Issue 291. October 15, 2020.
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Malcolm Clarke (Chair, Football Supporters' Association)

I was on an FSA training call with club reps earlier this evening. At the start as an ice-breaker the facilitator asked people to say what food they liked best at footy grounds.

The colleague from Wimbledon said that the chicken balti pie at York City was the best food he'd ever had at a football ground, so much so that he went back for another one. 

Praise for the club comes in very unexpected ways! I don't recall ever having a chicken balti pie at BC.

Is his assessment shared by Arthur readers, and if so, will it be the same supplier at the new ground? 
Clive Parker (Glasgow)

Although I've never met Ray Taylor, I really enjoy some of his postings (TOOAB Issue 290) and am glad he has mastered the internet at last. I assume his wife has now loaded an App onto her phone so she immediately gets an alert from the bank whenever he uses her card!

Good news that the next game on Saturday is another free trial, and hopefully it will work OK this time.

Hopefully, the drains at Monks Cross will get a free trial too. I am surprised that people are surprised at the project running late - isn't that normal for public sector building projects? Look at Crossrail, HS2, the Edinburgh Trams, the list is endless.

Building projects always run late and over-budget. That is the nature of the construction business, and how they make their money! John Lacey criticises York City Council (TOOAB Issue 290) but weak project management in the public sector, with frequent specification changes, generally plays into the contractors' hands. It's not just York Council.

When Fergus McCann, the astute Canadian businessman, re-developed Celtic Park he specified at the outset that the contractors wouldn't get a penny more than the agreed price, and if it were delivered late, he would exact penalties from them. That's how it should be. 

Trip to York 'not ideal' after Brackley Town's frustrating start

By Jon Dunham

Kevin Wilkin has admitted a trip to title favourites York City is “probably not an ideal game” for Brackley Town at the moment.

Nonetheless, the Saints will travel to take on the Minstermen in the Vanarama National League North this weekend and hoping for a change in fortune.

Brackley’s league campaign has got off to a slightly disappointing start as they were beaten 3-0 at AFC Telford United before squandering a 2-0 advantage before drawing 2-2 with Curzon Ashton at St James Park last weekend.

Wilkin has been without influential captain Gaz Dean as well as Glenn Walker due to injuries, although summer signing Ashley Chambers did return to the squad last Saturday.

The Brackley boss is hopeful Dean will soon return although Walker remains on the sidelines.

And he knows his big players are needed for the big occasions.

“It was very disappointing after being 2-0 up at home and if you look at the goals we have shipped so far this season, it’s totally uncharacteristic from us,” Wilkin said.

“We have got injuries to some crucial players and we have had to switch personnel and when that happens this is where you find yourself.

“Having said that, we had more than enough chances to win the game and we could and should have been out of sight really.

“York are going to be there or thereabouts and, at this stage, it’s probably not an ideal game to come into after two poor results.

“But if we can get one or two back, hopefully people will see us in a different light and more in control of the game as we have been recently.”

Wilkin, meanwhile, had mixed feelings after Brackley moved into the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup without playing this week.

The Saints had been due to lock horns with league and county rivals Kettering Town at St James Park on Tuesday night but the game was called off after the Poppies withdrew from the competition due to a number of Covid-19 cases in their squad.

The draw for the fourth qualifying round was made at lunchtime today (Thursday) and Brackley will host Northern Premier League North/West Division side Marske United a week on Saturday (October 24) for a place in the first round proper.

And Wilkin added: “We were really looking forward to the game with it being a local derby.

“Obviously we have to play Kettering in the league but it would have been nice to play them in the cup as well.

“It’s disappointing and unfortunate but there’s not a lot we can do about it. We are pleased we are through and we will look forward to the next round.”

Cummins details extent of York City's defensive injuries

By Jacob Kilbride

YORK City will be without Matty Brown for two to four weeks while Michael Duckworth is set to be absent for even longer.

The defensive pair both limped off with hamstring injuries in York's defeat at Chorley on Tuesday night, with the Minstermen already missing Robbie Tinkler and Jack Redshaw for the FA Cup tie.

Ahead of Saturday's home game against Brackley Town, City assistant manager Micky Cummins was able to confirm the likely length of Brown's injury though said that it would take further time to learn the full extent of Duckworth's prognosis.

"Browny is walking on it and he's not feeling it as much so that's probably more of a fatigue-related injury," reported Cummins. "We're thinking two to four weeks maximum for Browny.

"With Ducky, it's more serious. We're going to have to wait another couple of days before the physio can assess him, so it's too early to tell how long he'll be (out). He'll probably be (out) a but longer than Browny.

"Considering he picked it up going into a challenge, it was quite innocuous. Obviously, it's gutting for us and gutting for him. We've got a bit depth in the squad and we can chop and change a few things. But, hopefully he can recover quickly."

Presuming manager Steve Watson and Cummins stick to the five-man defence that has been used so often during their tenure, it looks to be a shootout between Olly Dyson and Owen Gamble to replace right-wing-back Duckworth.

Dyson looked impressive when filling in at the position during the second-half at Chorley and, given that he's played just off target man Jake Cassidy so far this season, his selection may be the most attacking-minded.

Former Sunderland youngster Gamble, who has yet to debut for York since signing in the summer, is the more natural fit, having played in the role during pre-season.

On Dyson, Cummins said: "Olly is technically good on the ball and he told us that he's played left-wing-back before last season.

"It's food for thought. He's an attacking player when he gets on the ball and he's looking to be positive. He filled in the position pretty well. It worked pretty well at the time.

"But moving forward, we'll have to work on things and see how they pan out. I'm certainly not dismissing it."

Cummins added of Gamble: "He's come out of the Sunderland academy and he was in and around the first-team when (Chris) Coleman was there.

"He's solid defensively and more of a defensive-minded wing-back. But he can get up and down (the wing), deliver balls from wide and he's reliable on the ball.

"He can play central midfield too. He's been waiting in the wings, so I'm sure if that opportunity, I'm sure he'll take it."

Josh King could replace centre-back Brown although Robbie Tinkler, who has missed the last couple of games through injury, may be an option having been involved in training on Thursday.

But, with a 24-man squad, York do look to have strength in depth.

"You don't want to be in this situation and have bodies on the physio bench and have long-term injuries or little niggles," added Cummins.

"But, with the way that pre-season has been and the Saturday-Tuesday games coming thick and fast and pitches getting heavy, we're fortunate to be in this position, having the numbers we've got. And we've got reliable players that can slot in."

Chorley get FA Cup first round bye after win over York City

By Jacob Kilbride

CHORLEY have been given a bye into the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup following their win against York City.

Lewis Reilly's penalty on 18 minutes was enough to secure Chorley's 1-0 win over York at Victory Park on Tuesday evening and seal progression from the third round qualifying.

However, following the liquidation of Macclesfield Town in September and the National League subsequently expelling them from the league, one side was randomly drawn to receive a bye - this being Chorley.

The Lancashire club will also automatically earn £9,375 in prize money having got through the qualification stage.

Following their defeat earlier this week, York will now travel Hereford in the Vanarama National League North on Saturday, October 24.

Only five National League North clubs remain in the competition and their fixtures are as follows: Darlington vs Cambridge City, FC United of Manchester vs Guiseley, Brackley Town vs Marske United, AFC Fylde vs Altrincham, Chester vs Marine.

FA Youth Cup tie to be Livestreamed

By Dan Simmonite

The York City youth team continue their FA Youth Cup run with a home tie against Chester next Wednesday at Bootham Crescent (7pm kick-off).

Tim Ryan's men have beaten Tadcaster Albion, Cleethorpes Town, and Stocksbridge Park Steels to reach the final qualifying round and will enter the first round should they win next week.

We’re aware that a limited capacity crowd is allowed for the game. However, based on the most recent government restrictions and guidelines and with the safety of our players, fans and staff as our top priority, we will play this game behind closed doors.

We intend to stream the match for free and will share details in due course.

Micky Cummins interview

York City assistant manager Micky Cummins interviewed ahead of his side's match against Brackley Town. Courtesy YorkCityFC via YouTube.

Round-up: former York City players and staff who are in the news

Former Minsterman Jordan Burrow enjoying life at Boston United ... but he misses the roar of the crowd

By Duncan Browne

Jordan Burrow has been enjoying his return to Boston United - but the Pilgrims striker says life won’t be complete until the supporters are back in the stadiums.

The 2020-21 season kicked off as the previous one ended, with United playing behind closed doors.

United are currently on an enforced break due to to case of COVID-19 in the camp, which has forced the players to self isolate for two weeks.

The club has also had to withdraw from the FA Cup.The Pilgrims look set to return to action against AFC Telford a week on Saturday, and although it is doubtful fans will be in attendance, the summer arrival would love to play in front of them again soon.

Burrow knows all about the roar coming from the United faithful, having scored on his Pilgrims debut as a youngster on loan from Chesterfield in 2011, a 2-1 win over Droylsden.

He marked his return by netting in the 4-2 FA Cup win over AFC Mansfield, his first competitive game back in Boston colours, in a game played behind closed doors.

And the striker admits he is missing the atmosphere.

“When the fans can come back it’ll be even better,” he said.

“I’ve played at Boston before and been there as an opposing player and it’s a great place to play football.

“I’m really excited about what’s to come.”

Burrow, who moved to United from National League North rivals York City in the closed season, has been impressed by Craig Elliott’s new-look squad.

“I think the gaffer’s recruited well, we’ve signed some good players and now it’s about us doing the business out there and putting in the performances to push up the league,” he told the club's YouTube channel.

“It’s only a start and now we’ve got to build on that.

“It is a team game and if I can contribute in the first phase of the attacks and get it stuck or flick it on then the lads can profit around me then.

“We’ve been strong from set plays and that is a main weapon for us going forward.

“I’m really pleased to be here. It’s a really good club, big club. Great set of lads and everything is really professional.”
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 Brackley Town (h)
Sat 31 Kettering Town (h)

Sat 7 Chester (h)
Sat 14 Kidderminster Harriers (a)
Tue 17 Gateshead (h)
Sat 21 AFC Fylde (h)
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 Boston United (a)
Sat 16 Buildbase FA Trophy 4R (winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,000)
Sat 16 Gloucester City (h)
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)
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)
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 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 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.

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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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