Issue 285. October 10, 2020.
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Farsley Celtic 1
York City 1

Farsley Celtic 1 York City 1

By Joe Richardson 

YORK City let slip a one-goal lead at Farsley Celtic as an improved second half for the hosts earned them a 1-1 draw in the National League North.

The Minstermen were looking to build on Tuesday's 3-1 opening-day win over Chorley, and looked to have done that with a superb attacking first-half display, with Sean Newton drilling in the opener.

But the Celts battled their way back into the game in the second half while City lost the control and attacking verve that characterised their first 45.

With seven minutes to play, Dave Syers headed in the equaliser.

There was just the one change for Steve Watson's men from their win over Chorley in midweek. Centre-back Kieran Kennedy came in for Robbie Tinkler, who missed out entirely.

Former Sunderland Under-23s player Owen Gamble joined the substitutes bench, to where Harry Bunn returned following his impressive second-half cameo on Tuesday.

One of three goalscorers against Chorley, Paddy McLaughlin has garnered praise from assistant manager Micky Cummins and continued in his midfield role from the off.

The Celts started term with a 2-1 defeat at Spennymoor Town and made one change from that side, Jake Charles coming in for the injured Will Hayhurst.

Charles - who made two appearances on loan at York in 2016/17 - nabbed a late consolation at Brewery Field with a smart turn and prodded finish from a long throw into the box.

Former Minsterman Tom Allan started for Farsley, for whom he had a successful time on loan at Throstle Nest last season. After receiving a straight red card for handling outside the area keeper Steven Drench was also in the 11.

James Spencer got away the first shot from a frantic opening five minutes. The shot - after Tyler Walton had used his strength well to ease McLaughlin off the ball - was well over.

Once York got their foot on the ball, as opposed to nodding it back and forth, the visitors looked the better side. Olly Dyson was proving a pest up front, chasing down and blocking a Drench clearance at the keeper’s feet. He had earlier got onto an Akil Wright lay-off in the box but wanted too much time and was dispossessed.

Matty Brown forced a reaction save from Drench, rising well to head McLaughlin’s corner into the ground and on target.

Walton was a good outlet for Farsley and a surging run from a cleared York corner earned the Celts a corner of their own. Allan got his head to it first but Jameson was equal to it.

Immediately after, Jake Cassidy had a couple of opportunities, first getting onto a Dyson’s headed flick-on. When through on goal, he cut back and Drench tipped his shot round his left-hand post for a corner, from which Cassidy headed over.

York’s shots-on-goal tally was building already and Michael Duckworth’s rising effort from 30 yards had to be tipped over by Drench.

As the clock ticked towards 30 minutes, City’s promising start had yet to yield a breakthrough. Farsley were allowed more into the contest but had little more to for it than a handful of free kicks and a shot that went just wide. To their credit, they were resilient but forward-thinking.

Sean Newton gave York their reward in the 37th minute. The classier side in the contest, City worked the ball from one side to the other before interplay between Newton and Barrow down the left saw the former storm into the area and drill left-footed into Drench’s top-right corner.

Barrow’s work was far from done and shortly after, bravely blocked a left-wing cross into the six-yard box, receiving a boot to the head for his troubles.

Striker Dyson wanted a free kick in a very advanced position just after. Chasing a ball over the top, he headed beyond Drench, whose block on his run was deemed legal.

Dyson was the width of a post away from making it 2-0 four minutes into the second half. Chasing a long clearance from the City area, he muscled left-back Joe West off the ball, cut inside the area and looked to beat Drench at his near post but struck the woodwork. Duckworth blazed over from the rebound with Drench stranded on the floor.

There were calls for calm from across the City side. Showing excessive urgency, Scott Barrow rashly sent the ball out for a goal kick, looking for a through ball after being gifted possession in space from a poor free kick. Dyson was caught offside from Cassidy’s lifted pass over the top and Wright was booked for a slightly lunging challenge on a rain-slickened surface.

From a corner, Farsley had a header off-target, Allan drove wildly over from range and – following a series of cleared crosses into the area – Walton dragged a shot wide.

City were being made to work a lot harder in the second half. Some of the difficulties were self-inflicted as an increased slackness on the ball crept in, but it was mostly down to Farsley working to win and keep possession better.

When substitute Harry Bunn – on for Dyson – skipped across the edge of the area and the ball worked to Cassidy, the striker seemed to tamely tap the ball to Drench rather than pull the trigger.

As the game approached its final 10 minutes, there was the loudest shout yet for a penalty as Farsley were convinced Kennedy had handled when he dived low to head away a cross.

Farsley got their handball shout a couple of minutes later, Barrow giving away a free kick down the right. It was delivered in over the top of the defence and substitute Dave Syers headed into Jameson’s bottom-left corner.

James Spencer came close to turning the game on its head, turning inside the area and firing against the crossbar. With a minute to play of the 90, Jameson made a strong stop at the near post to deny Syers.

York: Jameson 6, Kennedy 6, Brown 6, Newton 6, Duckworth 6, Barrow 7, McLaughlin 7, Woods 6, Wright 7, Dyson 7 (Bunn 6, 60), Cassidy 6. Subs not used: Flatters, Spratt, Gamble, Potts.

Starman: Paddy McLaughlin. Showed his ability on the ball in the first half and grit when grit was needed in the second.

York City boss Steve Watson reflects on the 1-1 draw at Farsley Celtic

By Joe Richardson  

STEVE WATSON has admitted neither attack nor defence were up to scratch in the second half of York City's 1-1 draw at Farsley Celtic.

City were very good in the first half, racking up six shots on goal - two on target - and seven corners, while restricting their hosts to just one effort on target and one corner.

This was coupled with some attractive play, and Sean Newton's 37th-minute strike gave the Minstermen a deserved half-time lead.

But the pendulum swung sharply in Farsley's favour. Olly Dyson struck Steve Drench's left-hand post from close range and Michael Duckworth blazed over on the follow-up just after the break as a prelude to York's inability to register any shots on target or corners in the second half.

From thereon, the hosts looked to have gained the upper hand, with Dave Syers cementing his team's resurgence by nodding in the equaliser seven minutes from time.

"You've got no God-given right to have a 1-0 lead mean the three points are yours," Watson said. "It's a tough place to come, they're a good side.

"But when you consider how comfortable the first half was and how well we managed the ball and to create chances - two or three one-v-ones - all we needed to do was add the second goal.

"We had many chances to do that, second half as well, but for some reason in the last half hour, we allowed ourselves to start panicking, lose our shape and go that bit too deep. We didn't deal with balls into the box anywhere near well enough in the second half and they - deservedly, really - got the equaliser.

"But take all of that out of the equation, there is absolutely no excuse in any game of football for anybody to have a free header in the box, and that's the most disappointing thing for me.

"If somebody carves you open and puts one in the top corner, sometimes you hold your hands up, but for us to have looked so open in the box, a couple of times in the second half, there's no real excuse for that.

"Once you get onto the pitch, you've got your jobs to do and your men to mark. Do your jobs properly and you win the game.

"But it wasn't just that side of it. Second half, we had so many chances to break and to get down the side but for the quality we've brought in, the quality wasn't good enough.

"Both ends of the pitch, second half, were disappointing today."

Robbie Tinkler was missing with a pulled groin from training on Friday.

Steve Watson interview

Interview with York City manager Steve Watson:
York City manager Steve Watson interviewed after the draw at Farsley Celtic. Courtesy YorkCityFC via YouTube.

Team details

Farsley Celtic: Drench, Richards, West (Parkin 74), Allan, Ellis, Clayton, Byrom, C Atkinson, Spencer, Charles (Syers 74), Walton (B Atkinson 68). Subs not used: Kelly.

Goals: Syers (83)

Yellow cards: B Robinson

York City: Jameson, Kennedy, Brown, Newton (c), Duckworth, Barrow, McLaughlin, Woods, Wright, Dyson (Bunn 60), Cassidy. Subs not used: Flatters, Spratt, Gamble, Potts.

Goals: Newton (37)

Yellow cards: Kennedy, Newton, Wright

Referee: Liam Marshall

Weekend results

Alfreton Town 1-1 Spennymoor Town
Blyth Spartans 1-1 AFC Telford United
Boston United P-P Guiseley
Brackley Town 2-2 Curzon Ashton
Chester 3-2 Leamington
Chorley 1-2 Gloucester City
Darlington 1-3 Kidderminster Harriers
Farsley Celtic 1-1 York City
Gateshead 0-1 AFC Fylde
Hereford  P-P Bradford (Park Avenue)
Kettering Town P-P Southport

League table

York City's latest result leaves the club in 5th position on the 22-team Vanarama National League (North) table. Clubs in positions 2-7 at the end of the regular season will qualify for the promotion play-offs while the first-placed club is automatically promoted. The bottom three clubs are automatically relegated. An updated table is available here.

Submit your views for publication by emailing the editor here.
Graham Burchell (Cyprus)

Just want to thank Jacob for the link to the Farsley Celtic live stream.

Looking forward to the match - I thought it was a bargain at just 5 pounds and told the wife that the one 5 pounds would enable us both to watch it.

However, she replied that she had some ironing to do! Can't understand it. Oh well.

Come on, City!
Peter Gildener (Truro, Cornwall)

Well, it were down t’t' village green and t’pub sides were out kicking t’pill oop n’ dahn wi’owt much notion.

But ground were pretty and t’trees real grand.

Rest were crap. Five quid down t’drain even for bits I could as see.

Ee ecky thump em all up jacksie.

"The virus just takes over!" Craig Elliott says safety of Boston United squad and staff the main priority following positive COVID test

By Duncan Browne

Craig Elliott admitted he felt like he is living in 'crazy times' after Boston United's match against Guiseley was postponed due to COVID-19 cases and symptoms in the camp - but said the health of everyone involved must be the main priority.

Today's early top-of-the-table clash in the National League North has been put on hold.

"These are crazy times," Elliott said, after one player tested positive and others have shown symptoms.

"(Player safety) is the most important thing. We've been very good as a club, following protocols and looking after the safety of staff and players and everything.

"It's at the forefront of our minds and actions as well."

After yesterday's positive case, the Pilgrims still hoped to play today's contest, only for the situation to be re-evaluated this morning.

Elliott added: "Obviously, it's one of them things that happens in large groups. It starts off with one or two and escalates pretty quickly.

"Yesterday morning we still felt we would be playing, but the sensible thing is not to be playing football."

The club have attempted to follow COVID protocols as stringently as possible, following on from lessons learned from last season's play-off matches.

"We've tried to manage it with distancing and we've done that pretty well on the whole," Elliott said.

"In training and things like that, we're still socially distancing in the sessions to try to avoid situations like this - but I think it just shows that the virus just takes over.

"You can put precautions in place but it's difficult to control."

United are not naming the players who have gone into self-isolation.

Question marks have now been raised about Tuesday's FA Cup arrival of Hemel Hempstead Town and next Saturday's league trip to Bradford Park Avenue, who have postponed today's fixture against Hereford due to a COVID case in their camp.

"It's crazy at the minute, it's really hard to get your head round," Elliott said.

"At the moment, the main thing is the safety of everyone.

"Ultimately, that's what we're looking at doing this morning - making sure we do things right. We'll worry about the league and FA Cup after that."

United have to play their cup contest this week or they will forfeit the match.

The manager continued: "I think, going to bed last night, I was realising I had three players missing. Although disappointing, I had to remind myself that that's what I've said to the players - we have to adapt and be flexible.

"I imagine it will happen to every team in every league this year at some point.

"I keep saying to the players, it'll be a season like none of us have experienced before."

Kettering Town's game called off due to Covid-19 outbreak

By Jon Dunham

Kettering Town’s Vanarama National League North match with Southport today (Saturday) has been postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Poppies squad.

The news was confirmed by the Poppies and Southport on social media this morning.

It was revealed earlier this week that a Kettering player had tested positive for the virus and club legend Brett Solkhon subsequently confirmed it was him and that he was self-isolating.

In his weekly YouTube video message to fans, Poppies owner Ritchie Jeune confirmed seven more players had been tested and come back negative but that some members of the backroom staff had produced positive test.

The Northants Telegraph understands one of those to have tested positive is manager Paul Cox.

The Poppies released an official statement which said: "The club is disappointed to announce that today’s fixtures against Southport has had to be postponed.

"Following a positive Covid test, earlier in the week, protocol was followed and the first team squad, management team and backroom staff were asked to self-test and isolate.

"At the time of making this decision we have had one inconclusive result within the playing squad and one positive result within the management team.

"Whilst all other results received so far have been negative, however the club is still awaiting multiple results for the playing squad.

"Our Chief Medical Officer has been in regular contact with the League’s Medical Officer and it was agreed that as a direct consequence of the delayed results, and in line with Public Health England and league protocols, there was no option but to postpone this fixture for the health and safety of all involved.

"We would like to publicly thank Southport and the league for their support in making this decision and wish everyone who has tested positive a speedy recovery."

In his video, Jeune said: “I don’t believe this will be the last time Covid touches the club during this pandemic.

“People have to go out and work and interact with people and even when you’re doing the right things like wearing your mask when you’re moving around, you still have to interact with people on some level and there’s no way of 100 per cent being sure.

“If you don’t have symptoms why would you not go somewhere? It’s one of those things, we have to deal with it.”

In their statement, Southport said: “Today’s Vanarama National League North match has been postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 within the Kettering Town squad.

“All players and staff were tested but sadly not all results had been confirmed by 8:30 this morning. We will announce the rearranged date in due course.”

Bradford (Park Avenue) isolation period explained

By Rowan Newman

ON Tuesday, when Bradford (Park Avenue) announced that one of their players had tested positive for Covid-19, meaning the squad had to quarantine for two weeks, many questions arose.

Why do the whole squad have to isolate? Why can other clubs have a positive test and then continue to play? How come Spennymoor Town can take to the pitch today but Avenue can't?

Well, the club's director of football Martin Knight has addressed these queries by mentioning one key phrase, "social distancing".

Knight went onto explain: "You have had to have been in within two metres of the person for more than 15 minutes. Otherwise, you do not have to self-isolate.

"Spennymoor were not in our changing room so none of their players would have been within two metres for 15 minutes of our players.

"Therefore, Spennymoor would have never broken social distancing.

"We had seven substitutes so it meant distancing in the changing room was different. The weather was also awful so the changing rooms were used for longer.

"This is why we had to isolate the squad."

Knight also stated how important it was that the club stuck to the conclusion made by their medical officer Fran Young.

He added: "It is not a club decision, it is a purely medical decision.

"Fran is a qualified GP. She would have looked at the circumstances, the information we gave her, and made a socially correct decision.

"We will never not follow her advice."

Supporters could point to the likes of Premier League clubs West Ham United and Liverpool who have had players and coaches test positive and still carried on their season without disruption.

"They are testing weekly and we are not," Knight replied.

"I spoke to the National League about testing the whole team and if they all come back negative can we still play? They say no because we don’t have regular testing.

"Even if we did that after the 72 hour gestation period, the National League won't allow that because it is treated differently when you are not tested on a regular basis."

Fans may even look closer to home and throw Vanarama National League rivals Kettering Town out there as an example.

Earlier this week, Veteran Brett Solkhon, who had only been on Town's bench so far this season, tested positive and is now self-isolating.

The Poppies clash with Southport still goes ahead today.

Knight reiterated: "Kettering have a player isolating. He wasn’t in the social distancing issues which we have. It is a space and time decision."

With the quarantine period set to end on October 17, it is likely that Bradford's clash with Boston United on that day will be moved to mid-week, like the Hereford match (October 27) was yesterday.

Please check the club's official website before planning 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 will join the FA Trophy in the 2nd round proper.

Please note: No replays for FA Cup ties in the 2020-21 season.

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 (a) - Emirates FA Cup 3Q (winners receive £5,625 while losing club receives £1,875)
Sat 17 Brackley Town (h)
Sat 24 Emirates FA Cup 4Q
Sat 31 Kettering Town (h)

Sat 7 Emirates FA Cup 1R
Sat 7 Chester (h)
Sat 14 Kidderminster Harriers (a)
Tue 17 Gateshead (h)
Sat 21 AFC Fylde (h)
Sat 28 Emirates FA Cup 2R
Sat 28 Leamington (a)

Tue 1 Blyth Spartans (a)
Sat 5 Buildbase FA Trophy 2R (winners receive £5,250, losers receive £1,500)
Sat 12 Spennymoor Town (h)
Sat 19 Buildbase FA Trophy 3R (winners receive £6,000, losers receive £1,750)
Sat 26 Bradford Park Avenue (a)
Mon 28 Guiseley (h)

Sat 2 Bradford Park Avenue (h)
Sat 9 Emirates FA Cup 3R
Sat 9 Boston United (a)
Sat 16 Buildbase FA Trophy 4R (winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,000)
Sat 16 Gloucester City (h)
Sat 23 Emirates FA Cup 4R
Sat 23 AFC Telford United (a)
Sat 30 Curzon Ashton (h)

Sat 6 Buildbase FA Trophy 5R (winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,000)
Sat 6 Alfreton Town (a)
Tue 9 Darlington (a)
Wed 10 Emirates FA Cup 5R
Sat 13 Farsley Celtic (h)
Sat 20 Chorley (a)
Sat 27 Buildbase FA Trophy QF (winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,000)
Sat 27 Hereford (h)

Sat 6 Brackley Town (a)
Sat 13 Southport (h)
Sat 20 Chester (a)
Sat 20 Emirates FA Cup QF
Tue 23 Gateshead (a)
Sat 27 Buildbase FA Trophy SF (winners receive £15,000, losers receive £5,000)
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 Emirates FA Cup SF
Sat 17 Kettering Town (a)
Sat 24 Darlington (h)

Sat 1 Guiseley (a)
Mon 3 Boston United (h)
Sat 8 Buildbase FA Trophy Final (Winners receive £60,000, losers receive £30,000)
Sat 8 Gloucester City (a)
Sat 15 Emirates FA Cup Final
Sat 15 AFC Telford United (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
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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.
Copyright © 2020 Hurricane Press Ltd, All rights reserved.

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