York City v AFC Wimbledon: Memories of toppling the Gunners revived

Russ Wilcox
Russ Wilcox
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JANUARY will mark the 30th anniversary of the FA Cup shock that no York City fan will ever forget, when Arsenal were humbled at Bootham Crescent, and the club’s presence when the ‘big boys’ join in would be timely.

It would also, according to manager Russ Wilcox, be a welcome boost for the League Two club in not only financial terms but also in the quest to get away from trouble at the foot of the League Two basement.

“There is no doubt that a Cup run can make a big difference to a club’s finances,” said Wilcox. “Any club at our level will say the same.

“But going on a bit of a run would also be great in the respect of winning matches. That is a great habit to get into and if we can back up our win at Cheltenham last week by progressing in the Cup then that can only help.”

Asked about emulating the heroes of 1985 when Arsenal were beaten in the fourth round by Keith Houchen’s penalty, Wilcox quipped: “It would be nice, though maybe we will also have to get all the straw back on the pitch that there was then.”

York’s manager added: “Seriously, getting to the third round would be great. Getting there and then landing one of the big clubs is what the Cup is all about.

“For now, though, all that matters at this moment in time is Wimbledon. Being drawn against a team from the same division means we know plenty about each other. (Ade) Akinfenwa and (Matt) Tubbs score plenty of goals but they also concede quite a few, too. Our focus has to be on us.

“Getting that first win in a while has given everyone a lift. Personally, I thought our performance in drawing 1-1 at Morecambe was better.

“Maybe we deserved all three points at Morecambe and one point at Cheltenham. But the main thing is we got those four points and we need to now use that win at Cheltenham as the catalyst for our season. Getting the clean sheet was a big thing.”

York will today be without Diego De Girolamo, recalled by parent club Sheffield United after netting three goals in his last four appearances. The Italian Under-20 striker was called back for possible FA Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy duty. After that, York hope De Girolamo can return. Wilcox said: “Diego is their player and we respect that totally.”

York have signed Bournemouth centre-back Stephane Zubar on loan and expect him to play.

Last six games: York City DLLDDW, AFC Wimbledon WWLDDL.

Referee: M Brown (East Yorkshire).

Last time: York City 0 AFC Wimbledon 2; September 7, 2013; League Two.