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Match preview: Rotherham United v York City
FORMER York City goalkeeper Andy Warrington will make his 200th League appearance for Rotherham United against his old club tonight.
Warrington, 36, has started the last 25 Millers’ games after first-choice Scott Shearer picked up an elbow injury in mid-October.
Former Crawley shot-stopper Shearer is on the mend but is unlikely to dislodge Warrington for the Minstermen clash.
Warrington is currently in his sixth season at Rotherham and has now clocked up 541 career outings after making his debut for the Minstermen in the second leg of their famous League Cup win over Manchester United in 1995 when Peter Schmeichel was his opposite number and Eric Cantona was among the Red Devils’ stars.
The ex-Doncaster and Bury number one will be hoping to celebrate his landmark appearance with a clean sheet, having only kept one in the last 11 matches.
Another one-time Minsterman Danny Kearns, who joined Rotherham on loan from Peterborough during the transfer window, is also hoping to line up against his former team-mates.
Kearns, who spent seven weeks with City earlier this season, had to be replaced with a hamstring injury at half-time during Rotherham’s 2-1 triumph at Bristol Rovers seven days ago.
But, if fit, the 21-year-old Irishman is likely to make his fourth consecutive start in Steve Evans’ side.
Rotherham could also welcome back three other players – top scorer Daniel Nardiello, Welsh international Craig Morgan and midfielder Michael O’Connor.
Nardiello, the Millers’ leading marksman with 14 goals despite only starting 19 League games this term, was missing against Bristol Rovers due to a groin problem but has returned to training.
Centre-back Morgan is in contention for a recall after being sidelined for more than three months with a broken ankle.
Morgan was an unused substitute at Bristol Rovers and also played for the reserves against Grimsby last week. He could now challenge Claude Davies’ place in the middle of defence.
O’Connor is also available again after serving a three-game ban.
Powerful target man Kayode Odejayi, meanwhile, could start after failing to make the first XI during the last three matches.
The 31-year-old ex-Barnsley and Cheltenham forward, who turned down a move to Tranmere last month, netted after coming on as a substitute against Bristol Rovers.
That win means the Millers are hoping to complete four consecutive League victories in a season for the first time since September 2009.
Prior to picking up maximum points in Bristol, Evans’ team also saw off Chesterfield 1-0 at the New York Stadium and overcame hosts Torquay 3-1.
Those results mean the fifth-placed Millers are now just one point short of the automatic promotion places with Burton and Northampton, who occupy the two positions above them, having both played two games more.
Nevertheless, Rotherham’s new arena has not quite been the fortress they would have hoped this season.
A record of seven defeats in front of their own fans is the third-worst in the division behind relegation-threatened pair Aldershot (nine) and AFC Wimbledon (eight).
The Millers’ tally of 24 League goals conceded at home is also the most from the 16 teams above City in the table.
Just two sides – Burton and Northampton with 12 – have won more home matches however.
The Millers have ten victories at the New York Stadium, which has yet to witness a draw in any of the 17 League fixtures it has staged.
Rotherham (probable): Warrington, Bradley, Mullins, Davis, Ridehalgh, O’Connor, Arnason, Frecklington, Kearns, Nardiello, Odejayi.
CITY made 29 Football League trips to Millmoor winning six times and drawing five.
Two of the victories were notable successes – 2-1 in 1972/73 and 2-0 in 1996/97 – as on each occasion they ensured City safety from relegation from the old Division Three.
City won 5-2 on their first League trip to Rotherham in March 1930 and the other victory was 1-0 in 1931/32.
The heaviest defeats were 6-1 in 1946/47 and 5-0 in 1935/36.
The last League trip was in Division Three (League Two) and ended in a 1-0 reverse on September 4, 1999 when Cty’s line-up was: Mimms, Hocking, Fairclough, Sertori, Thompson (Dawson), Fox, Jordan, Atkins, Hall, Rowe, Williams (Bullock).
Players who have represented both clubs over the years include goalkeepers Gordon Morritt, Bobby Mimms, Ray Tunks and Andy Warrington along with defenders Ray Warburton, Paul Stancliffe and Phil Crosby, midfielders Peter Wragg, David Pugh, Steve Spooner and Nigel Pepper together with forwards Jimmy Rudd, Terry Farmer, Tommy Spencer and Leo Fortune-West.
On the managerial front the links are Tom Johnston and Billy McEwan.
It happened on February 26
1949: City crashed 5-2 at home to Darlington in Division Three North watched by 10,586. Matt and Alf Patrick were the scorers.
1955: A Bootham Crescent attendance of 13,246 saw Gateshead beaten 2-1 thanks to goals from Arthur Bottom and Norman Wilkinson and City moved up to fourth in the Northern Section.
1971: A 3-0 win at Newport County in Division Four with goals from Tommy Henderson (2) and Paul Aimson.
1972: Eddie Rowles (2), Dennis Wann, Pat Lally and Paul Aimson, right, were on the scoresheet in a 5-0 home win over Tranmere Rovers. The crowd for this Third Division (League One) fixture was 4,227.
1994: City were in the top half in Division Two (League One) following a 3-0 win at Bootham Crescent against Leyton Orient. The crowd was 3,414 and Ian Blackstone (2) and Paul Barnes were on the scoresheet.
2011: Jonathan Smith and Michael Rankine scored in a 2-1 win at Hayes and Yeading and City were mid-table in the Blue Square Premier.
Compiled by David Batters