The matchday preview: York City vs Spennymoor Town

Moke loving life as a Minsterman. Photograph © Ian Parker / Ice Photography
19 Jan 2018 @ 3.43 pm
| Sport

York City return to Bootham Crescent on Saturday looking for a sixth straight win in a playoff blockbuster with Spennymoor Town.

York City vs Spennymoor Town, Bootham Crescent

20th Jan 2018, 3pm KO

And we can’t quite be sure what to expect, only days after the Minstermen beat Telford 5-3 in an incredible game on a wintry Tuesday night at New Bucks Head Stadium.

That win propelled City into 4th place – five points clear in the National League North playoff race.

They will now look to consolidate their cushion, as they play host to 5th placed Spennymoor Town on Saturday.

National League North Table

Scroll horizontally to see all the info

1Salford City26184447252258
2Harrogate Town25155559312850
3Brackley Town25139345222348
4York City26135851381344
5Spennymoor Town24135649381144
6Blyth Spartans241401056421442
7Kidderminster Harriers251010542291340
8Bradford P A26116943331039
10Stockport County25107848361237
12Boston United2595113843-532
13FC United of Manchester2595114248-632
14Curzon Ashton257993039-930
18Alfreton Town2583143943-427
19AFC Telford United2483133244-1227
21Gainsborough Trinity2474132945-1625
22North Ferriby Utd2514201063-537

York City preview

Moke commits future

Moke pays credit to captain Sean Newton. Photograph © Ian Parker / Ice Photography

As the song goes, many fans have witnessed Adriano Moke ‘take it past defenders’, over the years, but now the midfielder is more determined to ‘never give the ball away’.

After scoring his second goal of the season on Tuesday and signing a new one-year-deal last Friday, the midfielder is loving life as a Minsterman.

Speaking to the media on Thursday (18th Jan), the 28-year-old spoke about how much he enjoys his current playing role, as he has learnt to obtain a steadier style of play.

Moke also confirmed that he is fit for Saturday, despite having to be replaced with a knock on Tuesday.

I’m getting older now and i’m not the 19-year-old Adriano that can just run with it anymore. I want to keep the ball.

I love that position because i’ve got the licence to tuck in, and having the likes of Rowey and Aiden in there, it gives me opportunities to combine well.

I need to improve my defending, but that will come. I’m happy with my performances at the moment and i’m always improving under the gaffer.

Adriano Moke

‘It’s an entertainment business’

Dave Penney content with the ‘we score more than you’ policy

At 5-1 up with half an hour to play, you couldn’t imagine any losing team coming back from that, right? Well that could well have been the case on Tuesday.

Telford bombarded City’s goal with half an hour to go, reducing the gap to just two goals and if they took their chances, could have levelled or even won the match.

Sporting director Dave Penney is happy with attack being the best form of defence though, despite only achieving one clean sheet since Martin Gray arrived in October.

Like City, Spennymoor are free scoring, but leaky at the back, so the City number two is expecting another goal fest come Saturday afternoon.

When we attack, we attack like the red arrows!

Sometimes we just need to say, let’s sit now. Perhaps we should have changed our shape earlier on Tuesday, to stop them coming through like they did.

But, it’s entertaining isn’t it? We’re in the entertainment business, Man City are doing it! As long as you’re on the right end of it, it doesn’t matter does it, so the best form of defence is attack.

Dave Penney

Spennymoor Town preview

Spennymoor Town manager Steve Ainsley.
Spennymoor Town FC
Founded: 2005
Stadium: The Brewery Field
Capacity: 3,000
Nickname: The Moors
Manager: Jason Ainsley
League Position: 5th
Top Scorer: Glen Taylor (15)

Spennymoor Town sprouted in the summer of 2005 following the demise of Spennymoor United AFC and Evenwood Town FC.

The club from County Durham have climbed through the northern divisions of non-league football since then, with manager Jason Ainsley leading charge from 2006 to this present day.

Spennymoor are now playing at their highest level since forming, and looking at evidence this season, they aren’t finished yet!

The Moors are currently sitting nicely in fifth and are through to the 4th round of the FA Trophy after beating Solihull Moors from the league above on Saturday.

Man to watch: Glen Taylor

Photograph: Spennymoor Town Photography
In his third season at Spennymoor, Taylor is a big, strong, and technically adept goal scorer who previously scored more than 100 goals for Ashington.

He grabbed plenty of headlines during last season, when he scored 19 goals to finish as the Moors top scorer, which secured his place in the Jamie Vardy Academy over the summer.

The 27-year-old is top of the scoring pile for the Moors again this season. He has 15 goals to his name and he has netted in five of Moors’ last 7 games.

Opta Stats

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Last time out: City were 2-4 victors in the first ever league meeting between the two sides back in September. Jon Parkin scored two penalties, given for two hand balls by Spennymoor defender Joseph Tait. Louis Almond and departed winger Kane Felix also got on the scoresheet at The Brewery Field stadium.

York have scored in each of their last 14 matches, while Spennymoor have only failed to score once since the 19th of August and have scored 2 or more goals in each of their last 3 games.

Both sides have leaky defences. City have only managed one clean sheet – against bottom of the league North Ferriby – since September. Spennymoor meanwhile, have conceded in each of their last seven league matches.

Higgs Predicts

I don’t think anyone could have predicted what happened on Tuesday. With the amount of goals there are in this league, I sometimes wonder why I bother!

Both sides have prolific scoring records and terrible defensive records, so one might expect another goal fest on Saturday. A game like this might suit City, but at the same time, they will have to defend a lot better if they are going to beat the Moors.

There seems to be a positive team spirit in the City camp right now though, with players committing their future and Heslop coming back into the team and making a big difference.

Things just seem to be clicking, but there are still questions to be asked at the back, so I am going for a high scoring draw this week!

Higgs Predicts: York City 2-2 Spennymoor Town