Issue 007. January 6, 2019.
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Ray Taylor (Warrington)

Yet another wretched result. Totally dominated the first half and early in the second. But once Curzon scored we seemed to lose any sense of organisation.  

Not the best way to celebrate Dave Smith's 500th away game. He has probably aged 500 years following City these last three or four seasons.

I was sat immediately behind Sam Collins during the first half. The only advice I heard him give, (several times) was "go long".  

Nothing wrong with that occasionally, but surely there has to be an alternative.  

I do not normally comment on officials, but the linesman officiating in the City attacking half did not appear to know the updated rules on offside.  

On at least three occasions he flagged for offside against us. In all instances, a City player was in an offside position but some 40 or 50 yards from where play was going on. Very frustrating.  

So, our manager has departed. I already feel sorry for whoever is the next appointment.  

Unless he can recruit at least 8 better players, nothing will change.  

We live in hope, although I am not confident we will get any points from our next three fixtures. 
Dave King (Corby, Northants)

Omg! Another one bites the dust!

How many more managers will this so-called guardian of City get through before the reality hits him?

I've been banging on about Mr McGill and his so-called tenure of my club  ... He is not a stupid man and his dealings in our future will believe me pay him handsome dividends. So, kerching, it's money that is his motivation, not my club.

As I've questioned before, his own business would have been in liquidation by now if his management style is consistent with how he conducts himself as at City.

I cannot believe we are all in fear of our survival this early into the new year.

Who for gods sakes is asking the questions?

Someone must be brave n just get rid, clear out,  and start again. Yes, that includes YOU, Mr McGill.

Many of you say, he is an easy target but who is responsible?

Who hires and fires? Who sits there fiddling while City burns?
I fear there is a lot worse to come.

So, Mr McGill, I hope you earn loads of money from our on-pitch results but you need to have a successful team, a full stadium with passionate supporters, and an infrastructure that will work for 10 years, not 10 months.

So if you cannot buy into this, just go please, go ... now.
John English (Beverley)

Not before time, yet another shocking manager has finally left the club.

I really hope that this time whoever is appointed has great football contacts and is a brilliant motivator of players. He will not receive a lucrative contact hopefully until he or she has finally proved that they are the right person to manage our great club.

I strongly disagree with those contributors who are blaming the hand that that feeds us, namely Jason McGill, for all our problems at the present time.

He has appointed some bad managers but so do hundreds of other clubs.

If every club appointed good managers there would still be some clubs at the bottom whose fans would demand that the manager is sacked in the same way that City fans demanded that the brilliant Dennis Smith be sacked because he could not keep us in what is now the Championship.

Thank you, Jason, for overseeing our club to make sure that soon we will be moving into a new Stadium and saving our Club from complete oblivion.

The stadium will not improve results on the pitch but without it we would never have chance of attracting suitable investors to get us back into the League.

Onwards and upwards and Jason knows this.
Donald Horsfield (York)

With regard to Jonathan Raine’s question about the City support at Arsenal in 1975 (TOOAB, Issue 005),  I remember there was indeed a goodly number from York. 

We went on a football special from York to Kings Cross – can’t remember exactly how many carriages there were but it was a proper train with a class 47.

I can still see Jimmy Seal’s screamer for our goal.

The replay was disappointing but a decade later we had some compensation. 

Oh, for days like those again.

York City part ways with Collins after Curzon set-back

By Sam Elliott

Sam Collins has left his position as manager of York City, the club have confirmed.

The Minstermen lost 1-0 at Curzon Ashton this afternoon as their poor season continued.

It left the club in 15th position in the National League North.

Defeat at Thameside on Saturday was York’s third loss in four matches.

Collins only officially took over in October after being handed the job on a full-time basis when Martin Gray was sacked.

“Sam Collins has left his role as manager of York City Football Club with immediate effect,” said the club tonight.

“Sporting Director Dave Penney will oversee training until a new manager is appointed.

“The club's board would like to thank Sam for his hard work and professionalism.”

York City boss Collins departs

York City have parted company with their second manager of this season, as Sam Collins departs.

Collins had been youth team manager at the club but stepped in as caretaker boss following Martin Gray’s departure in August. On 10th October, he was named permanent boss.

York are currently 15th in the Vanarama National League North and were beaten 1-0 at Curzon Ashton today. The club released this statement on Collins leaving:

Sam Collins has left his role as manager of York City Football Club with immediate effect.

Sporting director Dave Penney will oversee training until a new manager is appointed.

The club’s board would like to thank Sam for his hard work and professionalism.

Sam Collins leaves York City, Dave Penney in as caretaker

By Dave Flett

YORK City have parted company with manager Sam Collins.

The decision came after today's 1-0 defeat at Curzon Ashton - the Minstermen's seventh straight National League North away defeat.

City's sporting director and former double-promotion Doncaster boss Dave Penney will now oversee training until a new manager is appointed.

A club statement read: "The club's board would like to thank Sam for his hard work and professionalism."

Collins declined to comment on his departure when contacted by The Press.

Caretaker Dave Penney NOT in running to be new York City manager

By Dave Flett 

DAVE Penney will not be considered for York City’s managerial vacancy and the club plan to make a new appointment before the trip to Stockport a week on Saturday.

Sporting director Penney will take training this week after Sam Collins was relieved of his duties last night following the 1-0 defeat at Curzon Ashton.

But The Press understands that the Wakefield-born 54-year-old, who won back-to-back promotions with Doncaster in 2003 and 2004, has no interest in becoming Collins’ successor, having not managed a team for eight years since being sacked at Bristol Rovers, following other spells at the helm of Darlington and Oldham.

The intention, meanwhile, is for the interview process to start immediately as City search for a third boss this season, with former youth-team coach Collins having taken over from the dismissed Martin Gray in mid-August.

More than a hundred applications were received following Gray’s departure and it is anticipated that the level of interest will be similar, despite the club currently sitting 15th in the National League North standings.

City are not understood to have a preferred candidate in mind and, despite speculation linking ex-Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore to the position, he is not believed to be in the running.

Collins will receive a financial settlement in relation to the remainder of his contract at Bootham Crescent, but it is not expected to be a substantial package.

Defeat at Curzon meant the former Hartlepool caretaker manager had overseen a run of seven straight away league defeats at sixth-tier level and, in total, he won ten, drew five and lost 11 matches, although four of the victories came in FA Cup and FA Trophy contests.

Prior to his dismissal, Collins had revealed that he was going to cancel planned time off for the players during the two-week break from action.

He also spoke of the need for “leaders” to be recruited during January, with the next fortnight expected to witness several comings and goings as the loan terms of Alex Bray, Joe Davis, Kennedy Digie and Joe Ironside expire, while the length of Alex Harris’ contract remains unclear.

Complaining after the Curzon loss, Collins said: “I know it’s part of my job, but why is it up to me to tell people to get themselves going from the sidelines? It needs to come from out on the pitch as well, even if it’s just a centre-half winning a header or somebody making a tackle.

“Teams that are successful keep fighting even if they’re not playing well and make sure something eventually falls their way and I need to find some leaders. That’s not just people who shout and bawl, but people who are brave enough to get on the ball when things aren’t going well.

“In the dressing room afterwards, Liam Agnew asked why everybody had stopped taking the ball off Adam Bartlett and some of these players have to be tougher mentally, not physically, if they’re going to pick up results at places like Curzon. There was a determination and character about our play when we were on the front foot in the first half, but where did that go in the second?”

Curzon claimed all three points when Bartlett spilled a long-range Ryan Brooke effort and Shenton pounced to tap in the rebound, with Collins lamenting a first half that lacked a cutting edge and a second period in which the visitors’ display fell flat.

“We should have been out of sight by half-time,” he argued. “We were dominating the game with the chances we had and should have had them dead and buried.

“They never had a chance and probably only had one in the whole game, which was a mistake because it had to be saved from 25 yards out and we should have been following up as well. But the second half was flat again and we didn’t manage a shot until the keeper made a brilliant save from Joe Ironside right at the end.”

One of the most infuriating features of his team’s performance for Collins, meanwhile, was the inability to clear the first man from corner kicks with Josh Law the biggest culprit.

“That drives you crazy, because we do enough work on them,” the City manager confessed. “That’s just simple, schoolboy stuff and people have to be better than that because, when we did get deliveries in the box, we attacked the ball well.”

Second-half substitute Harris also incurred the wrath of the former Hull and Huddersfield defender, who added: “I was really disappointed with Alex Harris and told him that. The first four of five times we gave him the ball, he gave it away.

“He’s been frustrated because he’s not been playing, but he’s got to show he deserves to play.”

Curzon Ashton 1 York City 0 report, stats and player ratings

By Dave Flett  

CURZON Ashton might play their home games at the Tameside Stadium, but the ground’s name would perhaps better describe York City’s away performances.

A seventh straight National League North defeat outside of Bootham Crescent certainly did little to dispute the Minstermen’s reputation as the division’s limpest team on the road and subsequently led to Sam Collins’ departure as manager.

The Greater Manchester minnows, who have now defeated the visiting Minstermen for three seasons running, had not managed a clean sheet on their own turf throughout 2018/19 prior to this latest contest, but a toothless away attack failed to muster a single shot from the 33rd minute until deep into stoppage time during an uninspiring contest.

At the other end, City keeper Adam Bartlett only had one save to make all afternoon, but an uncharacteristic mistake saw him spill Ryan Brooke’s 25-yard drive, allowing Ryan Shenton to tap in the 60th-minute goal that earned the hosts a second successive victory – something that their opponents will not now achieve over the course of a one-year period.

It was a familiar story as City succumbed far too easily in modest surroundings, with just three goals having now been scored during those seven fruitless journeys.

Curzon won a precious three points almost by default and there was little indication from their display either to suggest that they will avoid becoming embroiled in a relegation battle during the remainder of the campaign.

The Nash, who continue to exceed expectations at sixth-tier level, should have been put to the sword in a first half when they were unable to exert any authority on proceedings, but City lacked incision in the home box and final third of the pitch.

On six minutes, a clever back-heel by Liam Agnew teed up a diagonal ten-yard chance for Jordan Burrow that he aimed straight at home keeper Cam Mason. After Brooke held off Joe Davis and flashed a 20-yard effort wide, Hamza Bencherif then drove off target after the ball fell to him following a scramble caused by Josh Law’s uncleared corner.

A firmer Burrow half-volley went on to call Mason into a low parry after Bencherif’s aerial muscle had unsettled Curzon’s defence, while Luke Wall’s edge-of-the-box attempt was deflected away from goal by Law.

Burrow’s header from another Law flag kick again failed to extend Mason, before City had a goal disallowed for offside when Wright tapped in after Langstaff, who was played in through the left channel by Agnew, saw his low drive saved by the Nash keeper.

Just past the half-hour mark, Langstaff dragged a hopeful 20-yard shot wide and it would prove the visitors’ last opportunity of the afternoon in normal time.

Before the break, Luke Wall drove waywardly from distance, while Lewis Reilly could not steer a far-post chance on target after Adriano Moke had allowed Brooke to send in a right-wing cross.

Curzon gained further encouragement after the interval as the Minstermen grew increasingly passive.

On 56 minutes, Reilly missed the target from just outside the penalty area after turning Davis, before Shenton capitalised fully on Bartlett’s blunder.

The goal did not provoke any meaningful riposte from the visitors and Oliver Crankshaw might have doubled the lead when he charged on to Wall’s ball through the right channel but shot across the face of goal.

Shenton’s 20-yard dipping effort was then saved comfortably under his crossbar by Bartlett, while Wall found the sidenetting after Davis had failed in two attempts to stop the hosts’ winger.

With time ticking on, Collins threw on Ironside, who has been a big disappointment during his two-month loan spell, but the Kidderminster striker almost grabbed his first goal for the Minstermen in what is likely to be his last appearance.

After Agnew had lifted the ball into the away box, the former Sheffield United forward turned smartly and got away a shot that Mason did well to push around his left-hand upright in the second minute of added-on time.

It was too little, too late to rescue a point, Ironside’s City career in all likelihood and, ultimately, Collins’ job as manager.

City Ratings

Adam Bartlett 4
Josh Law 4 
Hamza Bencherif 6  
Joe Davis 5 
David Ferguson 5  
Kallum Griffiths 5 
Adriano Moke 4 
Liam Agnew 6 
Jake Wright 6 
Jordan Burrow 5 
Macaulay Langstaff 5 

Substitutes: Alex Harris 4 (for Langstaff, 62), Joe Ironside (for Griffiths, 80).

Subs not used: Nathan Dyer, Ryan Whitley, Kennedy Digie.

Star man: Agnew - willing to receive the ball when others went missing and used it productively 

Curzon Ashton: Cam Mason, Oli Thornley, Jonathan Hunt, Mo Ali, Cameron McJannett (Danny Racchi, 90+2), Luke Wall, Chris Rowney, Ryan Shenton, Ryan Brooke, Oliver Crankshaw, Lewis Reilly (Sean Miller, 78). Subs not used: Mason Fawns, Craig Lingfield, John McAtee.

Curzon star man: Ali – determined on the deck and in the air at heart of home defence

Referee: Aaron Bannister 7/10 – a little fussy, but generally OK
Booked: McJannett 63, Thornley 75
Sent off: None

Shots on target: Curzon Ashton 3, City 4
Shots off target: Curzon Ashton 9, City 2
Corners: Curzon Ashton 3, City 6
Fouls conceded: Curzon Ashton 14, City 15
Offside: Curzon Ashton 1, City 4

Please check the club's official website before planning travel.
Pre-season fixtures:

Sat 7: Shildon 1, York City 2
Tue 10: York City 1, Barnsley 7
Sat 14: York City 1, Bradford City 0
Thu 19: York City 1, Leeds United 1 
Fri 27: Ilkeston Town 1, York City 6

Vanarama National League (North) fixtures unless otherwise stated:

Sat, Aug 4 Chorley 1, York City 0
Tue, Aug 7 York City 1, Stockport County 0
Sat, Aug 11 York City 1, Alfreton Town 2
Tue, Aug 14 Ashton United 0, York City 2
Sat, Aug 18 York City 1, Curzon Ashton 1
Sat, Aug 25 Brackley Town 0, York City 0
Mon, Aug 27 York City 2, Blyth Spartans 0

Sat, Sep 1 Hereford 1, York City 1
Sat, Sep 15 York City 0, Kidderminster Harriers 3
Sat, Sep 22 York City 5, Ashton Athletic 0 (Emirates FA Cup 2Q)
Sat, Sep 29 York City 4, Guiseley 2

Tue, Oct 2 Nuneaton Borough 2, York City 2
Sat, Oct 6 York City 3, St Ives Town 0 (Emirates FA Cup 3Q)
Sat, Oct 13 Southport 1, York City 2
Sat, Oct 20 Blyth Spartans 0, York City 1 (Emirates FA Cup 4Q)
Sat, Oct 27 AFC Telford United 2. York City 1
Tue, Oct 30 Spennymoor Town 3, York City 0

Sat, Nov 3 York City 1, Bradford Park Avenue 4
Sat Nov 10 Swindon Town 2, York City 1 (Emirates FA Cup 1)
Tue, Nov 13 York City 0, Chester 0
Sat, Nov 17 Altrincham 3, York City 0)
Sat, Nov 24 Kidderminster Harriers 1, York City 3 (Buildbase FA Trophy 3Q)

Sat, Dec 1 York City 2, FC United Of Manchester 0
Tue, Dec 4 York City 2, Leamington 2
Sat, Dec 8 Boston United 2, York City 0
Sat, Dec 15 Harrogate Town 2, York City 1 (Buildbase FA Trophy 1)
Sat Dec 22 York City 2, Brackley Town 1
Wed, Dec 26 Darlington 5, York City 1
Sat, Dec 29 Blyth Spartans 2, York City 1​

Tue, Jan 1 York City 4, Darlington 0
Sat, Jan 5 Curzon Ashton 1, York City 0
Sat, Jan 19 Stockport County (A)
Sat, Jan 26 Chorley (H) 

Sat, Feb 2 Alfreton Town (A) 
Tue, Feb 5 Hereford (H) 
Sat Feb 9 Ashton United (H)
Sat, Feb 16 Kidderminster Harriers (A) 
Sat Feb 23 Nuneaton Borough (H) 

Sat Mar 2 Leamington (A)
Sat Mar 9 Altrincham (H)
Sat, Mar 16 FC United Of Manchester (A) 
Sat, Mar 23 Boston United (H) 
Sat Mar 30 Guiseley (A)

Sat, Apr 6 Southport (H) 
Sat Apr 13 Chester (A)
Fri, Apr 19 Spennymoor Town (H)
Mon, Apr 22 Bradford Park Avenue (A)
Sat, Apr 27 AFC Telford United (H)


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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