Issue 049. February 17, 2021.
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Andy Greenfield (St Boswells, Scotland)

I would like to thank if I may through 'Arthur', York City FC and in particular Dave Ward from Radio York, for arranging the virtual mascot of Bruce McIntosh (94) for the opening game at the LNER Stadium last night.

As identified through these pages previously Bruce is the last known attendee of the first match at Bootham Crescent in 1932 and it was fitting that he was there although only digitally.

Although the match was rather unspectacular and the result very disappointing the Stadium looks great and hopefully once the team gets used to the new environment - especially the playing surface which saw many City players struggling to find their feet and slipping over - we will see many victories and pleasing outcomes.

This was the first match I have experienced away from the radio and was impressed with the quality of the transmission and hence can now see where some of the shortfalls are in the team - in my opinion.

It's all well and good playing neat one/two triangles but when they consistently go nowhere except to the opposition they are worthless.

We need a big strong centre forward who can bustle and dominate the opposition box, in addition to a midfield that can feed that area - the long ball over the top needs players who can play it.

However ... thanks again YCFC and Dave Ward.
Ben Prokop (Epping)

Times are certainly strange at present and the current on/off season and uncertainty on its ability to complete must make management of the team extremely difficult.

However, the first game at the new stadium showed us one team that had a clear game plan, energy, enthusiasm and determination... the other team being York.

There was a marked improvement when Cassidy, Redshaw and Dyson entered play but by then the damage was done. McGill and Gilchrist looked like they hadn't met the team before and were simply invisible.

Watson's stats at York read well, but having watched a few (not all) games online when possible, I cannot recall one good (or even promising) performance.
John English (Beverley)

 Such a shame that supporters could not be present for the opening fixture in the beautiful LNER stadium. So bright and cheerful unlike BC.

Really looking forward to watching a live game and hopefully it will be a vast improvement on the game against Fylde.

I was truly shocked at the complete lack of effort after we went 3-0 down.

Totally unacceptable. We had 20 mins before the wind of the game and all we did was pass the ball back to Jameson and kept possession without even trying to win the game. I remember when Richard Brodie scored 2 goals in less than 2 minutes to win a game. They need a kick up the backside.
Tim Bulmer (Isle of Wight)

For: fabulous to finally see the new stadium in use - and hopefully the virtual turnstile was a success 

Against: it’s a good idea to defend free kicks properly with an appropriate wall! Once was bad enough but twice ...
Neil Jacques (Skelton)

Oh dear! That was an embarrassment.

City were poor and never really had a chance until Redshaw came on.

Apart from the many York City fans who must have tuned in with great expectations the person I felt most sorry for was Gabby McGill.

Why on earth should we throw in an inexperienced, relatively small player against a defence of giants and lump the ball upfield hoping for him to get something out of it is beyond me? We can only guess but I do have my suspicions.

What do we do next?

We have frittered away all our assets on some poor managers and a lot of incompetent players over the last few years and now find OUR CLUB in the lowest layer of football we have ever been.

Then we hear talk that we will be OK because we have the Godfrey money to fall back on. That will get frittered away as well. The overall management of the club has been appalling.

Twenty years ago, I think it was, I travelled over from Burscough by rail hoping to see City play Swansea in the FA Cup. The train was delayed and I arrived in York with just enough time to get to Bootham Cresent for the kick off.

As I walked towards the ground, I realised that there only a few people about. I found out that the match had been postponed.

I did meet an old school friend, David Poole, and we chatted for quite a while and then made my way back to the station.

I met a Swansea supporter who had travelled all the way from Swansea and he told me about the sorry state the his club was in. Not long after that Swansea nearly folded but a Trust took over, they were rescued, obtained a new ground and were promoted into the premiership with a 20% supporters Trust on their board.

What happened to our Trust? Sidelined by a cockalorum of a chairman.

I have had enough! There has to be some really significant changes at York City before I go again to watch them. I wish now that we had gone bust. We would probably be better off than we are now.

And, finally, after that summary of my desperate thoughts, I think that the coloured seats look like an advert for a playschool.

It is unlikely that I will send any more postings to TOOAB but many thanks for all your efforts, Josh. I will keep reading the postings from others.
Robert Beaumont (Boroughbridge)

“So what attracted you, Steve Watson, to the son of multi-millionaire chairman Jason McGill?”, wrote an irate York City supporter on Twitter last night, echoing Mrs Merton’s immortal words to wealthy magician Paul Daniels’s wife Debbie McGee.

What indeed? The decision to omit star striker Jack Redshaw and play McGill’s unproven son Gabby was utterly astonishing; so, too, was leaving bright young midfielder Ollie Dyson on the bench.

Taking into account Watson’s clunky five-at-the-back system, which only works when you have two excellent wings backs (which City haven’t), this was a team set up to fail.

In normal circumstances, this would have been disappointment; for our first match in our brand-new stadium, it was unforgivable.

I have been a supporter of Watson’s since he arrived at York, but the alarm bells are starting to ring.

Apart from a couple of exceptions, City have been poor this season. I have no quarrel with Watson’s recruitment – Brown, Wright, Woods, Dyson, Redshaw and Bunn are all good players, but the team is not gelling.

Our displays have lacked cohesion and confidence, with basic mistakes at both ends of the pitch costing us dearly.

Both Watson’s selection and his system are deeply flawed. A fluid 4-3-3 or an attacking 4-2-4 would be much more effective than this ghastly five at the back - and we have the players to suit both systems. 

Will he change? His interview with the always-excellent David Ward from BBC Radio York last night suggested not.

For some reason, the manager seemed to think the clamour for Redshaw began only after he belatedly came on and nearly changed the game single-handedly.

Not so. The clamour started when we all saw the bizarre starting XI, which placed a heavy emphasis on defence, together with two untried strikers.

Both strikers turned out to be poor, though the service from the wing backs was almost non-existent. 

Does all this matter, if the League is going to be cancelled?

Yes. We have a brand-new home, which deserves much, much better. We, the long-suffering supporters, deserve better.

This was awful. Again on Radio York, Iain Dunn, who is usually a smart analyst, was making excuse after excuse for City. But these excuses applied equally to Fylde, who played us off the park.

Something has to change – if Watson’s strangely negative, blinkered and, in the case of last night, madcap, approach doesn’t change, then he isn’t the man to get us back into the Football League.
Steve Crawshaw (Staffordshire)

Yes, disappointing last night. One of the few occasions I have seen City play this season due to poor streams from away fixtures.

The coverage last night was excellent and was just like watching a game on Sky apart from no replays.

Camera angles very good and perhaps the better floodlights helped.

I hope the seats are going to spell YCFC on one side and YCK on the other side.

At the moment they are just a mish-mash of colours.

Southport refuse to play until coronavirus tests and more financial support provided

Southport say they will not play Tuesday's National League North fixture against Curzon Ashton because of a lack of coronavirus testing and the financial impact of the pandemic.

The club claim they have not received any tests from the National League.

In addition, Southport do not want to play while lower-league clubs face the threat of insolvency.

In a statement, Southport said they will not play until "at least the result of the resolution is known".

"We have had concerns, as we have expressed on numerous occasions, as to the health and safety of our players, staff and volunteers who are being asked to play during a global pandemic," the club added.

Southport say they only played their FA Trophy defeat by Torquay earlier in February because the prize money would pay for testing.

Southport are 17th in the National League North table.

In January, the National League North and National League South were suspended for two weeks amid discontent over funding.

Guiseley, Curzon Ashton, Southport all call a halt

Wealdstone have revealed they have voted in favour of ending the National League season.

The newly-promoted Stones, who surprisingly parted company with manager Dean Brennan a fortnight ago, say that they “do not believe it is appropriate for the club to take on debt to complete the season”.

Meanwhile, Guiseley are the latest club to confirm they will not be playing any further fixtures in National League North until the outcome of the current season is determined, joining Curzon Ashton and Southport, whose game tonight has been cancelled.

Wealdstone are one of only a handful of top-flight clubs to have stated their intentions with chairman Rory Fitzgerald expalining: “We, like others, clearly believed that we would be supported in covering lost revenues via grant funding until we were able to welcome supporters back to game. We continue to lobby for this outcome so we can complete the season without undermining the long-term future of the club.

“The club has now incurred close to two months of costs without any meaningful revenue and this cannot continue for further months if the club is to survive in a recognisable form. We therefore do not feel it is possible for the board to vote for anything other than ending the season whilst there is no clarity on future financial support and what form this may take.

“We are in the process of applying to the DCMS Winter Sports Survival fund to assess our eligibility and the level of loan funding that may be available. However, we reiterate that saddling the club with debt is something we will seek to avoid.”

Chester will not play until decision over season made

Chester have confirmed that the club will not be playing any more fixtures until a decision is come to over the current season.

As it stands in the National League North, the Blues are currently 3rd, but the club are among those to have publicly stated their considerable reluctance to carry on the season without forthcoming financial aid.

Chester have said today in a statement: “Following careful consideration, the board of Chester FC has decided the club will not play any further National League North fixtures until the result of the resolutions is known. Two weeks ago, the National League asked clubs to consider the outcome of the 2020/21 season and was required to allow 28 days for votes to be returned.

“Chester FC voted to null and void the season and at that time the board agreed to continue playing, in part due to the risk of sanctions and with the expectation clubs would respond promptly to the resolutions, given the serious financial challenges facing fellow members.

The National League subsequently confirmed an Independent Panel will hear each case of non-fulfilment and assess whether clubs had just cause for not playing.

“Given the flawed distribution of grants covering October to December, and the absence of the further grant funding clubs were assured would be in place to compensate them for lost gate revenue for as long as crowds were not permitted, the board of Chester FC strongly believes we have just cause in reaching this decision.

The board was unanimous in its view that the ongoing uncertainty and the significant costs of remaining fully operational no longer align with our overriding responsibility of protecting the financial viability of the club now and into next season.

“We will review this position once the outcome of the resolutions is known. We have communicated our decision to this weekend’s scheduled opponents Kidderminster Harriers and thank them for their understanding.”

Darlington versus Boston postponed as Quakers say they have been 'misled' by the National League

Darlington will not be playing Boston United in their re-arranged game tonight as the National League crisis took another twist.

Quakers were due to play Boston at home for the second time this season after the first game was abandoned near the end because of the serious head injury to defender Nicky Hunt, but Quakers told the league yesterday afternoon that they have “just cause” not to play it because of the ongoing uncertainty within the league.

League clubs have been voting on whether to null and void the league or continue it, with no sign of how the league will be funded for the rest of the season.

A club statement said: “The issue of financial funding through grants has not been resolved since the start of the league suspension in January. Indeed, there is now doubt about whether the league is breaking its own rules by encouraging clubs to take out loans from the DCMS, according to quotes attributed to the league’s general manager in the Non-League Paper on Sunday.

“At the start of the season, in a letter to all clubs from the National League, we were informed that each club would receive “compensation for lost net gate revenue each month for the period that clubs are prevented from admitting supporters”.

“We are grateful for the National Lottery grant for the first three months of the season; however, we were clearly led to believe in September 2020 and October 2020 that in the absence of crowds then more grant funding would be received.

“This club has endured three harmful administrations, and since the fans took over the ownership of the club in 2012, we have worked very hard to make the club sustainable through many fundraising campaigns. We have learned the lessons of the mistakes of past owners, which makes us very determined not to over-burden the club with debt from a loan – no matter what the terms and repayment period are - and wipe out all the hard work of the last nine years for the sake of four months.  It would be unreasonable to require us to get into debt to carry on playing when we relied on the representations by the National League regarding funding and compensation whilst playing behind closed doors.

“We are determined that we shall not trade while insolvent – indeed to do so knowingly is illegal. We estimate that we have lost approximately £50,000 in January, and probably another £50,000 in February. We therefore believe that we have just cause (under league rule 8.39) in not playing the game on Tuesday.

“There has been limited progress on the proposed lateral flow testing of players as part of Covid secure arrangements whilst every other organisation that continues to operate during the pandemic is providing testing or is gaining access to government-funded testing. Given the financial status of National League North football clubs operating behind closed doors, it is reasonable for the National League to provide, or make available, funding for such testing. This is evidenced by actions taken in other “elite” leagues. Until such testing is in place, we believe this is further justification for not playing.

“In these circumstances we believe that we have been misled by the National League, and therefore an objective independent person would consider it wholly unreasonable to require us to play matches until there is resolution to the financial and safety issues that have been known by the National League for many weeks.

“We are sure that our fellow clubs and supporters will understand and appreciate why we have taken this course of action.”

Quakers’ next game is at home to Fylde on Saturday, but the club says that they are reviewing their position on a “game-by-game” basis.

Mini-league suggestion ‘the worst thing I’ve ever heard’ – Darlo boss Armstrong

Darlington manager Alun Armstrong has described suggestions of continuing the current season for some teams in a mini-league format as ‘the worst thing I’ve ever heard’.

The idea has been mooted as a way for clubs deemed to have a chance of success in 2020/21 to continue to pursue it.

Speaking to Darlington’s website, Armstrong gave his thoughts on the proposal:

“This rubbish I’ve heard and seen about letting the clubs that can afford to continue do so is the worst thing I’ve ever heard. A so-called mini-league or consolidate the NLN and NLS teams together that want and can afford to continue; it’s just another example of the haves and have-nots with money dictating who can and can’t play.

“I repeat and will continue to repeat alongside every other club that all clubs want to continue, but they can’t afford it, through no fault of their own. The majority of the teams in the NLS, some teams in the NLN and even some in the NL must have thought Christmas had come early with the original grant funding handed out by the league, receiving way more than they would get on a normal monthly basis.

“Remember it was for lost gate revenue, yet the majority of those clubs only get gates of 400-500, so they were heavily subsidised. You don’t have to be a mathematician to work out that the well-supported clubs in all three leagues, including ourselves, were massively sold short with the way the money was distributed.

“That could easily be the main reason why no more grant money has been forthcoming from the DCMS. Who knows?”

York City mark long-awaited opening of LNER Stadium in silence

By Stuart Rayner

When York City agreed to sell Bootham Crescent to housing developers nearly 19 years ago, no one could have imagined the opening game in their new stadium would pan out like last night.

They may have had visions of a high-profile summer friendly, maybe against the previous year’s Champions League semi-finalists Leeds United. In 2002, neither AFC Fylde nor Conference North existed. LNER, sponsors of York’s new home, was a train company closed with the nationalisation of the railways in 1948.

In 2002, York had been a Football League side for 73 years; today they are a full-time club marooned in a part-time division they desperately want out of. Many of their rivals do not want to play in it either until somebody pays the bills to allow them to. The three points Fylde won may be worth as much as magic beans come the imminent season’s end.

Nine years ago when the FA Trophy winners, celebrating promotion back into the 92, got planning permission to build a ground, the circumstances of its first game would have been the stuff of dystopian science fiction.

“Furloughing” sounded like something to do to your allotment, not your workforce.

A global pandemic meant just about every York fan watching was doing so over the internet at home. They could not even have their mates around.

Fylde manager Jim Bentley’s Scouse accent was muffled but not silenced by a mask as he yelled “How many of them are you going to let go, ref?” after a Harry Bunn foul on Sam Osborne.

Neither side had kicked a ball for six weeks.

It all made the first game at the Community Stadium more a milestone than an event. It was fitting this less-than-satisfactory occasion had a less-than-satisfactory result, Fylde winning 3-1.

York might have imagined the scorer of the first goal at their smart 8,500-seater stadium could have been a product of the famous Wallsend Boys Club but probably not a visiting centre-back without a goal all season.

A debut for loan striker Gabby McGill, son of chairman Jason who divides opinion but has fought tenaciously for 18 years to make this move happen, teed up an obvious fairytale but instead Alex Whitmore wrote his name into history and McGill was substituted after an hour.

Ultimately, the two Neil Haughton free-kicks that made the difference were very worthy of the occasion, even if the first went down as a Pete Jameson own goal.

The absence of fans was painful, even on terracing with blue, red, white and yellow seats dotted randomly to hide its emptiness.

The eeriness was palpable when the PA system cut out with only the goalkeepers warming up. The outfielders emerged to silence. The music only kicked back in as they headed in for a team talk.

The surface looked immaculate and took a dousing to quicken it. It quickly picked up a scar on the wing, but held up well.

York ran out to a couple of claps, one from the director’s box, another the media seats alongside. Sean Newton clutched a tablet so a virtual mascot could say, “I was sort of there”.

The game almost kicked off in secret, the scratchy tannoy only halfway through reading out the teams masking the first whistle but the players were very conscious of the history.

Almost everyone seemed desperate to score in a frantic start. Captain Newton pulled rank at a sixth-minute free-kick he curled over.

A Fylde corner taken when first-half time was up went all the way through to Whitmore, who tapped in at the far post.

When Newton was booked, Haughton curled a beautiful free-kick onto the bar but it bounced onto goalkeeper Jameson and in.

The captain made amends when McGill’s recently-introduced replacement Jack Redshaw was fouled, smashing home the penalty after 64 minutes. The fans roared their encouragement. Presumably.

In the last 10 minutes, Haughton hit an even better, cleaner free-kick in.

“I was really disappointed with the first-half performance, I didn’t think we were anywhere near brave enough on the ball,” said York manager Steve Watson. “We tended to be stretching for the ball and everyone seemed to be in a panic. We’ve got some good players and they don’t need to play like that.

“When lads get on a brand new pitch in a new stadium you don’t know what goes through their heads, so maybe the occasion had a bearing.

“Neither keeper had a great deal to do from open play. Two bits of absolute quality won it.”

Last night was not about dreams, just getting a day York had waited for since 2002 out of the way. The glamour must wait.

York City 'didn't do enough in the first half' says Steve Watson

By Joe Richardson

STEVE WATSON has pointed to York City's first-half display as the most disappointing part of the Minstermen's 3-1 defeat to AFC Fylde.

The Coasters looked confident on the ball in the first half compared to York's somewhat more disjointed display. Where Fylde cut through the hosts with sharp passing, City were more likely to place theirs out of play.

Though the immediate threat of Fylde dulled as the half went on, York could not seize control of proceedings and found themselves 1-0 down at the break with Alex Whitmore driving home from an injury-time corner.

In the second half, two excellent long-range Nick Haughton free kicks put Fylde out of sight.

Loan striker Gabby McGill registered the hosts' only shot on target of the game, discounting Sean Newton's penalty kick, which briefly gave York hope at 2-1 down in the second half.

"I was really disappointed with the first half," Watson said. "We weren't brave enough on the ball, we couldn't get the ball into the front men or control possession. We were stretching for things and seemed to panic.

"That said, both keepers didn't have a lot to do. They only really tested Pete from distance.

"When you've got 45 minutes after not playing great, you've just got to see the half out. I asked the referee why he allowed the time (to take the corner) and he said he will always allow it.

"You don't often see Pete beaten from distance, let alone twice. It was two bits of absolute quality that won the game for them.

"You know my thoughts on Pete - he's saved us more points than he's cost us. High-profile keepers have been making mistakes.

"We have had injuries through this spell and we put out the team we thought was strongest.

"The fact is we didn't do enough first half.

"Make no mistake, they'll be up there."

Haughton double seals victory on Coasters' long-awaited return

By Joe Davis

Nick Haughton struck a brace as Fylde returned to National League North action in style in the first game staged at York's brand new LNER Community Stadium.

Alex Whitmore scored the only goal of the first half for the visitors and, despite Sean Newton's penalty threatening a comeback from the Minstermen, it was Jim Bentley’s side who reigned supreme.

It was Fylde's first competitive fixture since the 2-0 victory over AFC Telford on January 9 and York had last played four days before that.

Manager Bentley took his place in the dugout for the first time since his heart surgery 11 weeks earlier.

As the rain poured, it was the Coasters who started the game on the front foot, seeing a goal disallowed inside 10 minutes following a well-worked corner that caught the hosts off-guard.

On 12 minutes, Haughton almost got his side off to the perfect start, finding himself in acres of space 25 yards out from goal. He showed his disappointment as his right-foot effort sailed harmlessly over the bar.

The hosts fought back into the game and it was Gabby McGill who almost capitalised on a mix-up between keeper Chris Neal and Luke Conlan. However, the Dunfermline Athletic loanee was unable to convert from a tight angle.

Ben Tollitt started to stamp his authority on the game with 10 minutes of the first half to play, first seeing a curling effort shave the post before stinging the palms of keeper Pete Jameson moments later.

It took until the 45th minute for the opening goal to arrive. A drilled Haughton corner was bravely flicked towards the back-post by Jack Sampson and the ball fell perfectly for Whitmore to slot home. The defender’s delight was plain to see as he opened his account for the season.

Two late challenges from home winger Harry Bunn were the most notable features of the second half's first 10 minutes.

But then came the Coasters’ second goal with 57 minutes on the clock. An outrageous long-range free-kick from Haughton smashed against the crossbar before rebounding off Jameson’s back and across the line.

AFC Fylde’s jubilation was shortlived, seeing their two-goal advantage halved just five minutes later.

David Perkins was penalised for tripping Jack Redshaw inside the area on 62 minutes, giving skipper Newton the chance to drill home from the spot. He sent Neal the wrong way and it was game on.

That sparked York into life as they began their search for an equaliser, upping the tempo and getting the ball to substitute Redshaw, who was causing problems.

But it was Sam Osborne, making his full debut, who carved out a fabulous chance to extend Fylde’s lead, though Jameson did well to divert his strike over the bar.

All three points were sealed on 77 minutes, when another Haughton wonder-strike killed off York’s hopes of a comeback.

There was no crossbar needed this time as the midfielder curled the ball expertly into the top corner from 25 yards out.

The Fylde defence was kept busy in the dying embers of the game, with York looking to pull one back.

Nathan Pond and Whitmore stood strong, though, soaking up the York pressure and marshalling their side to a huge three points on the road.

The victory makes it three wins out of three for Fylde in 2021 and lifts them above Chester into second place, five points behind Gloucester City with three games in hand.

Fylde: Neal, Burke, Conlan , Pond, Whitmore, Tollitt, Philliskirk, Perkins (Nolan 73), Osborne (Mondal 73), Haughton (Hulme 83), Sampson; Subs not used: Obi, Willoughby

York: Jameson, Duckworth, Tinkler (Dyson 60), Brown, Newton, Barrow, Woods, McLaughlin, Bunn, McGill (Redshaw 60), Gilchrist (Cassidy 52); Subs not used: Whitley, Kennedy.

City lose first game at new stadium to Fylde

By Dan Simmonite

City didn't have the fairytale start to the new stadium that they'd hoped for tonight after suffering a 3-1 loss at the hands of AFC Fylde.

The game kicked off under the lights at the LNER Community Stadium with Steve Watson starting both new loan signings Gabby McGill and Jason Gilchrist up top for the occasion with Michael Duckworth also returning from injury and slotting in at right back.

Fylde had the first efforts on goal early in the game, with Nick Haughton shooting twice from outside the area only to be blocked by a red shirt.

City top scorer Sean Newton then had a set piece from an acute angle which was curled just over the crossbar five minutes in.

Steve Watson's men seemed prime candidates to grab the first goal after showing intent with Scott Barrow volleying at the back post and Paddy McLaughlin finding space on the edge to shoot - both efforts blocked by the Coasters defence.

However, the best chance of the first half fell to Gabby McGill on 28 minutes, the forward gambling on a mix-up between goalkeeper Chris Neal and his defender, grabbing the ball on the right of the box before firing over the crossbar.

Fylde then hit back with a chance of their own with Ben Tollitt cutting in from the right and striking inches wide of Pete Jameson's post.

It looked as though the teams were going into the second half level until a deflected corner landed to Alex Whitmore at the back post in the dying moments. The defender made no mistake and wrote himself into the history books with the first goal at the new stadium.

City came into the second half and made a change early on with Jake Cassidy coming on for Jason Gilchrist but Fylde added another before the attacker could make an impact. Haughton produced a sublime free kick which rattled the bar and rebounded back off Jameson and into the back of the net - the unfortunate play going down as an own goal for the City goalkeeper.

Steve Watson then threw caution to the wind with two more attacking changes, Olly Dyson and Jack Redshaw taking to the field.

Redshaw made an instant impact and injected life in the front line, winning a penalty on 63 minutes after dribbling inside the area.

Up stepped skipper Sean Newton to grab his seventh goal of the season, an incredible feat for the centre half who scored only four goals last campaign.

Roles then reversed with Newton providing a back post free kick drilled to the boot of Redshaw but the forward couldn't keep the ball under the crossbar from an acute angle.

Any hope of a comeback was diminished with 10 minutes to go from a spectacular 30-yard free kick by who else by Nick Haughton, catapulting the ball up and over the wall and leaving Jameson no chance.

Chances were few and far between after what seemed like the final nail in the coffin and City couldn't provide any last-minute heroics to salvage something from the game.

City now look towards Saturday's contest against Chorley with the team now 13 points off top spot with 5 games in hand.

York City: Jameson, Duckworth, Tinkler (Dyson, 60), Brown, Newton, Barrow, Woods, McLaughlin, Bunn, McGill (Redshaw, 60), Gilchrist (Cassidy, 54).

Unused substitutes: Whitley, Kennedy.

Yellow cards: Bunn, Newton

AFC Fylde: Neal, Burke, Conlan, Pond, Whitmore, Tollitt, Philliskirk, Haughton (Hulme 86), Sampson, Perkins (Nolan 75), Osborne (Mondal 76).

Unused substitutes: Willoughby, Obi.

Yellow cards: Pond 

Attendance: 4,529 peak Livestream viewers

Waitrose & Partners Man of the Match: Sean Newton
York City 1, AFC Fylde 3. Courtesy YorkCityFC via YouTube.
A round-up of news from York City's rival Vanarama National League (North) clubs.
AFC Fylde

Fylde have signed defender Emeka Obi (19) after his departure from Wigan Athletic. Former clubs include Bury and Liverpool. He has joined the club on non-contract terms.

Blyth Spartans

Loan defender Aaron Cunningham will miss the rest of the season and return to parent club Hartlepool United while he has surgery on his ankle. He suffered the injury in October.


The Bulls have signed forward Ryan McLean (21) on loan from Newcastle Town. He's previously been with Port Vale, Salford and the Shrewsbury Town Academy. Hereford have also signed striker Michael Bakare (34), a free agent who left Connah's Quay last summer. His former clubs include Wreham, Dover, Macclesfield,  Southport, Tonbridge Angels and Welling. 


Southport have set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds for forward George Newell ()24) who suffered a double compound fracture while playing for Southport in a friendly against Accrington Stanley this month. 
Please check with the club's official website for late changes to fixtures before committing to travel.
Pre-season friendlies

Sat 5 Newcastle United U-23 1, York City 4 (Trialist, Olly Dyson, Rob Guilfoyle (2))
Tue 8 South Shields 3, York City 0 
Sat 12 Whitby Town 2, York City 0
Sat 19 York City 0, Stockport County 1
Sat 26 Notts County 0, York City 3 (Wright, Cassidy, Wollerton)

2020-21 season

York City joined the FA Cup in the 2nd qualifying round and the FA Trophy in the 2nd round proper.

Note: Midweek fixtures are 7.45pm kick off unless stated otherwise.

Sat 3 Warrington Rylands 0, York City 1 (Newton) - Emirates FA Cup 2Q (City receive £3,375 prizemoney)
Tue 6 York City 3, Chorley 1 (McLaughlin, Barrow, Woods)
Sat 10 Farsley Celtic 1, York City 1 (Newton)
Tue 13 Chorley 1, York City 0 - Emirates FA Cup 3Q (Losing club receive £1,875)
Sat 17 York City 0 Brackley Town 0

Tue 10 Southport 2, York City 3 (Newton (2), Bunn)
Sat 28 Leamington 2, York City 1 (Dyson)

Wed 2 Blyth Spartans 0, York City 3 (Woods, Bunn, Cassidy)
Sat 5 York City 2, Chester 1 (Bunn, Wright) 
Tue 8 York City 2, Kettering Town 0 (Newton (2)) 
Sat 12 York City 1, Spennymoor Town 1 (Woods)
Tue 15 Ashton United 3, York City 3 (City lose 3-2 pens) - Buildbase FA Trophy 2R (Dyson, Woods, Redshaw)
Sat 26 Bradford Park Avenue 4, York City 2 (Redshaw, Guilfoyle)
Mon 28 York City 1, Guiseley 0 (King)

Tue 5 Kidderminster Harriers 2, York City 2 (Woods, Newton)
Tue 26 Hereford (a) - postponed

Tue 2 Bradford Park Avenue (h) - postponed
Sat 6 Alfreton Town (a) - postponed
Tue 9 Darlington (a) - postponed
Sat 13 Farsley Celtic (h) - postponed
Tue 16 York City 1, AFC Fylde 3 (Newton)
Sat 20 Chorley (a)
Tue 23 Boston United (a)
Sat 27 Hereford (h)

Tue 2 Gloucester City (h) 
Sat 6 Brackley Town (a)
Tue 9 Gateshead (h) 
Sat 13 Southport (h)
Sat 20 Chester (a)
Tue 23 Gateshead (a)
Sat 27 Kidderminster Harriers (h)

Fri 2 AFC Fylde (a)
Mon 5 Leamington (h)
Sat 10 Spennymoor Town (a)
Tue 13 Blyth Spartans (h)
Sat 17 Kettering Town (a)
Sat 24 Darlington (h)

Sat 1 Guiseley (a)
Mon 3 Boston United (h)
Sat 8 Gloucester City (a)
Tue 11 AFC Telford United (a) 
Sat 15 AFC Telford United (h)
Tue 18 Curzon Ashton (h) 
Sat 22 Curzon Ashton (a)
Sat 29 Alfreton Town (h)

Promotion play-off series
Sat 5/Sun 6 NLN play-offs 1R
Sat 12/Sun 13 NLN play-offs semi-final
Sat 19/Sun 20 NLN play-off final
York City's squad - updated comings and goings for the current season.
The following information will be updated as new information comes to hand:

Players contracted for the 2020-21 season

Retained from 2019-20 season and contracted for new season: Pete Jameson, Ryan Whitley, Paddy McLaughlin, Reiss Harrison, Charlie Jebson-King, Sean Newton, Harry Spratt, Josh King, Archie Whitfield (youth team captain signed for first pro contract).

New signings for 2020-21 season: Robbie Tinkler (24, defender, from Aldershot Town), Scott Barrow (31, left back, from Gateshead), Jack Redshaw (29, forward, from Halifax Town), Kieran Kennedy (26, defender, from Port Vale), Michael Duckworth (29, defender, from Halifax Town), Harry Bunn (27, forward, from Kilmarnock), Jake Cassidy (27, forward, from Stevenage), Olly Dyson (20, attacking midfielder, from Huddersfield Town), Rob Guilfoyle (18, forward, from Hull City), Michael Wood. (30, central midfielder, from Dover Athletic), Reon Potts (19, forward, from Scunthorpe United), Akil Wright (24, midfield, from Wrexham), Owen Gamble (21, midfield, from Sunderland), Alex Wollerton (20, midfield, from Barnsley), Harry Flatters (18, goalkeeper, from Middlesbrough), Matty Brown (30, defender, from FC Halifax Town).

Released at end of 2019-20 season: Steve McNulty (signed for Witton Albion), Jordan Burrow (signed for Boston United), Adriano Moke (signed for Spennymoor Town), Andy Bond (signed for Matlock Town and then joined AFC Telford United in November), Dan Maguire (signed for Darlington), Kallum Griffiths (signed for Gateshead) Joe Tait (signed for Spennymoor Town), Tom Allan (signed for Farsley Celtic), Nathan Dyer (signed for Grantham Town), Macaulay Langstaff (signed for Gateshead), Jake Watson (signed for Pickering Town), Wes York (signed for Brackley Town), Jake Wright (long-term injury, return to play unlikely before February 2022). On-loan Adam Buxton returned to parent club Morecambe who released him. Seven youth players were released at the end of their scholarships - Luca Binsley (now at Nostell MW FC), Jack Cawthorn (now at Worsbrough Bridge after spell at Pontefract Collieries), Ethan Henderson, Will Jackson, Dom Jackson, Jake Teale (joined Workington Reds), and Kiari Ventura. 

Declined new contract: Alex Kempster (signed for South Shields), David Ferguson (signed for Hartlepool United), Kieran Green (signed for Halifax Town).

Loans (in): In January, striker Jason Gilchrist (26) joined City on loan from South Shields, initially for a month but the term was extended until mid-March. Forward Gabby McGill (20) joined on loan from Dunfermline Athletic till the end of the season.

Loans (out): Goalkeeper Ryan Whitley was loaned to Scarborough Athletic till January 2 when he returned to train with York City. Midfielder Alex Wollerton was loaned to Bradford Park Avenue on a one-month deal ending in early February.
CLICK HERE to check out our collection of classic York City match programmes at the TOOAB archive >>>>
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There’s Only One Arthur Bottom was first published as an almost-daily email newsletter in July 1997 and has been distributed continuously since. Subscriber numbers peaked at more than 1,100 when the club’s future was threatened by potential closure in 2001 but more than 800 subscribers, living in more than 30 countries, will receive this edition. Editor Josh Easby started the newsletter from New Zealand (where he lives today) but has variously produced and distributed it from the United Kingdom, Australia and (briefly) Italy.
Over the years, TOOAB subscribers have variously supported the club in many different ways, using the newsletter at times to share ideas that have helped the club and to raise money which has been used to buy much-needed equipment (for the physio room), sponsor members of the youth team and to sponsor senior players’ kit. Subscribers (who often call themselves ‘Arthurites’) often meet up for pre-match/post-match drinks and have arranged functions together.

Editorial policy

The opinions expressed in There's Only One Arthur Bottom do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher, nor is this newsletter endorsed in any way by York City Football Club.  Wherever possible, the contributions by subscribers are published unaltered.  However submissions will be rejected or amended if they are potentially defamatory or contain language likely to offend other subscribers. Unless good reasons are given, anonymous submissions are rejected. The publisher reserves the right to reproduce contributions to this newsletter on any website associated with the newsletter.
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