing six.
City’s biggest win in the series was in 1984/5, when Keith Houchen hit a hat-trick in a 7-1 scoreline.
The clubs last met here in August 1998, when Richard Cresswell netted in a 1-1 draw in a Second Division (League One) fixture.
It happened on February 12
1938: In front of a new record Bootham Crescent crowd of 23,860, City beat First Division (Premier) Middlesbrough 1-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Peter Spooner was the scorer.
1955: A 3-3 draw at Halifax Town in Division Three North with Gordon Brown, Arthur Bottom and Syd Storey on target.
1960: John Edgar scored both goals in a 2-0 home win over Newport County in the Third Division (League One), watched by 7,795.
1972: A 2-1 home victory in the third tier over Port Vale, with Paul Aimson bagging a brace in front of 3,902.
1977: Jim Hinch and Brian Pollard were the marksmen in a 2-1 win against Peterborough United in the Third Division. The crowd was 3,224.
1980: Central defender Steve Faulkner scored twice in a 2-2 home draw in the Fourth Division against Halifax Town, watched by 2,214.
1994: Cambridge United were beaten 2-0 at Bootham Crescent with Paul Barnes scoring twice. The crowd for this Second Division (League One) encounter was 3,344.
2008: City extended their unbeaten league run in the Blue Square Premier to 11 games with a 2-2 draw at Halifax Town. Martyn Woolford and Onome Sodje were the scorers.
Compiled by David Batters