Issue 344. December 29, 2018.
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Blyth Spartans 2
York City 1

Blyth Spartans 2 York City 1

YORK City suffered a sixth straight National League North away defeat after going down 2-1 at Blyth Spartans.

The Minstermen fell behind on the quarter-hour mark after Adam Bartlett had made an excellent save down to his left to keep out Kieran Green's rasping edge-of-the-box drive with the home midfielder having sidestepped Jake Wright.

From Jarrett Rivers’ resulting corner, Hamza Bencherif held Aaron Cunningham and Sean Reid found Bartlett's bottom-right corner from the resulting penalty as the City keeper dived the other way.

The Minstermen levelled on 36 minutes with Wright’s fourth goal of the season.

Macaulay Langstaff reached the byline through the left channel and his low cross then saw Wright's first scuffed shot clawed away on the goal-line by Peter Jameson, but the City striker recovered to blast the loose ball into the roof of the net.

After the break, Josh Law cleared a Nathan Buddle shot off the line, before drama ensued in the 83rd minute.

First, City thought they had scored when Langstaff's header crept in after Jordan Burrow had met Josh Law's free kick into box, but an offside flag was raised.

The home side then quickly booted the resulting free kick down the right channel and former City striker Bradley Fewster brushed past Law before squeezing a shot past the outrushing Bartlett.

York City boss Sam Collins "devastated" by 2-1 loss at Blyth

By Dave Flett

YORK City boss Sam Collins admitted he was “devastated” by the nature of his side’s 2-1 defeat at Blyth Spartans.

Former Minsterman Bradley Fewster grabbed the 83rd-minute winner for the hosts in controversial circumstances, with half of the away team still celebrating a disallowed Macaulay Langstaff goal at the other end.

Earlier, City had recovered from falling behind to a 15th-minute Sean Reid penalty as Jake Wright levelled to send the sides into the break on level terms.

But Langstaff and Wright also aimed simple chances straight at home keeper Peter Jameson during the first period, before Fewster condemned Collins’ seventh-bottom men to a sixth straight National League North away defeat and a ninth loss in 14 fixtures, marking a dismal end to 2018.

Delivering his verdict on the latest setback, Collins admitted: “I’m devastated.

“I was pleased with the way we went about the game in the first half and, aside from the silly penalty we gave away, I didn’t think they looked like scoring, but we had some really good chances and could have killed the game off by half-time. Then, for their winning goal, we were out of shape because we were celebrating what we thought was a goal and that’s so tough to take.

“It felt like a real kick in the teeth, because there wasn’t much difference between ourselves and a team that have been doing really well.”

Collins made five changes to the side that started Boxing Day’s 5-1 debacle at Darlington, with under-23 quartet Liam Agnew, Kennedy Digie, Macaualy Langstaff and Jake Wright all coming in, along with 30-year-old Hamza Bencherif, who played his first minutes since November 3.

The former Algerian under-21 international gave away a penalty and was later cautioned for deliberate handball, but Collins was pleased with the industry shown by the called-up players, adding: “At the end of the game, the fans clapped the players off because they appreciated how hard they worked, even though, sometimes, you still have to accept a bad result.

“I couldn’t fault the effort, attitude and commitment from a really young team in areas and I knew I’d get that from the players I picked. I have a soft spot for young players because they give you honest performances and I thought Macca and Wrighty caused them problems with their pace down the sides.

“Kennedy also did well, and Liam Agnew had a really good game. I’ve seen him play numerous times over the last two or three years and I’ve always liked him as a player.

“Harrogate contacted me to say he might be available and have been great in terms of letting him come here. As soon as Lewis Hawkins went back, he was always somebody I was interested in bringing in.”

But teenage striker Flynn McNaughton has been released by the Minstermen, despite impressing for the reserves last season and during three first-team substitute outings.

Explaining that decision, Collins said: “It was a difficult one, because he’s had a couple of injuries, so I’ve not seen lots of him, but we need players who are going to make a difference on the pitch.”

Late twist in the tale at Croft Park

By Ian Appleyard 

Substitute Bradley Fewster settled a close contest with a controversial late goal for Blyth Spartans - just seconds after a City 'winner' had been disallowed.

Macaulay Langstaff's header was ruled out for offside in the 84th minute yet play resumed while City's players were still celebrating.

Play moved to the opposite end of the field and former City striker Fewster drilled the ball home to give hosts Blyth Spartans victory.

It was cruel luck on City who had equalised through Jake Wright in the 36th minute after Blyth took the lead courtesy of a Sean Reid penalty.

Manager Sam Collins had made five changes to his starting line-up following the 5-1 Boxing Day defeat at Darlington.

On-loan Liam Agnew made his full debut as a replacement for Wes York in midfield, Hamza Bencherif and Kennedy Digie replaced Dan Parslow and Joe Tait in defence, while strikers Langstaff and Wright were preferred to loanees Joe Ironside and Alex Bray.

City could have taken the lead in the 10th minute but Langstaff's close-range effort struck the legs of Blyth goalkeeper Peter Jameson.

Goalkeeper Adam Bartlett produced a flying save to deny Kieran Green but, from the subsequent corner, Blyth were awarded a penalty as Bencherif pushed Aaron Cunningham.

Reid duly sent Bartlett the wrong from the spot to give Blyth a 15th minute lead.

City shrugged off the setback and pushed hard for an equaliser.

Wright showed neat skill on the edge of the box to beat his marker and curl a shot narrowly wide after 18 minutes and was unlucky again in the 33rd minute when his side-footed effort struck the legs of the goalkeeper following an excellent through ball by Agnew.

City's pressure paid off in the 36th minute as Wright pounced for his fourth goal of the season.

The striker slid in to meet a low cross from Langstaff and, although his initial shot was clawed off the line by Jameson, Wright reacted quickly to slam the loose ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Referee Barlow incensed the home crowd just before the interval when stopping play to book Bencherif for handball.

The City defender had swung his arm at the ball in the centre of the park without making full contact and Blyth appeared to be in a strong attacking situation.

Barlow waved away a Blyth penalty appeal in the 51st minute when Maguire went to ground under pressure from Digie.

But the game was decided by events in the 84th minute and a rapid change of fortunes that saw City go from possible victory to defeat in a matter of seconds.

A freekick from Josh Law was headed on by Jordan Burrow and Langstaff headed the ball past Jameson.

The goal was ruled out and Blyth's quickly taken freekick resulted in a goal for Blyth at the opposite end of the pitch as Fewster shrugged off Law's challenge on the edge of the box and drilled the ball past Bartlett..

Although disappointed with the result, City's travelling supporters showed appreciation for an improved performance at the final whistle.

City host Darlington at Bootham Crescent on New Year's Day (kick-off 3pm).

Fewster’s late goal extends Spartans' unbeaten run

By Liam O’Brien

An 83rd minute Bradley Fewster goal – 30 seconds after Macaulay Langstaff has a goal ruled out for offside – was the difference between Blyth Spartans and York City at Croft Park.

Blyth opened the scoring when Hamza brought down Cunningham in the box and Spartans were awarded a penalty that Reid took and scored in the 15th minute.

York equalised in the 35th minute when Langstaff dribbled the ball down the left side of the pitch then managed to send a low cross across the face of the goal. No one could get a clean touch on it so Jameson was able to clear it off the line but only as far as the feet of Wright who smashed it into the net.

Blyth got the winner in the 84th minute when Blyth went on a counter attack after York had a goal ruled offside. The ball was launched up the pitch to Fewster who headed past Bartlett then tapped it into the net.

York started off strong when Wright went down the right side of the pitch then played a low ball across the face of goal to Langstaff who’s shot was impressively saved by Jameson.

Blyth got a chance in the 13th minute, Green got the ball onto his left foot outside the box then had a strike at goal that was saved by Bartlett.

Blyth were given a penalty in the 15th minute when Hamza brought down Cunningham in the box. Reid stepped up to take the penalty and scored it to give Spartans the lead.

Wright had a chance to equalise for York when he got the ball outside the box, moved it onto his right foot and had a curling effort at goal that went narrowly wide of the far post.

In the 20th minute, Rivers pulled out some tricks with a few step overs to get past the York defence. He then got the ball onto his left foot and had a curling effort at goal that went over the bar.

Holmes nearly scored a spectacular goal in the 23rd minute when he volleyed the ball with outside of his foot and it went narrowly wide of the far post.

York got a chance in the 33rd minute when Agnew played a lobbed pass through to Wright who had his shot at goal saved by Jameson.

York got their equaliser 2 minutes later when Langstaff dribbled his way down the line then played the ball across the face with no one getting a clean touch, Jameson managed to claw it off the tine but only as far as the feet of Wright who smashed it into the net to make it 1-1.

Hamza for York City seemed to forget what sport he was playing in the 43rd minute as he blatantly handled the ball and given a yellow card for it.

The second half did have many clear chances at goal until the 57th minute when Oliver found himself in space outside the box and unleashed a strike at goal that went over the bar.

Buddle managed to get a shot away from a corner but his shot was blocked on the line by Law.

Wrightson came on as a substitute and made his mark in the 66th minute when he ran down the left wing, cut onto his right foot and found Oliver in space. Oliver then had a shot at goal that went wide of the far post.

In the 79th minute, substitute Fewster had a shot outside the box that went wide of the far post.

York thought they scored the winner when Langstaff headed past Jameson but the goal was disallowed as it was offside, Blyth took the free kick quickly and Jameson found Fewster who headed it past Bartlett then tapped it into the net to give the Blyth lead in the 84th minute.

Blyth managed to hold onto their lead with York’s best chance to equalise being a volley by Agnew in the 90th minute that was saved by Jameson who was awarded man of the match for his performance.

Blyth’s next game will be away at Spennymoor Town, who they drew 2-2 with on Boxing Day in the home fixture, on the 1st January.

Team details

Blyth Spartans: Jameson, Nicholson, Buddle, Cunningham, Liddle, Rivers, Green, Oliver (Fewster, 71), Holmes (Wrightson, 62), Reid, Maguire (J Watson, 90+2). Subs not used: Horner, I Watson.

York City: Bartlett; Dyer, Bencherif, Digie, Ferguson; Law (Ironside, 87) Agnew, Moke (Heslop, 80); Wright (Harris, 78), Burrow, Langstaff. Subs not used: Davis, Whitley.

Goals: Reid pen 15, Wright 36, Fewster 83

Referee: Michael Barlow
Bookings: Rivers, Liddle (Blyth), Bencherif, Heslop (City)

Attendance: 1,122

Weekend results

AFC Telford 4-1 Leamington 
Blyth Spartans 2-1 York City
Boston United 2-2 Bradford PA
Brackley Town 3-1 Nuneaton 
Curzon Ashton 0-1 Chorley 
Darlington 2-1 Ashton United
FC United 1-3 Spennymoor 
Guiseley 2-2 Altrincham 
Hereford 2-0 Chester 
Southport 2-1 Alfreton T
Stockport C 1-0 Kidderminster

League table

York City's latest result leaves the club in 16th 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. An updated table is available here.

Submit your views for publication by emailing the editor here.
Malcolm Clarke (Midlands)

There has been talk on here and elsewhere about protests etc.

I would encourage all Trust members to go to the forthcoming Trust AGM and all City fans who are not Trust members to join up.

That is the best place to discuss the predicament of the Club and what to do about it. Spontaneous and uncoordinated actions, although very understandable, are much less likely to be effective. 

I write the night before the Blyth game. Perhaps the most interesting thing will be the team selection after the manager's comments.

Reading those and the player ratings, there seems to be a case for 10 changes! 

When I saw the Darlington result I was immediately reminded of Martin Gray's patronising comments at the time of the share issue row last spring, to the effect that he’d had enough of the bucket collection mentality at Darlington and wanted to work with an owner who was prepared to invest understood what it needs to get success.

Well, Martin, the bucket collectors just put 5 past the so-called professionals. 

Loan decisions to be made at York City after Curzon Ashton clash

By Dave Flett  

DECISIONS will be made over loan quartet Alex Bray, Joe Davis, Kennedy Digie and Joe Ironside during York City’s fortnight break from action in January.

The four players’ final match for the Minstermen had been scheduled for January 12 when Hereford were due to visit Bootham Crescent.

But the Bulls’ progress to the second round of the FA Trophy means they will be in action in that competition instead, meaning Bray, Davis, Digie and Ironside’s last match under their current terms will be the trip to Curzon Ashton a week today.

On-loan Rotherham winger Bray will not be eligible for that match anyway, as he serves a one-match ban for the red card he received in the 5-1 Boxing Day defeat at Darlington.

He will be free for this afternoon’s trip to Blyth Spartans and the New Year’s Day return match against the Quakers with suspensions subject to a seven-day delay at National League North level.

Port Vale centre-back Davis didn’t make the bench at Darlington, where Ironside was replaced at half-time and fellow Kidderminster recruit Digie was an unused substitute.

On the loan players’ situations, City boss Sam Collins said: “I’ve spoken to a couple of the clubs, but it’s still too early in terms of that and the four of them will be with us until after the Curzon Ashton game. Then, we’ve got a two-week period without a game when decisions will be made.

“I don’t know yet what they will be. We might want to keep all four, but their clubs might not want that, the players might not want that and there might be other clubs interested, so there are lots of questions to be answered.”

Adam Bartlett wins second successive Player of the Month award

By Dave Flett  

ADAM Bartlett has won his second successive Press Player of the Month award with one December fixture to spare.

The 32-year-old keeper is a massive nine points clear of nearest rival Alex Bray, meaning his lead is unassailable going into this afternoon’s National League North clash at Blyth Spartans.

Bartlett, who also heads our Player of the Year contest by seven points, won the monthly prize after being named The Press man of the match during Boxing Day’s 5-1 defeat at Darlington and receiving most star man votes from our internet poll.

Those accolades earned him a combined total of five points with Jake Wright (two) and Dan Parslow (one) also picking up some reward as our second and third-highest rated performers on a dismal afternoon.

Against Brackley last weekend, meanwhile, The Press points went to our man-of-the-match Adriano Moke (three), Nathan Dyer (two) and Bartlett (one).

Dyer won the two Player of the Month bonus points on offer after topping the internet poll.

The Press Player of the Year standings: Bartlett 26, Griffiths 19, Burrow 17, Moke 11, Heslop 9, Penn 9, Tait 9, Bray 8, Wright 8, Newton 7, Parkin 6, York 6, Allan 4, Davis 4, Ferguson 4, Langstaff 4, Digie 3, Dyer 3, Harris 3, Hawkins 2, Law 2, McAughtrie 1, Parslow 1.

The Press Player of the Month standings for December: Bartlett 15, Bray 6, Burrow 5, Moke 5, Dyer 4, Griffiths 4, York 3, Davis 2, Wright 2, Harris 1, Parslow 1.

Goals: Burrow 12, Langstaff 5, Newton 3, Parkin 3, Wright 3, Ferguson 2, Harris 2, Moke 2, Tait 2, York 2, Bray 1, Hawkins 1, Heslop 1.

Assists: Burrow 6, Harris 5, Ferguson 3, Langstaff 3, Parkin 3, Bray 3, Bartlett 2, Griffiths 2, Law 2, Allan 1, Agnew 1, Digie 1, Dyer 1, Hawkins 1, Heslop 1, Newton 1, Tait 1, Wright 1, York 1.

Discipline: Wright seven yellow cards; Heslop six yellow cards; Griffiths, Newton both four yellow; Tait one red, two yellow; Bencherif, three yellow; Davis, Law, Moke all two yellow; Penn one red, one yellow; Bray one red; Allan, Ferguson, Hawkins, Kempster, Langstaff, McAughtrie, York all one yellow.

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 Darlington (H)
Sat, Jan 5 Curzon Ashton (A) 
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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