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Issue 008. January 7, 2021.
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Micky Cummins calls on York City leaders ahead of trip to Boston United

By Joe Richardson

MICKY CUMMINS has called on the leaders in the York City team to control the game on the field ahead of Saturday's trip to Boston United.

The Minstermen head to the sixth-placed Pilgrims (3pm) following a 2-2 draw at Kidderminster Harriers, where they led twice but were let down by game management.

York failed to see off Kiddy - who were in second place in National League North at kick off - when they had the upper hand and their hosts earned a point through a late Jason Cowley half-volley.

“From previous games - Spennymoor and Farsley, where we’ve conceded late on - there have been things we’ve worked on and messages we’ve tried to get across, and then we saw it creep in against Kiddy. It’s just disappointing,” Cummins said. “They need to be taking these messages on. I think that’s the disappointing thing - we were in control and we sort of reverted back to stuff we’ve spoken about beforehand.

“Them being second on a decent run, prior to it, you probably would have said a point would be a good result but, as it panned out, it was two points dropped.

“I think with the leaders on the pitch, they need to take hold of the situation,” he continued. “They need to become the voices on the pitch as well as us on the side.

“They need to sense when we’re under pressure, to get tight, compact and solid, and to sense when there’s an opportunity to kill the game off, to go for the throat.

“The best form of defence is attack and we came away from that.

“When we’re in possession, we have quality on the ball and we’ve got lots of attacking options, good energy in the final third.

“Out of possession, everyone’s a defender - the front two, the middle, the back.”

City travel to Boston this weekend

By Dan Simmonite 

City travel to Boston United this Saturday in the National League North.

It will be the first visit to Boston's new Community Stadium for the Minstermen after the Pilgrims moved earlier this season.

Kick-off is 3pm. 

How to watch

The Pilgrims will be livestreaming their home match for £7.99 via their online service.

A free digital programme will be available with details being announced later in the week. 

Manager's Comments

Micky Cummins spoke to the press this afternoon about the game and the transfer market. Click here to read more.

Owen Gamble and Harry Bunn are unavailable for this weekend as they both continue their recovery from injury.

Form

Boston United sit once place above City in 6th and are in a purple patch of form having not lost in 7 games. The team also have the best defensive record in the league, conceding only nine this season. Top scorer and former York player Jordan Burrow is also leading the line with three goals after signing in the summer. 

Boston United: DWWDW

City find themselves in a playoff position after Tuesday night's draw against Kidderminster with four games in hand and nine points off the top. Sean Newton is the club's top goalscorer with six to his name from defense. A win on the weekend could move the club up to third in the table.

York City: DWLDW

H2H

Boston United 3-1 York City (8th February 2020)
York City 2-1 Boston United (29th October 2019)
York City 2-2 Boston United (23rd March 2019)
Boston United 2-0 York City (8th December 2018)
York City 1-0 Boston United (10th March 2018)

Ryan Whitley returns from loan

By Dan Simmonite

Goalkeeper Ryan Whitley has returned from his loan spell with Northern Premier League side Scarborough Atheltic.

He has trained with the first team this week and is available for selection on Saturday against Boston United.

Speaking on his return Micky Cummins said: "Ryan was always on a 24 hour call back so we could have called him back whenever. It's just the fact that his loan was up in early January.

"Obviously the possibility of Scarborough's league starting back up is not looking very likely at the moment so we thought he'd benefit coming back into our bubble and train and see how that works out."

Whitley was the Seadogs number one between the sticks and led the team to a mid-table finish prior to the expiration of his loan.

Cummins speaks on Boston game and transfer market

By Dan Simmonite

Micky Cummins and Steve Watson are preparing to face promotion hopefuls Boston United this Saturday, with the Lincolnshire side one place above City in sixth, only on goal difference.

Speaking ahead of the game, the assistant-manager said: “They are similar to us really, same points tally, they had a draw the other evening a 2-2, the same amount of games played so on par in terms of season.

“They had a big turnaround in the season and brought in some experienced lads. They’ve certainly got fire power and I’d say a stronger squad than last year. But certainly, I don’t think we can go there being overly cautious – we have to go with our plan of how we play and hopefully implement that and get the result that we are looking for.

“Having watched them play at home and having people watch them it’s a nice new setup and a nice pitch to play on it will be massive because we are in the middle of a busy period.

“We want to see a response, if we take a lead we want to try and extend on that lead and if it’s tight we want to stay compact, high up the pitch, and play the game in the opposition’s half.”

The contest comes off the back of a frustrating 2-2 draw against Kidderminster for the York team who took the lead twice before being pegged back by a spectacular strike to level the score.

Cummins reflected on the result, suggesting a more attacking mentality going forward.

He said: “We were in control and we reverted back to stuff we’ve spoken to the lads about beforehand and it needs to be rectified. We need to say it, we need to sort it out and it’s things we have worked on today.

“It’s not something we set out to do – defend the lead – because we are always looking to be creative and looking to score and obviously have the knowledge that the lads at the back are reliable to stay solid.

“With [Kidderminster] being second in the league, they were on a decent run, good form – prior to it you probably would have said a point would have been a good result to take away from there.

“On reflection we were disappointed, and it was two points dropped.”

Cummins also spoke on the players on the pitch Tuesday night, and a good reaction after the final whistle with the team determined to use Saturday to put things right.

He added: “I think with the leaders on the pitch they need to take hold of the situation. They need to become the voices on the pitch as well as us on the side so they need to sense when they are under pressure.

“They’ve not young lads, they’re men and they’ve experienced playing at a higher level [some] experienced Championship seasons, tough seasons. We say things in private which won’t be out there, and we have opinions that won’t be out there. But we need a reaction, and we think they will stand up to it – we do think they will step up and prove what we are capable of as a group.

“Certainly, there is bigger voices in there and it was nice to hear a lot of them speak up on Tuesday. There are lads who wouldn’t be at the forefront who said a few things as well so, I wouldn’t say character building, but it certainly is refreshing to see them being the catalyst of conversations as well as us leading it.

“We’ve always looked at this month as it’s going to be tough and a barometer of where the league is going to be at.

“It’s down to them, and us, the rectify things now and put things right.”

Cummins also spoke on the potential for incoming and outgoing in the coming weeks, with Ryan Whitley recently joining back in training after a loan spell with Scarborough Athletic.

He said: “It’s not going to be as difficult as probably some people would think because they would be coming from a COVID-safe environment. We would be safe in the knowledge that any player coming in, or if we would be to let any player go now, they would be [okay] in whatever the protocols may be.

“We always have a look what’s out there, send scouts out, and watch videos so anything we do, if it does happen, will only be for the benefit of our players and the team.”

Video highlights: Kidderminster Harriers 2, York City 2

 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS
Highlights from Kidderminster 2, York City 2. Courtesy Official Harriers via YouTube.
We catch up with news of former York City players, managers and staff.

Ex-Minsterman Whittle departs Gloucester City

Gloucester City have confirmed the departure of left-back Alex Whittle.

Former York City player Whittle joined the National League North leaders back in August.

Signing from Boston United, he was announced on a two-year deal.

He joined Gloucester with James Rowe in charge at the time, and he has naturally been linked with a reunion with his former manager at Chesterfield.
A round-up of news from York City's rival Vanarama National League (North) clubs.
Positive COVID-19 tests at several clubs have put at risk scheduled fixtures for this Saturday and next Tuesday.

Clubs to report positive tests include AFC Telford United, Hereford, Southport and Spennymoor Town.

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

Monday fixture
Bradford Park Avenue v Boston United

Tuesday fixtures
AFC Telford United v Hereford
Chorley v Leamington
Curzon Ashton v Southport
Farsley Celtic v Darlington
York City v AFC Fylde

Latest news from York City's rival clubs:

AFC Telford United


United have confirmed defender Zak Lilly has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Brackley Town

Town's game on Saturday against Hereford has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests at Hereford.

Bradford Park Avenue

Goalkeeper Will Huffer has left Avenue to sign for Bradford City who have lost their first choice 'keeper to long-term injury. Huffer, a former youth international, joined Avenue in October and made one appearance for the first team.

Chester

Defender Simon Grand has avoided a suspension after Tuesday's red card against Guiseley has been overturned. Chester appealed the sending off after Grand was sent off in the 68th minute of his side's 1-0 win.

Farsley Celtic

Celtic have extended their loan of midfielder Carl Johnston who has made 13 appearances, scoring once, since joining the club from Flettwood Town.

Gateshead

Gateshead have signed midfielder Lirak Hasani (18) on loan from Doncaster Rovers. The loan will contract Hasani to Gateshead till May 29.

Guiseley

Midfielder Mark Howarth (21) has left Guiseley by mutual consent. He's made 13 appearances for the team this season.

Hereford

Positive COVID-19 tests at Hereford have forced their squad to isolate, leading to the postponements of their games against Spennymoor Town and Brackley Town. Next Tuesday's match at AFC Telford United is uncertain as United also have a player who returned a positive test.

Kettering Town

Defender Lewis Wilson (27) has left Kettering Town after appearing only twice this season, off the bench. He leaves after scoring 12 goals in 27 games. Meanwhile, defender Jay Williams (20) has moved to Harrogate Town only six weeks after signing for Kettering. 

Spennymoor Town

Town have confirmed a positive COVID-19 test at the club which led to the postponement of Thursday's game against Hereford, who also have players isolating after positive tests.
Please check with the club's official website for late changes to fixtures before committing to 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)
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
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, Jack Cawthorn, Ethan Henderson, Will Jackson, Dom Jackson, Jake Teale, 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): None.

Loans (out): Goalkeeper Ryan Whitley was loaned to Scarborough Athletic till January 2 after which he returned to City.
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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.
 
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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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