IF York City boss Nigel Worthington has been seeking advice on how to negotiate a play-off semi-final this week, he need have looked no further than the club's development consultant.

Richard Cresswell is a veteran of four play-off campaigns at former clubs Sheffield United, Leeds and Preston and was a member of squads that made the final on each occasion.

For guidance on how to then clinch promotion, Worthington might be better served calling on somebody else with Cresswell having cruelly tasted defeat in each final.

Drawing on his semi-final expertise, however, Cresswell believes fan power can play a crucial role in two-legged success.

The retired, 36-year-old forward felt Sheffield United and Leeds supporters' were influential in respective semi-final victories over Stevenage and Preston during 2012 and 2006.

At Preston, meanwhile, the Lillywhites were cheered on to aggregate triumphs against Derby in 2005 and Birmingham during 2001.

Now, with the City faithful having snapped up every ticket for their home and away legs against Fleetwood, Cresswell reckons such backing could prove decisive, citing the importance of their vocal encouragement during the battle against relegation that he featured in last season.

Back then, more than a thousand City fans travelled to Dagenham to see their team clinch safety on the campaign's final day after a crowd of 5,975 had turned up for the 2-1 win over Southend in the last home match with Cresswell insisting: "The fans can help the team get a result in the first leg.

"The players feed off a good atmosphere and I think that helped push us over the line last season. Everybody could see the lads were doing their best and the noise around Bootham Crescent had a massive impact.

"Getting behind the gaffer, staff and all the players makes a big difference and can give a team that extra edge."

If well-worn cliches are to be believed, then walking past any open window at this stage of the year can be a perilous undertaking, what with the likelihood of being hit on the head by a flying form book.

But Cresswell does not subscribe to the view that recent results count for little as City tackle the play-offs with 17 unbeaten matches behind them.

"I don't think anybody would have wanted to play York in their current form and, because of this fantastic run, the lads are full of confidence, buzzing and ready for them," he reasoned. "I think form is a key factor going into the play-offs.

"The gaffer has pulled the team and squad together and they are a real unit now, which you can see out on the pitch."

Cresswell watched on as an unused substitute when the Minstermen lost 2-0 to Fleetwood at Bootham Crescent in October.

Having hung up his boots, he was also a spectator for the return game that the visitors won 2-1 on the Lancashire coast and feels the tie might be decided by how well a City defence, that has keep 13 clean sheets in 17 matches, copes with a mobile Cod Army strikeforce.

The former England under-21 international added: "They are a strong team with quite a few strikers. It looks like David Ball and Iain Hume will be playing and they are two clever, little players who like to play the ball around corners, so I think the key will be keeping things tight at the back and then I would always fancy us to score."

Cresswell, meanwhile, is no stranger to the man out to dash City's Wembley and promotion dreams, having shared a dressing room with Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander for four years at Preston.

He revealed, though, that this tie will not present the opportunity for a cordial reunion, explaining: "I have not spoken to him in the build-up to the games and won't do until after the second leg. It's just not the professional thing to do but I know he's a highly-motivated guy and that his team will be up for the matches."

SHOULD Richard Cresswell be right about form proving pivotal to play-off success, then a League Two table, based on results since the start of 2014 makes good reading for City fans.

Had the campaign kicked off on New Year's Day, then Nigel Worthington's men would have finished top and a sensational six points clear of recently-crowned champions Chesterfield.

Our table also shows that City have won the most and lost the fewest matches of any club in the division over the last four months of the campaign and, unsurprisingly, conceded nine goals less than any other side.

Fleetwood, meanwhile, would have shown enough form during the second half of the season to still make the play-offs but Southend would have missed out by a place and Burton would be entrenched in mid-table.

York Press:

Lowe leap in sentinel supremacy

KEITH Lowe is eight points clear at the top of The Press Player of the Year standings.

The 28-year-old defender moved further ahead of fellow centre-back John McCombe after taking two points as our second-highest rated performer in the 2-2 draw at Scunthorpe. Press man-of-the-match Ben Davies (three points) and Will Hayhurst (one) were also recognised.

Russell Penn and Calvin Andrew shared the two Player of the Month bonus points after polling the same number of votes from visitors to our website or followers of the @daveflettpress Twitter account.

The Press Player of the Year standings: Lowe 35 points, McCombe 27, Carson 26, Oyebanjo 22, Fletcher 21, Coulson 18, McGurk 18, Davies 15, O’Neill 14, Pope 12, Brobbel 11, Montrose 11, Penn 11, Jarvis 9, Parslow 8, Ingham 7, Smith 7, Bowman 5, Chambers 5, Clay 4, Hayhurst 3, Reed 3, Andrew 2, Puri 2, Whitehouse 2, Kettings 1.

The Press Player of the Month for April final standings: Davies 3, Lowe 2, Andrew 1, Hayhurst 1, Penn 1.

Goals: Fletcher 13, Jarvis 9, Bowman 8, Coulson 7, Carson 5, Brobbel 4, McCombe 3, Own goals 2, Andrew 1, Hayhurst 1, Lowe 1, McGurk 1, Montrose 1, O’Neill 1.

Assists: Bowman 7, Coulson 7, Carson 6, Hayhurst 5, O’Neill 5, Brobbel 3, Fletcher 3, Jarvis 3, Oyebanjo 3, Clay 2, Davies 2, McGurk 2, Smith 2, Cresswell 1, Fyfield 1, Ingham 1, McCombe 1, Montrose 1, Penn 1, Reed 1.

Bad boys: Montrose 11 yellow cards; Oyebanjo seven yellow; Whitehouse six yellow; Carson, Lowe both five yellow; Bowman two red, two yellow; McCombe, O’Neill, Penn, Smith all four yellow; Coulson, Davies, McGurk, Reed all three yellow; Cresswell one red, one yellow; Andrew, Fyfield, Hayhurst, Jarvis, Platt all two yellow; Chambers, Clay, Parslow all one yellow.