Wycombe Wanderers start the new League Two season with a trip to Bootham Cresent to face Conference play-off winners York City this weekend.
It is almost 14 years since the Chairboys last traveled to York and they will not want to suffer a repeat of the 3-0 defeat under Neil Smillie’s side in August 1998.
The new campaign began with an extra time defeat to Championship side Watford last weekend in a first round League Cup tie. Despite the 1-0 reverse there were plenty of positives to take from the performance at Vicarage Road.
The defensive solidity was very pleasing after a series of collapses last season and a benchmark has now been set for the new season. Summer signing Matt Spring looked very comfortable in the middle of the park and could prove to be crucial this year.
Sadly there were a couple of negatives. Stuart Beavon’s exclusion due to ‘illness’ simply highlighted the lack of attacking threat whilst full-back Marvin McCoy suffered a dreadful injury and will now miss the next three months with a fractured left fibula and ankle ligament damage.
Beavon has now recovered and there is more good news with defender Dave Winfield fit again after a thigh problem. Winger Dennis Oli and striker Matt McClure could also be involved following knee injuries. Defender Danny Foster remains sidelined with a knee injury.
Gary Waddock is unlikely to make many changes against the Ministermen with the starting line-up likely to be: Bull; Stewart, Doherty, Johnson, Dunne; Bloomfield, Lewis, Spring; Grant, Wood; Logan.
York City will count themselves very unlucky to have lost on penalties against League One Doncaster Rovers in midweek. The first round League Cup tie at the Keepmoat Stadium finished 1-1 after extra time.
Manager Gary Mills selected the following starting eleven for that game: Ingham; Smith, Parslow, Fyfield, Doig; Bullock, Smith, McLaughlin, Walker; Chambers, Coulson. He could make a couple of changes with Matty Blair pushing for a starting role.
Mills was upbeat despite Tuesday’s loss and said: “There’s a lot of positives there. We’ve shown we shouldn’t have to fear anything this season if we go and play like that. I couldn’t see them scoring. It was a penalty that got them back into the game and at the end of the day penalties have cost us.
“A lot of positives for me. We’ll all be disappointed but we get on and get ready for next Saturday now.”
Here’s a look at how the two sides fared last season…..
The Minstermen were promoted from the Conference.
Home – W:11 D:6 L:6 GF:43 GA:24 Pts:39
Away – W:12 D:8 L:3 GF:38 GA:21 Pts:44
Total – W:23 D:14 L:9 GF:81 GA:45 Pts:83
Final position 4th (Play-off winners)
The Blues were relegated from League One.
Home – W:7 D:6 L:10 GF:37 GA:38 Pts:27
Away – W:4 D:4 L:15 GF:28 GA:50 Pts:16
Total – W:11 D:10 L:25 GF:65 GA:88 Pts:43
Final position: 21st
York’s summer signings
Oli Johnson (Forward) Oxford United
Michael Coulson (Forward) Grimsby Town
Lee Bullock (Midfielder) Bradford City
Jonathan Smith (Midfielder) Swindon Town
John McReady (Midfielder) Darlington
Danny Blanchett (Defender) Burton Albion
Wycombe’s summer signings
Richard Logan (Forward) Exeter City
Dennis Oli (Forward) Gillingham
Lee Angol (Forward) Spurs
Matt Spring (Midfielder) Leyton Orient
Sam Wood (Midfielder) Brentford
Gary Doherty (Centre-half) Charlton Athletic
York in pre-season
Huntingdon Rovers 0 York City 8
Harrogate Railway 0 York City 3
Pickering Town 2 York City 6
York City 0 Oldham 2
Gateshead 0 York City 2
Grantham Town 1 York City 1
Leicester City 2 York City 2
York City 1 Middlesbrough 2
York City 3 Sunderland 0
Wycombe in pre-season
Farnborough 1 Wycombe 2
Forest Green 0 Wycombe 0
Luton Town 0 Wycombe 0
Wycombe 0 Fulham 3
Wycombe 0 QPR 3
Cambridge Utd 2 Wycombe 3
Wycombe 1 Brentford 4
In 11 previous meetings there have been 6 wins for York, 3 for Wycombe and 2 draws.
At Bootham Crescent the tally is 5 wins for the Minstermen. 0 for Wycombe and 1 draw.
1985/86: Fac York 2 Wycombe 0
1994/95: Lg1 York 0 Wycombe 0
1995/96: Lg1 York 2 Wycombe 1
1996/97: Lg1 York 2 Wycombe 0
1997/98: Lg1 York 2 Wycombe 0
1998.99: Lg1 York 3 Wycombe 0
The Man In The Middle
Saturday’s referee is Andy Haines from Tyne & Wear who was promoted to the National List of referees in 2007. His most recent Wycombe game was last season’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Fleetwood Town.
Len: York 1 Wycombe 1 (with Beavon), York 1 Wycombe 0 (w’out him)
Benny: York 2 Wycombe 0 (with or without Beavon)