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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Relegated York can taste Wembley glory

Minstermen may have the edge over Macclesfield

Wembley Stadium
1 of 1

FA Trophy final: Macclesfield v York
BT Sport 1, 4.15pm Sunday
FA Vase final: Cleethorpes v South Shields
BT Sport 1, 12.15pm Sunday

York suffered the bitter experience of a second successive relegation after drawing 2-2 at home to Forest Green on the last day of the National League season, but they can end their campaign on a high by lifting the FA Trophy.

Macclesfield finished ninth in the National League, 12 places and 18 points above York, and go into the match as warm favourites.

However, the Silkmen finished the season on a run of five games without a victory and have a poor record against York, who are one of three teams to do the league double over them this season.

There is an argument that the wide-open spaces of Wembley will work to the advantage of Macclesfield, who are known as one of the best passing teams in the fifth tier.

But Macc struggled to cope with York's more direct, physical style when the Minstermen triumphed 3-1 at Moss Rose towards the end of March, and the three-week break since the end of the league season could work to the advantage of York, allowing them time to get over the shock of relegation.

York can look to follow the example of Halifax, who were relegated last season and responded with a 1-0 victory over Grimsby in the FA Trophy final.

City were relegated because of an abysmal first half of the season. They played much better after an influx of January signings and their points tally of 24 from 16 games since the start of February is better than Macclesfield's 22 from 18.

Those statistics indicate an even contest and establish the merits of a punt on York to lift the cup.

The FA Trophy final is preceded at Wembley by the FA Vase final between Cleethorpes and South Shields. Both sides are attempting to crown fine seasons in which they have won their respective leagues – the Northern Counties East Premier League and the Northern Football League Division One.

South Shields will be roared on by an estimated travelling army of 13,000 fans and are 4-9 to win inside normal time.

They have invested heavily and their squad includes former Sunderland winger Julio Arca and ex-Gateshead centre-forward Jon Shaw, who scored 27 goals in the 2011-12 fifth-tier season, four behind that year's top scorer Jamie Vardy, then of Fleetwood.

York to win FA Trophy
1pt 11-10 Sky Bet

Team news
Macclesfield have reported no fresh injuries.

Defender Sam Muggleton and goalkeeper Scott Loach are ineligible, having joined the club on loan deals after the semi-final victory over Lincoln. Forward Yan Klukowski has recovered from a calf strain but Simon Lappin, Clovis Kamdjo, Lanre Oyebanjo and Matty Fry are injured.

Key stat
York have lost only five of their last 24 matches.

Probable line-ups
Macclesfield (4-4-1-1): Flinders; Halls, Pilkington, Byrne, Fitzpatrick; Whittaker, Summerfield, James, Browne; Norburn; Holroyd.
Subs: Ross, Dudley, Whitehead, Thorne, McCombe, Hancox.

York (3-4-3): Letheren; Holmes, Heslop, Klukowski; Parslow, Hall, Bencherif, Newton; Oliver, Parkin, Morgan-Smith.
Subs: Whittle, Moke, Connolly, Simpson, Rooney, Fenwick. 

York can look to follow the example of Halifax, who were relegated last season and responded with a 1-0 victory over Grimsby in the FA Trophy final
E.W. Terms
Sky bet