Issue 007. January 6, 2021.
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Martyn Levitt (New Forest)

Last night, thanks to the excellent “Live Stream” service provided by KH, I managed “to watch” Michael Woods fully for the first time this season.

I’ve heard mention of him on Radio York on a couple of occasions.

In the first half he was, for me, the most impressive player for a Tier 6 club.

At half time, a close friend informed me that Chelsea paid Leeds Utd £2 Million for him as a 16-year-old. Only slightly amazed. His attention to detail, ability to find some space, sensible gesticulation and quality passing was impressive.

His headed goal was a bonus. However, in the second half, he was curiously less impressive.

I couldn’t detect why this was the case. Can anyone educate me?

Given the main camera position, I was also able to watch Steve Watson’s “management style”.

It was interesting to contrast it to Russell Penn who clearly “inspired” his players to improve their on-field performance.

If we don’t achieve promotion this season, we will have to sincerely question Steve Watson’s managerial performance. 
Michael Stockdale (Harblebury, Worcestershire)

Only a few miles from tonight’s match - rather irritating to know it was so near yet couldn’t be there. At least I felt my toes all match. 

I was suitably impressed that the team looked more of a team at times during tonight’s match, yes we didn’t get the victory but there were plenty of positives.

The work rate of the front two is immense and deserves a mention, they also hold the ball up well and seemed to link better tonight too but if there’s one criticism it’s bodies in the box and a lack of players other than woods able to anticipate in the six yard box.

Is anyone else worried about mistakes by Jameson? 

Three at the back for me looks a lot better and we don’t seem to look so exposed when losing the ball attacking. I still feel we are an experienced striker short as back up. 

Still in this crazy year of a pandemic at least we have football and an ability to subscribe and watch it although tonight’s commentary was as dire as the York Press match report. 

Best wishes to all.

Chester call for 'urgent update' from National League over funding

By Jacob Kilbride

CHESTER have called for an "urgent update" from the Vanarama National League on the continued financial support for clubs.

Chester, who sit second Vanarama National League North table, five places and points above York City, say that they have written to the league having received no communication regarding the "makeup" of the £11m funding package provided to the National League from Sport England.

The Chester statement read: "Prior to the commencement of the season, the National League confirmed Government support was in place to compensate clubs for essential revenue lost from fans not returning and said this should provide ‘confidence’ to its members.

"Chester FC, alongside our National League North counterparts, committed to start this season playing behind doors on this basis.

"While the distribution model employed for the funding received to date remains of separate debate, what was clear is that this funding was only intended to support clubs up to the end of December 2020.

"We are concerned that having now entered January and almost 50 days since the £11 million Sport England funding package for the National League was announced, clubs have not received any communication or guidance as to the makeup of these monies or its distribution.

"It is evident the Covid-19 situation in the UK remains turbulent and, while acknowledging the positive developments around vaccines, in the context of rising infection rates and tougher restrictions, the prospect of a meaningful number of fans returning to stadiums remains some considerable time away.

"As a matter of urgency, we have asked the National League to engage with its members and provide guidance and clarity about what, if any, financial support will be in place from January to May to enable clubs to complete the season.

"We have also reminded the National League that when clubs agreed to start playing in October there was no mention of loans, only grants, and we are firmly of the opinion that any future Sport England funding must not betray the trust we and fellow clubs placed in a number of parties at that time.

"Chester FC has offered its assistance in supporting the National League in any lobbying of other bodies to ensure the survival of ourselves and other clubs.

"We hope for a swift and positive resolution for the benefit of all clubs."

Harriers hit back with a Cowley scorcher

Tuesday night’s visitors to Aggborough were York City, one of the pre-season title favourites, fresh off their one week break following the postponement of their game on Saturday.

For those looking for “narrative” you could take your pick: Harriers manager Russ Penn played under Minsterman boss Steve Watson at Gateshead, whilst Lewis Montrose, Luke Simpson and Keith Lowe are, of course, former York players.

Talking of players, Penn opted for the same again, meaning that Jason Cowley would again have to make do with a place on the bench.

Perhaps feeling the benefit of that elongated break York flew out of the traps and took the lead inside three minutes; Olly Dyson being played in by Jack Redshaw, allowing the former to slide a ball across the box for the onrushing Michael Woods to tap home from close range.

Looking to respond, the Harriers’ first real adventure forward came in the form of an Ashley Hemmings cross but the ball dropped wide after it evaded the supporting cast.

The well-travelled winger was in the thick of the action once more mere moments later, feeding Caleb Richards on the overlap. The Norwich City loanee’s cross found Sam Austin just inside the penalty area but he could only fire over the top.

Harriers would then have some half-hearted appeals for a penalty waved away, after Ethan Freemantle turned his man and went down.

The visitors looked to reassert themselves in the game, causing some havoc from a Robbie Tinkler throw, before Jack Redshaw seized onto Luke Simpson’s poorly struck free kick, attempting a lob from fully forty five yards.

ortunately for the hosts Simpson was able to backpedal and claim comfortably, sparing his blushes in the process.

The former Salford City man very nearly got another chance moments later but Dyson’s ball was just behind him.

At points, Harriers were somewhat lax in possession and were again fortunate to avoid punishment, this time a Scott Barrow cross was fizzed wide.

With six minutes before the break Redshaw would again see an effort blocked, this time a header after Woods had got the better of Lowe.

Two minutes later, and against the run of play, the Harriers were level and it was the veteran of 92 games for the visitors who got it.

A Harriers corner was played short by Hemmings, allowing Austin to hang a teasing ball up towards the far post, deceiving Pete Jameson enough to leave Lowe with an empty net. From a few yards out he was never going to miss.

Harriers were dealt a blow just before the break when skipper Lewis Montrose limped off injured. He was replaced by Omari Sterling-James.

HT: 1 – 1

The York City start to the second half was slower than their first half start as it took them six minutes to take the lead this time.

A hopeful cross on the break was adjudged to have hit the hand of Cliff Moyo, admittedly with very few bodies in the box, but the eagle-eyed official was steadfast in his judgment; dead ball specialist Sean Newton smashing home his second penalty of the season, and his sixth in the league.

In a pattern not too dissimilar to the first half the goal gave way to more concerted York pressure: Redshaw curling off target from range before Jake Cassidy tested the Harriers backline with a dangerous cross which was touched away by Lowe.

The Harriers, running out of time, took advantage of the visitors dropping deeper and looked for their second equaliser of the day with Hemmings and Austin both seeing efforts blocked before Freemantle headed over a Hemmings cross.

The equaliser did come and what a strike it was but its construction was basic at best as Lowe launched a ball forward and what happened next was nothing short of exquisite.

Freemantle expertly directed the ball into the path of substitute Jason Cowley who came onto the ball and unleashed a fizzing half volley that flew past Jameson from twenty yards out to give him absolutely no chance.

It was certainly a fine way for the Bromsgrove Sporting loanee to open his, for now, temporary Harriers account.

The momentum shift was cemented following the goal and Harriers very nearly won it after the ball had been given away in midfield by York as Sterling-James scampered onto a stray pass and fed Cowley.

Under pressure from a defender bearing down on him, the goalscorer looked to repay the favour, and feed Freemantle, but the ball was a fraction too heavy and Jameson could gratefully gather it up.

Up next for the Harriers is a trip to league leaders Gloucester City, who sit six points clear having played two games more.

What is certain is that they will be without the services of loanees Tahvon Campbell (Cheltenham Town: 3 (2), 2 goals) and goalkeeper Louie Moulden (Manchester City, 7 games) following the expiration of their loan spells as well as a more familiar name, Liam Daly, following his sending off against Leamington on January 2nd.

FT: 2 – 2

Goals for Harriers: Lowe 41, Cowley 80

Goals for York City: Woods 4, Newton 52 (pen)

The Harriers Online MotM is: Ethan Freemantle

York City draw at Kidderminster 'two points dropped' says Steve Watson

By Joe Richardson

MANAGER Steve Watson has called York City's 2-2 draw at Kidderminster Harriers "two points dropped" after his side failed to press home their advantage.

Twice the Minstermen led at Kidderminster - who, before kick off, were second in National League North - and twice they conceded an equaliser.

The first - a Keith Lowe header just before the break - was disappointing as York had looked generally the stronger side in the opening 45.

And though the second was a fine strike, it punished York for having their noses in front through a Sean Newton penalty but neglecting to show the necessary endeavour to shore up the three points.

"Two points dropped, absolutely," was Watson's verdict. "And we've just, in no uncertain terms, had a very big inquest into that. It's not really rocket science why it happens.

"Their first goal (was) very much against the run of play, very much an error in the box where we haven't claimed the ball.

"The way we were playing, we had no problems at half-time knowing that we could come out and create more. Again, we didn't make the most of our opportunities. That's obviously a concern - not a concern because of the quality we've got, but why we're not transferring all the stuff we do on a daily basis into a game.

"Then you start the second half again. Again Michael Woods is causing a problem going the other way and got us a deserved penalty but the reaction after that was disappointing.

"It's not a technical thing, it's not a tactical thing, it's purely a confidence and a bottle thing to keep playing, keep the ball. I just thought we kept turning the ball. We almost invited pressure when we've got the players and the quality to dominate in those positions.

"We didn't and that's really disappointing."

Steve Watson 'bitterly disappointed' after Kidderminster draw

By Dan Simmonite

Steve Watson was ‘bitterly disappointed’ after his sides 2-2 draw against Kidderminster this evening, with City being in front twice only to lose out on 3 points due to an outstanding equaliser late in the game.

Watson said: “I’m bitterly disappointed. On paper a draw against Kidderminster doesn’t look a bad result against a team that’s started the season really well and are a good organised side. I thought we dominated the first half and it was one set play that we didn’t deal with, a mistake in there, which happens in football.

“We are in another situation as we were against Guiseley where we had four or five chances first half, unfortunately one of them, Scotty Barrow’s, is flying into the back of the net but it hits one of our own players. But we had two or three other options to do better where we haven’t tested their ‘keeper.

“Second half we came out, scored the first goal, and for some reason – this is an issue I’ve found not just this season but a couple of times with teams that we’ve had – the mentality seems to go into a defensive mode instead of being brave, staying on the ball, keeping our line high. Basically keep playing the way we were playing.

“The only time we responded positively was after they got the equaliser again and we are going to have to get to the bottom of that. And the players are going to have to get to the bottom of why they do that on the pitch.

“We’ve got arguably one of the best squads in the league, we should be confident and bold enough when we take the lead – great pitch to keep playing the way we have done to get us into the lead and I think second half we stepped back and almost invited it on.

“That’s not the way we’ve set up to play. That’s not the way I want to play. And they have to be a lot stronger than that mentally.”

Harriers substitute Jason Cowley got the important equaliser for the home side, a stunning first-time strike giving Pete Jameson no chance from the edge of the box.

City pushed for another but after four minutes of injury time the game ended honours even.

Watson added: “It was a terrific strike but we need to do better in their third as well, we broke down the flanks near the end, offsides, not picking out the man and no real working of their keeper.

“I say it every day. On four or five occasions this season they’ve all proved they’ve got the quality but we need to put it all together and I keep saying it’s a work in progress – it’s not an excuse – but it’s something we have to improve on quickly.

“We’ve got the biggest week of the season coming up arguably and we’ve come away from here with a point. It’s not what we wanted but it’s a point better off than we were before we got here. Disappointed, but again we need to put the wrongs behind us - for the second half especially - and go to Boston with loads of confidence.”

City now sit 7th in the National League North but have four games in hand over top team Gloucester City, where the gap is narrowed to nine points after a point today.

Watson concluded: “You don’t come to Kidderminster very often, have a couple of leads and don’t come away with three points. I suppose it shows us where we are standards-wise. They’ve been absolutely flying and got a lot of quality and we’ve given them a very good game and arguably were the better team for a lot of the game.

“But it’s points that count and I think we’ve dropped two there.”
A round-up of news from York City's rival Vanarama National League (North) clubs.

Chorley will face a Derby County team made up from U-23 and U-18 players in Saturday's third round FA Cup tie. The team changes have been forced by the self-isolation of first-team players after several County players tested positive for COVID-19.


The Quakers' game at Southport on Saturday has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests by two Southport players.

Gloucester City

Gloucester have signed central defender Tom Harrison (19) on an 18-month contract from National League South side Chippenham. Previously at Bristol City, Harrison spent time on loan to Gloucester last season before injury forced his return to the parent club. Meanwhile, loan players Louie Moulden and Tahvon Campell have returned to their parent clubs. Goalkeeper Moulden goes back to Manchester City while forward Campbell returns to Cheltenham Town.

Kettering Town

Town manager Paul Cox says he finds it "really strange that kids can't go to school yet we can play football" as tier 6 football is able to continue during the national lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. He says a re-think is required - click here for interview >>>>


Positive COVID-19 tests by two players have forced Southport to postpone Saturday's match against Darlington.
Please check with the club's official website for late changes to fixtures before committing to 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 1, York City 0 - Emirates FA Cup 3Q (Losing club receive £1,875)
Sat 17 York City 0 Brackley Town 0

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

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)

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)

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

Sat 6 Brackley Town (a)
Sat 13 Southport (h)
Sat 20 Chester (a)
Tue 23 Gateshead (a)
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 Kettering Town (a)
Sat 24 Darlington (h)

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)

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
CLICK HERE to check out our collection of classic York City match programmes at the TOOAB archive >>>>
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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.
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