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Parkin set for Southport return

By Ian Appleyard | 21st August 2017

Striker Jon Parkin is set to return to action at Southport this weekend but may have to settle for a place on the bench.

The former Hull City and Stoke City player is fit again after missing the last three games with a calf injury but City have scored nine goals in his absence.

Strikers Michael Rankine and Amari Morgan-Smith have both scored twice in those three games and Louis Almond has been a constant attacking threat.

Manager Gary Mills said: "I think Jon will be with us next weekend when we have two games in three days. We need everybody we can to be ready for the challenge ahead.

"Jon's been in the game long enough to know that, even if he is fit on Saturday, it doesn't mean he is going to play," Mills added. "But to have a goalscorer like Jon or 'Ranks' on the bench will be good news."

Parkin, 35, scored 16 goals for City last season and is also closing on a personal milestone of 200 career goals.

The Minstermen have no game ahead of Saturday's trip to the Merseyrail Community Stadium and then play FC United of Manchester at Bootham Crescent on Bank Holiday Monday (kick-off 3pm).

"I would probably rather play Tuesday/Saturday than Saturday/Monday," admitted Mills. "I am not a big lover of two games as close as that. But we have to be prepared for a team in Southport who are doing really well.

"We have got to pick up three points there if we can - if not, a point certainly - and then come back home again and try and beat FC United of Manchester on Monday.

"August has a been a tough ask for the squad but you have to pick up as many points as you can," he said. "I don't think 10 points from a possible 15 is a bad return. And I always say if you get two points per game, you are either going to win the league or be there or thereabouts."

City currently stand fifth in the National League North table on 10 points - five points behind leaders Brackley Town who are the only team in division still boasting a 100 per cent record.

Defender Hamza Bencherif, meanwhile, will also be available for selection against Southport after serving a one game ban against Nuneaton Town.

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