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Issue 010. January 9, 2021.
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The daily email newsletter serving York City fans since 1997

Boston United P
York City P

Boston United v York City called OFF

By Joe Richardson  

YORK City's match at Boston United has been called off after a Minstermen player showed Covid-19 symptoms this morning.

The pitch at Boston had been passed fit to play on for the National Leaue North fixture despite recent heavy frosts.

City manager Steve Watson tested positive for the virus on Friday but the National League gave the fixture the go-ahead.

A new date will be announced in time.

Boston United boss Craig Elliott fears fixture backlog will put an impossible strain on players

By Duncan Browne

Craig Elliott believes the National League North season will be completed, but fears the backlog of games will put an impossible strain on players.

The Pilgrims' scheduled contest against York City was postponed this morning after a member of the Minstermen's squad woke with Covid-style symptoms.

With manager Steve Watson already isolating, the contest was postponed as a precaution.

Today's game is the 12th to be postponed, abandoned or withdrawn from already in a campaign which didn't begin until October 3.

And with Monday's trip to Bradford Park Avenue in doubt due to snowfall at the Horsfall Stadium and next weekend's FA Trophy clash against Chesterfield likely to be re-arranged because the Spireites are also isolating, United could be left with at least 31 fixtures to play in the 19 weeks between next week and May 29, when the campaign is due to conclude.

"There will be a big backlog," Elliott said. "We're playing every midweek anyway for the forseeable future and it's difficult as it is.

"I just feel the league's being dictated by fate and luck, if you can get your games on and get a run of matches.

"I don't think leagues should be dictated like that. Lads physically can't play three or four games a week, it's just not possible.

"You hear top athletes in the Premier League moaning about playing twice a week. These are lads with jobs and other responsibilities in life, to be asking them to play three or four times in seven days is ridiculous.

"I don't know what the answer is. I just know this season was going to be hard, but I thought it'd be getting easier after Christmas. It's getting harder if anything."

While all football below the National League North and South has been suspended indefinitely due to lockdown, the Pilgrims have the luxury of being able to compete - when possible - due to their elite sport status.

Due to this, Elliott believes that the campaign will be concluded, albeit not in the manner clubs hoped for.

"I think it will be completed, but it's just getting through matches for the sake of it towards the end as some people will be so far behind.

"Teams who have had matches played will have an advantage, you have to be honest about that.

"You'd rather have the games played and points on board.

"When you get to the second part of the season in this league you usually play Saturday to Saturday and can spend the rest of the week working on training sessions and focussing on games.

"This year it'll literally be getting through matches. That takes its toll, not just playing games but the travelling that's needed in this league as well."

Reflecting on today's postponement, Elliott added: "We were really looking forward to it, we put a lot of preparation into the York game.

"The groundsman (Jim Portas) and others put covers down and we were confident the game would be on, so to wake up again to this, it's mentally draining to have the game off again.

"You should always prepare as much as you can for every game, but we put a lot of time and effort into this game as we knew it'd be York, and it's gutting to wake up and see it's wasted.

"I heard about Steve Watson last night and I went to bed having a feeling there may be more with symptoms. It's a shame and I wish York's players and Steve Watson well

"I know there are bigger problems in the world, but from our perspective, it's just an unbelievable, frustrating season that's getting harder and harder."

Boston game postponed

By Dan Simmonite 

The game against Boston United this afternoon has been postponed as a precaution due to a York City player coming down with Covid-19 symptoms this morning.

We are currently liaising with the National League and further details will be announced following testing.
 

What's happened in the National League (North) today?

By Sam Elliott

Gloucester City sent out a message to everyone with a sensational comeback.

The returned from the dead to kill off fellow title chasers Kidderminster Harriers.

At 2-0 down inside 12 minutes, City responded in style - Keanu Marsh-Brown, Matt McClure and Jordan Young inspired the hosts with the goals.

AFC Fylde won’t give up on catching the Tigers yet.

They won 2-0 at AFC Telford United, Jordan Hulme putting the Coasters ahead before Jack Sampson secured the points.
Saturday results

AFC Telford United 0-2 AFC Fylde
Blyth Spartans P-P Alfreton Town
Boston United vP-P York City
Bradford Park Avenue P-P  Chester
Chorley P-P Farsley Celtic (due to Chorley's FA Cup tie v Derby County)
Farsley Celtic P-P Guiseley
Gloucester City 3-2 Kidderminster Harriers
Guiseley P-P Curzon Ashton
Hereford P-P Brackley Town
Kettering Town P-P Gateshead
Southport P-P Darlington
Spennymoor Town P-P Leamington

League table

York City's latest result leaves the club in 7th 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.

York City reveal plans to bid farewell to Bootham Crescent

By Joe Richardson 

YORK City have revealed some of their plans to bid farewell to Bootham Crescent.

The Minstermen’s long-awaited transition to their new ground was confirmed last Friday. They will play their first game at Monk’s Cross on Tuesday, December 19 against Gateshead.

City’s last game at Bootham Crescent, which they have occupied for 88 years, will therefore be the week before, on Tuesday, December 12 against AFC Fylde.

To mark the occasion, the club are offering a special edition re-run of the final matchday programme with a commemorative front cover. This is now on sale and will be available for pre-order until 11.45am on Thursday, January 14 for delivery the following week.

Season-long programme subscribers will receive a 10 per cent discount if they purchase this special edition on top of the standard version they will receive on matchday.

The Fylde match will be live-streamed on a ‘pay-what-you-can’ basis on YouTube. Everyone who contributes to the virtual turnstile for the match will receive a digital copy of the commemorative matchday programme.

‘Farewell Bootham Crescent’ merchandise will be sold on the club’s online store. The sale of seating and other items at Bootham Crescent is also ongoing.

The club added: “It is also still our intention to provide a dedicated farewell opportunity for our supporters when it is safe to do so. We recognise how important this is to our fanbase and are working on ways to provide access to the ground within a Covid-safe environment. More information will be announced when we have a clearer picture of what is possible when lockdown measures have been eased.

“Legacy and memorial plans for the stadium will be revealed in due course, something which we know is important to our supporters and will ensure the history of the club will have a place at the site, after the stadium has gone.”

A look at York City's opposition today, Boston United

By Joe Richardson  

AFTER 12 games each this season, York City and Boston United have 22 points each.

Seventh-placed City and sixth-placed United both have three wins, two draws and a defeat from their last six games - as well as six wins, four draws and two defeats each from the season as a whole.

And both, having finished second and third last season, will have their sights set on promotion from National League North this season.

Today’s match-up at Boston’s new Community Stadium, on paper, looks very evenly poised, especially since just two of York’s wins have come away from Bootham Crescent, and just two of Boston’s wins have come at home.

Of course, the similarities can only go so deep and a glance at the goals for and against columns shows that Boston boast the meanest defence in the division.

Boston keeper Ross Fitzsimmons has had to pick the ball out of his net just nine times in his 12 appearances, which have also featured seven shut-outs in the league. No other side has a goals-against average below one per game.

York have conceded 14 times in their dozen outings but have the edge at the other end of the pitch, notching 21 goals to Boston’s 19.

The provenance of those goals is noteworthy. York’s goals have come from 11 different scorers this season but are concentrated in three players - centre-back Sean Newton leads the way with six strikes (five of which have come from dead-ball situations), midfielder Michael Woods has four and attacker Harry Bunn has three. Centre-forward and target man Jake Cassidy has hit the net just the once so far this term.

Boston’s goals are spread across 10 different players. Former Minsterman Jordan Burrow - who topped the York scoring charts last season and whom Cassidy was brought in to replace - is one of four players with three goals. After a barren December, he netted on Tuesday night to inspire a Pilgrims’ fightback at home to Kettering Town. The visitors took a two-goal lead into half-time - the goals scored in the 39th and 40th minutes - before Burrow got Boston back on track in the 59th minute and David Shiels found the equaliser four minutes later.

On meeting Burrow again, York assistant manager Micky Cummins said: "Jordan, we had him at Gateshead and we had him at York. He's a good pro. We will speak to him afterwards. He's a good lad."

Ex-Harrogate Town strikers Joe Leesley and Jordan Thewliss have also netted three times this campaign. Combined, the pair have made just 10 starts and have just shy of 930 minutes of action - more than 100 fewer minutes than Burrow. Thewliss accounts for six of those starts and more than 560 of those minutes.

Leesley is in the best form of the frontmen, having found the net three times in the last three games with a brace in the 4-0 win at Farsley Celtic and a solitary strike at home to Alfreton Town on Boxing Day.

The fourth of the three-goal group is veteran defender Scott Garner, whose most recent finish secured the points in a 1-0 win at Blyth Spartans on December 8.

Last season's meeting of York and Boston in Lincolnshire at the Pilgrims' old York Street ground. Loan strike Kurt Willoughby gave the Minstermen an early lead but goals from Frank Mulhern, Brad Abbott and Albanian Andi Thanoj ensure the game ended 3-1 in Boston's favour.

Plans for Farewell Bootham Crescent

With our move date to the LNER Community Stadium confirmed we’re pleased to reveal some of our plans to bid Farewell to Bootham Crescent.

A special edition re-run of the final matchday programme, with a commemorative front cover, is now on sale.

It will be available for pre-order until Thursday 14th January at 11:45am and delivered the following week.

Season-long programme subscribers will receive a 10% discount should they wish to purchase this special edition on top of the standard version they will receive on matchday.

The final game at the 88-year-old ground against AFC Fylde on Tuesday night will be livestreamed for those around the world on a ‘pay what you can’ basis via YouTube.

Everyone who contributes to the virtual turnstile for the match will be provided with a digital copy of the commemorative matchday programme.

A selection of exclusive Farewell Bootham Crescent merchandise will also go on sale soon via the online store. The sale of seating and other items at Bootham Crescent is also ongoing.

It is also still our intention to provide a dedicated Farewell opportunity for our supporters, when it is safe to do so.

We recognise how important this is to our fanbase and are working on ways to provide access to the ground within a Covid-safe environment.

More information will be announced when we have a clearer picture of what is possible when lockdown measures have been eased.

Legacy and memorial plans for the stadium will be revealed in due course, something which we know is important to our supporters and will ensure the history of the club will have a place at the site, after the stadium has gone. 

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

September
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.

October
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

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

December
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)

January
Sat 2 Bradford Park Avenue (h) - postponed
Tue 5 Kidderminster Harriers 2, York City 2 (Woods, Newton)
Sat 9 Boston United (a) - postponed
Tue 12 AFC Fylde (h) (7pm)
Sat 16 Gloucester City (h)
Tue 19 Gateshead (h) (7pm)
Sat 23 AFC Telford United (a)
Tue 26 Hereford (a) (7.45pm)
Sat 30 Curzon Ashton (h)

February
Sat 6 Alfreton Town (a)
Tue 9 Darlington (a)
Sat 13 Farsley Celtic (h)
Sat 20 Chorley (a)
Sat 27 Hereford (h)

March
Sat 6 Brackley Town (a)
Sat 13 Southport (h)
Sat 20 Chester (a)
Tue 23 Gateshead (a)
Sat 27 Kidderminster Harriers (h)

April
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)

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

June
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
FOR THE CLUB  -   FOR THE FANS  -   FOR THE COMMUNITY
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About TOOAB

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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