2018/9 Review

Who knew what 2018/9 would bring. Nobody expected 3 managers and few expected another mid table finish

The Season - Take 1

Nobody expected 3 managers in the season. Nobody expected a 12th place finish, the lowest ever in the club’s history.

The 8 summer signings didn’t really inspire much confidence. Nor did the amount of players who were contracted from the previous season where despite talk of moving some on during the summer, none left. In the case of Josh Law, he publicly stated that he wasn’t prepared to move on when a club offered him around one third of what his City contract was worth.

New signings included an underwhelming hand of non prolific strikers and a former captain wanting to return to live in York. The defensive signings looked more promising, 2 of the Spennymoor’s defence who had played above themselves and Tom Allan, a returning hero, if you call him that after his limited previous City career and one towering header against City’s in the previous season.

Martin Gray didn’t see out August, his playing style wasn’t to many people’s taste. As with every manager, he had his favourites. The playing style of his team did him no favours.

Sam Collins came and went. Right place, right time but maybe the wrong man, once again proving that the traits needed for a youth team manager are different to those needed for a first team manager. Collins noted ill discipline and that was evidenced on the pitch with 2 stupid sendings off.

A mid season run of inconsistent in game performances, sparkling first halves and abysmal second halves where the confidence seemed to drain out of the side, saw City struggle to make progress. Other games, I’m thinking Boston and Altrincham, were just plain abject.

Steve Watson (having previously applied after Gray was sacked and not receiving a reply) stepped down a division to take charge. It took him some time to get to grips with what he had inherited, but slowly he moulded his players into a more successful side, play offs were mentioned in March but inconsistent performances and moments of aberration continued. It remains to be seen what he can achieve if he deploys his favoured 3-5-2 formation with his own players.

Watson finished the season being able to pick a side from players signed by the last 5 City managers. Undoubtedly, players' decisions to come to City were in part influenced by the managers who signed them, their subsequent departures maybe colouring their views of City and maybe even forming dressing room cliques and fearing for their career’s under new managers.

We leave the 2018/9 season with the supporter base more positive and unified behind our manager than at any time since Wembley 2012. We finished the season with an away draw at Chester and win at Bradford PA, 2 teams who finished above us. With the last 2 home games against Spennymoor and AFC Telford, that makes 7 points from 4 games against clubs who finished above City. The team looked mentally stronger. That must all bode well for next season.

Next season will be a success Watson is still in charge at the end of the season.

It is the forward line that troubles me the most. Top scorer Jordan Burrow gives a wholehearted performance every game (although that is the least you should expect from any player), his goal tally of 19 swelled by penalties. Take away the penalties and his goal return isn’t great for a club’s top scorer. He and Jake Wright are already contracted for next season. Macauley Langstaff, Alex Kempster and Jon Parkin are not. I’d be happy to see Kempster and Langstaff retained, but that would leave a 4 man strike force which didn’t strike fear into others this season, will it next season? More fire power is needed and maybe we need to be creative and swap some in and out. Equally, this season, with 5 front line strikers, there has been an urge to shoehorn as many into the side as possible, using different formations and playing strikers out wide. Maybe fewer strikers but a more settled line up would allow greater consistency and improved teamwork.

Jon Parkin struggled to re-capture his form from a year earlier on a regular basis, although his footballing brain was still as alert as ever. With hindsight, maybe it was an error to keep him on as presumably he was one of our top earners and struggled with a succession of niggles meaning he was never able to get the run of games we saw a season earlier when he netted 25 goals.

Other “long serving“ players, who are probably amongst the top earners, struggled to make the team on a regular basis, Danny Parslow, Simon Heslop and Josh Law included. Everyone will be disappointed when a whole hearted player like Parslow leaves, some would point out that City’s playing record was better with Heslop in the side than when he was out but not many would have a lot of positives to say about Law.

The rest of the side also needs a good overhaul. The midfield is generally lightweight and the defence is prone to too many occasional mistakes.

With 9 (Wright, Allan, Griffiths, Burrow, York, Ferguson, Newton, Kempster and Dyer) already contracted for next season, we’ve already got the basis of next season’s squad. As last summer, when Gray expressed a desire to move on some of the already contracted players (and didn’t move a single one on), don’t expect to see many of them move on. The last week of the season has seen mixed messages about next season’s squad, ranging from already having a “strong” core” to “up to 10 signings this summer”. For the record, Langstaff, Moke, Tait and Whitley were out of contract in 2019 and signed new contracts whilst there were 7 new arrivals in the summer. A contract offer for loanee Scott Burgess, was turned down by the player in favour of Port Vale. May 2019 Retained List

I could have made a case for new deals for one or two of the others, but wouldn’t shed a tear if any moved on. An unsuccessful season suggests a big clear out is needed.

Once again, another disappointing aspect of this season has been the lack of progress made by the younger players. Flynn McNaughton and Harry Thompson were released mid season without kicking a first team ball. Fergus McAughtrie came and went very quickly whilst Josh Rogerson has spent his first professional season in the Under 19s, never appearing close to the first team. Nathan Dyer looked the part at times, but hasn’t really been in Watson’s plans. It is to be hoped that Whitley makes the grade with City.

With a successful Under 19 side, I’d like to think some have first team potential, but as this season’s young professionals have shown, it is a huge step up and given most of our Under 19 side are just 17, don’t expect too much too soon.

It is sad when any player is released, their club can see now future for them. Given our previous budget and being at the bottom of the professional pyramid, maybe it is the end of their professional careers.

Going forward, with another big loss recently reported for the 2017/8 season, we can expect budgets to be tight and the playing squad reduced in numbers. On that basis, there is no room to carry passengers and that might mean the likes of David Mirfin and Ryan Cresswell shouldn’t be considered for a contract. Both were very good players in their time, but are in the veteran stage of their careers, both have recently overcome very long term injuries and as yet, neither has had a run of games to prove their long term fitness.

Equally, the delayed move to Monks Cross will cause concern. Already plans for the last game at Bootham Crescent and opening arrangements for Monks Cross have been torn up. More importantly, the uncertainty over the exact move date will cause City extra work and further delays to the promised additional revenue streams at Monks Cross.

For 2019/20, let's hope we can match the already high expectations.

I’ll finish with my usual comment. In 1988 we were relegated into the basement division (now known as Football League Division 2), it took us 5 years to gain promotion. Never in our history have we gained promotion any quicker after relegation.

PS Next season’s captain? Robbie Tinkler.


The Season - Take 2

The following is taken from Dave Flett's article in the Yorkpress on May 3rd 2019.

When York City decided yet another manager was in for the high jump back in January, they turned to the Gateshead International Athletics Stadium to get their season back on track. With City having fallen well off the top-seven pace and looking nervously over their shoulders, Steve Watson was persuaded to leave the north-east National League promotion hopefuls to see if he could muster an unlikely late sprint across the finishing line from the under-performing Minstermen.

During his first two games – meetings with top-two Stockport and Chorley – it was always going to be a case of learning to walk before he could run as Watson familiarised himself with the strengths and weaknesses of his inherited squad. But his record over the remaining 15 fixtures, had it been matched over the course of the season, would have been worthy of a position on the winners’ podium. During that period, from the beginning of February, City averaged 1.87 points a game which, over the course of a 42-game campaign, equates to 78.55 points - a tally sufficient to secure third place in the table and just over one win short of champions Stockport. Indeed, Watson’s side accumulated just four fewer points than Stockport over that three-month period and four more than runners-up Chorley, who were in pole position for the title until conceding a last-minute goal in their penultimate fixture.

Having gone 14 months since claiming their last back-to-back league victories - only Reading and Weston-Super-Mare had endured longer sequences from English football’s top-seven divisions at the time - the Minstermen rattled off four straight successes as Watson won the National League North Manager of the Month award for February. That momentum was subsequently lost as the unlikeliest of play-off charges was halted following four draws in five contests - three of which witnessed the spoils being shared from winning positions. The Minstermen would ultimately conclude the campaign in the club’s lowest-ever position in the football pyramid - one place below their 11th-placed finish 12 months earlier - but Watson cannot be held culpable for another underwhelming, mid-table berth.

City kicked off the season with then manager Martin Gray targeting the title - a bold ambition for a side that had ended the previous season in such a dispiriting fashion and still had nine members of that squad on duty in the 16-strong party for the 1-0 opening-day loss at Chorley. Gray’s comments quickly looked unfounded and the Minstermen swiftly found themselves in the familiar position of playing catch-up. Unsatisfactory starts had seen none of Gray’s predecessors last beyond October during the past four campaigns. Even so, the ex-Darlington chief was genuinely shocked when he was relieved of his duties just three August weekends into 2018/19 and, with Gary Mills having been fired the previous September and Jackie McNamara moved upstairs the October before, Watson might celebrate getting through pre-season in a couple of months’ time. There was little evidence, however, of improvement under Gray in the 11 months since his replacement of Mills and, suddenly, newly-appointed youth-team coach Sam Collins was promoted to the senior role, initially in a caretaker capacity.

Collins started well, stamping his coaching beliefs on to the team, with tactical tweaks that secured four points from six against eventual play-off qualifiers Brackley and Blyth. But, following a run of just one defeat in nine matches which included bagging the club an FA Cup first-round tie at Swindon, when Collins started to encounter his first speed bumps, the wheels fell off. Unforgivably, the Minstermen lost all of the former Hartlepool defender’s last seven away league matches in charge - Collins’ home record was actually significantly better than Watson’s - when just eight points from those 21 would have been enough to claim a top-seven finish at the end of the season. Particularly demoralising defeats at Boston (2-0) and Darlington (5-1) led to Collins questioning the professionalism of the majority of the squad - a damning indictment, made in exasperation, that fuelled the long-suffering City supporters’ resentment of certain individuals. It was a high-risk strategy for Collins, who had previously been cautious of such public condemnation. No doubt aimed at getting a defiant on-pitch response from the players, it seemed to work for a game, as the Minstermen gained revenge with a 4-0 New Year’s Day triumph over Darlington, but standards slipped alarmingly again during a single-goal loss at Curzon Ashton and, after lambasting the defeat as “schoolboy stuff”, Collins was asked to clear his desk and, for only the second time in their history, the club would finish the season having had three different managers at the helm.

In the midst of such chaos, the calm, but determined, manner of Watson proved a strong appointment. Perhaps for the first time since Martin Foyle and Andy Porter, the Minstermen also appear to have a genuine management team in place.

Being the boss of a football club can be a lonely existence without somebody to share that burden and Watson’s number-two Micky Cummins has demonstrated a more hands-on approach than most recent assistants. Like his friend, Cummins is a confident, eloquent and engaging operator when he fills in during media duties and he is just as instructive from the dugout as the former Premier League defender on match days. Both have subsequently quickly gained the respect of the squad, with messages being enforced by two convincing individuals to stamp out the ill-discipline Collins felt dogged his efforts in charge. Whereas the latter could never settle on a side he deemed capable of delivering consistent results, Watson and Cummins quickly identified a nucleus of players they felt the could rely on.

Given the disappointment of the last two seasons, some observers have expressed dismay at the number of players whose services are still wanted next season. Following temporary improvement, many of the same issues that bedevilled progress at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho have now resurfaced and those individuals Watson has placed faith in must reward the manager with a full season of consistency to win over City’s wary supporters.

The Players

  1. Liam Agnew Blink and you would have missed the on-loan Harrogate Town midfielder’s short stint at Bootham Crescent. Featured in some of the season’s most uninspiring matches at the turn of the year. Probably wasn’t helped by the level of disarray at the club during his stay. Appearances: 4 (1); Goals: 0 Rating: 5/10
  2. Tom Allan Never played again for City following the 4-1 home humiliation to Bradford Park Avenue in November and swiftly loaned to Alfreton where he spent the remainder of the season. Height always makes him a threat at set-pieces. But looked a little hesitant in his defensive play during handful of City outings. Appearances: 4 (2); Goals: 0 Rating: 5/10
  3. Adam Bartlett Made a string of mistakes during the early days of Steve Watson’s reign but had previously been responsible for some outstanding saves in between the City sticks. Rescued the team from heavier losses in several games prior to Watson improving the team’s defensive resilience. Generously agreed to make way when it was deemed that Ryan Whitley needed to cut his teeth in senior football at the tail-end of the season. Appearances: 43; Goals: 0 Rating: 7/10
  4. Hamza Bencherif Finally added goals to his game after more than 80 games without hitting the target for the Minstermen. Always looked vulnerable defensively, though. Retained a starting place longer than should have been the case before only being used sporadically during the second half of the campaign. Appearances: 21 (5); Goals: 3 Rating: 4/10
  5. Tom Bradbury Slightly left-field loan signing by Steve Watson from Dundee. Didn’t look comfortable with the pace and power of sixth-tier football in England. Given a particularly torrid time by Reece Styche at Alfreton and team conceded eight goals during his three outings. Appearances: 3; Goals: 0. Rating: 4/10
  6. Alex Bray Somewhat of a throwback with his old-fashioned wing play. His ability to go past players with a trick or burst of acceleration excited. But form became a little patchy, before his loan spell from Rotherham ended following a petulant red card in the 5-1 debacle at Darlington. Appearances: 9 (2); Goals: 1 Rating: 6/10
  7. Scott Burgess Provided a welcome busyness to City’s midfield following his loan arrival from Bury. Capable of threading balls through opposition defences and, whilst he should have probably threatened goal more, his one strike for the Minstermen at Kidderminster was an absolute belter. If he can bulk up a little could certainly kick on in the game. Appearances: 15 (1); Goals: 1 Rating: 6/10
  8. Jordan Burrow Not a natural goalscorer, but his work-rate and strength, supplemented by a healthy penalty conversion rate, helped him top the club’s charts with 19. Also headed the assists table with 12 and showed his character by being named skipper by Sam Collins – a position he retained until the end of the season - having originally been left out of the squad by the former youth-team coach. Suffered two significant barren runs in front of goal, when he also struggled to get into goalscoring positions, but always a willing target for the team. Appearances: 42 (4); Goals: 19 Rating: 7/10
  9. Joe Davis On first impressions, looked a useful defensive addition when recruited on loan from Port Vale in November. After some solid early displays, standards slipped a little with a couple of mistakes leading to goals. Allowed to return to parent club on Steve Watson’s arrival at the club. Appearances: 10; Goals: 0 Rating: 6/10
  10. Kennedy Digie Made a good first impression on his loan arrival from Kidderminster with his refreshing athleticism and strength at the heart of defence. Was prone to risk-taking in consequent appearances. Injury also hindered his progress and ended season as a substitute at Guiseley. Appearances: 7; Goals: 0 Rating: 6/10
  11. Nathan Dyer Trusted with ten starts at the age of 17 by Sam Collins despite being in direct competition with the reliable Kallum Griffiths for a right-back/wing-back spot. A little raw, as to be expected, with some of his defensive nous. Very energetic going forward, though, and didn’t look overawed, as witnessed by the cross he sent in for David Ferguson’s equaliser in the FA Cup at Swindon. Appearances: 10 (1); Goals: 0 Rating: 6/10
  12. David Ferguson Only four outfield performers made more appearances for the team, but the left back didn’t star in enough. Generally reliable defensively, Steve Watson might still need some convincing that the ex-England C international can provide a consistent level of quality from out on the flanks should the former Gateshead boss be looking to employ wing-backs next season, as he has done in the past. Really needs to now take responsibility and meet the lofty expectations that greeted his move from Darlington 18 months ago. Appearances: 32 (5); Goals: 2 Rating: 5/10
  13. Kallum Griffiths Consistent performer at right back who, when encouraged to go forward, was capable of delivering dangerous crosses into the opposition box. Had a spell in midfield under Sam Collins, where he broke up play effectively and spread play with a range of accurate passes. Clean striker of a ball too and should try his luck from distance on a more regular basis. Appearances: 39; Goals: 1 Rating: 7/10
  14. Alex Harris Technically-gifted with the ball, highlighted by his third-placed finish on the club’s assists table despite starting less than a third of games. Not so aware out of possession, however, as demonstrated most starkly by Spennymoor’s third goal on Good Friday when he failed to track a forward runner and the match was subsequently lost. No other game provoked Steve Watson’s ire more and, as players are without the ball a lot more than they have it during contests, such lapses are not easily overlooked. Appearances: 15 (13); Goals: 2 Rating: 5/10
  15. Lewis Hawkins Destined to become a player few fans recall with the passing of each coming season. Put a reasonable amount of effort in but pulled up few trees in terms of midfield quality. A goal against Kidderminster in the FA Trophy was the highlight of his nine loan outings. Appearances: 8 (1); Goals: 1 Rating: 5/10
  16. Simon Heslop One of the better performers during a disappointing start to the season in an anchoring midfield role. Scored a spectacular late winner at Southport. Injury then meant he didn’t manage a single game under Steve Watson. Appearances: 14 (1); Goals: 1 Rating: 5/10
  17. Joe Ironside Huge disappointment following the understandable anticipation surrounding his November loan arrival from Kidderminster. A proven marksman at sixth-tier level, the former Sheffield United striker gave a series of sluggish and half-hearted performances during ten outings for the Minstermen. Even more frustratingly, after his return to Aggborough, he went on to hit the back of the net on a regular basis during the rest of the season. Appearances: 4 (6); Goals: 0 Rating: 4/10
  18. Alex Kempster Has the ability to work himself into some excellent positions but needs to clear his head and pick out the right pass or cross to fully capitalise on that dangerous knack and improve on an assist tally of two this term. Could be more robust and still gets his fair share of impact injuries – the most recent seeing him replaced on the final day of the season. Scored a cracking goal against Spennymoor, though, and would be good to see him operating between the posts more. Appearances: 18 (3); Goals: 5 Rating: 6/10
  19. Macaulay Langstaff City’s most improved player over the course of the season. Looked naïve and raw at the start of the campaign, shooting from inadvisable positions and needlessly straying offside. But decision-making was much better following his return from a loan spell at Bradford Park Avenue and posed several teams problems with his positive play drifting inside from the left flank, scoring five goals and contributing four assists in his final seven appearances of the campaign. Appearances: 23 (12); Goals: 10 Rating: 7/10
  20. Josh Law Peripheral in too many games and, aside from an excellent crossfield pass that led to a Macaulay Langstaff goal at Hereford, hard to recall many individual highlights. Didn’t manage a goal from midfield and some matches passed by without him making a tackle. Has technical ability but needed to impose himself more. Appearances: 25 (6); Goals: 0 Rating: 4/10
  21. Fergus McAughtrie Teenager who made a very promising debut during Sam Collins’ first game in caretaker charge at Brackley. The former City youth coach’s commitment to nurturing young talent in the senior arena was soon compromised, though, by the need to halt the club’s slide down the table. Still a bit of a surprise when the son of former Bootham Crescent defender Dave was released before the end of the year. Appearances: 2 (1); Goals: 0 Rating: 6/10
  22. Paddy McLaughlin Initially, took time to make his presence felt after returning to the club on loan from Hartlepool. As his fitness levels improved, though, his quality began to shine through – both in general play and on dead-ball duty. Scored or claimed an assist in five of the last six fixtures. Appearances: 15; Goals: 3 Rating: 7/10
  23. David Mirfin The back line never looked more organised than when the on-loan Mansfield defender was recruited on loan by Steve Watson. Always in the right position and orchestrated those around him. Unfortunately, issues with the serious knee injury that meant he had not kicked a ball for 14 months prior to joining the Minstermen, flared up, leaving him unable to play any part in the last month of the season. Appearances: 7; Goals: 0 Rating: 7/10
  24. Adriano Moke Found some consistency under Steve Watson, where he used his energy to gain and retain possession for the team. Just one assist all season – an unintentional ricochet that sent Macaulay Langstaff clear on goal at FC United of Manchester – once more illustrated his tendency to play safe rather than inflict damage on opposition teams. His three strikes were all goal of the season contenders though. Appearances: 34 (5); Goals: 3 Rating: 6/10
  25. Jasper Moon On-loan 18-year-old signing from Barnsley who belied his age and physique to compete competently in National League North. Had the pace and determination to recover from his occasional mistakes and rescue situations. Has potential for a good career in the game, especially if he grows a little taller. Appearances: 3; Goals: 0 Rating: 6/10
  26. Sean Newton Endured an unconvincing first six months of the season, when he struggled to regain full fitness following a couple of injuries and fell out of favour under Sam Collins (see below). Reinvigorated following Steve Watson’s appointment and a switch to centre back. Commanding in the air at the heart of City’s defence during general play and capable of starting attacking moves with long accurate passes from deep positions, as well as always offering a varied goal threat. Appearances: 35 (2); Goals: 6 Rating: 6/10
  27. Jon Parkin Disappointing manner in which to end his City career. By his own admission, Parkin needs to be playing regularly to stay fit and rarely made an impact when introduced from the bench as he struggled to adapt to the pace of games. Turned back the clock to lead the City line with intelligence against Boston but finished the season without a goal in 14 appearances following his October effort against Nuneaton. Appearances: 5 (19); Goals: 3 Rating: 4/10
  28. Dan Parslow Typical that the City stalwart’s second spell with the club has ended in serious injury, just as his first did. Always willing to put his neck on the line for the cause, his campaign was curtailed by severe concussion in February. Leaves the club positioned tenth on the all-time City appearances list, but the ex-Wales under-21 international was puzzlingly overlooked by both Martin Gray and Sam Collins for long periods, despite the team’s clear defensive deficiencies. Appearances: 3 (1); Goals: 0 Rating: 5/10
  29. Russ Penn Not as mobile as during his first spell with the club, but still demonstrated positional sense in the middle of the pitch. Allowed to leave for Kidderminster in November. But, with Simon Heslop injured, that appeared a mistake as the team lacked midfield protection for a vulnerable back four, especially in away games. Appearances: 11 (4); Goals: 0 Rating: 5/10
  30. Joe Tait Lost his way after a promising start to the season when he was made captain and seemed to thrive on the responsibility. Turning point in his City career under Sam Collins was his red card for a petulant off-the-ball incident during a 4-1 home defeat to Bradford Park Avenue. Never wore the armband again but did look assured and vocally commanding during his return to the fold late in the campaign. Appearances: 26; Goals 2 Rating: 5/10
  31. Ryan Whitley Never quite matched the high standards of his senior debut during subsequent four outings in the team. Kicks the ball well and still looks to have all the tools to fulfil the promise he showed in that maiden appearance. Mistake at Chester might have knocked his confidence a little but has a favourable frame to work on improving his judgement when dealing with high balls into the penalty box. Appearances: 5; Goals 0 Rating: 6/10
  32. Jake Wright Netted fewer times than defender Sean Newton, which will be a disappointment for a striker expected to be heading the goal charts when signed last summer. In his defence, the team’s shape for large parts of the season probably did not aid his cause. Recruited by Martin Gray to play off the shoulder of either Jordan Burrow or Jon Parkin, he was mainly asked to play on the flanks where he found it difficult to plough his way through more bodies and often lost possession or gave away fouls. Appearances: 18 (10); Goals: 5 Rating: 5/10
  33. Wes York Couldn’t establish himself as a regular starter under either Sam Collins or Steve Watson and fell short of the standards envisaged following his summer move from Gateshead. Never short on graft but required a little more craft with his play in the final third of the pitch. As a winger also needed to tee up more than the three goals he created for team-mates. Appearances: 18 (15); Goals: 4 Rating: 5/10

Goals: Burrow 19, Langstaff 10, Newton 6, Kempster 5, Wright 5, York 4, Bencherif 3, McLaughlin 3, Moke 3, Parkin 3, Ferguson 2, Harris 2, Tait 2, Bray 1, Burgess 1, Griffiths 1, Hawkins 1, Heslop 1

Assists: Burrow 12, Langstaff 8, Harris 7, Parkin 5, Ferguson 4, Law 4, Wright 4, Bray 3, Griffiths 3, McLaughlin 3, York 3, Bartlett 2, Burgess 2, Kempster 2, Agnew 1, Allan 1, Bencherif 1, Digie 1, Dyer 1, Hawkins 1, Heslop 1, Moke 1, Newton 1, Tait 1

Cards: Moke one red card, eight yellow; Newton, Wright both eight yellow; Heslop seven yellow; Bencherif, Griffiths both five yellow; Tait one red, two yellow; Davis, Ferguson three yellow; Penn one red, one yellow; Langstaff, Law, York two yellow; Bray one red; Allan, Burgess, Hawkins, Kempster, McAughtrie, McLaughlin one yellow

National League North Attendances 2018/9

Across non league, the crowds came out in force this season, but a lot like the title race, Stockport County topped the table with a home average attendance of 4,002, on 2 occasions, topping 6,000. Second were City.

  1. Stockport County 4,002
  2. York City 2,500
  3. Hereford 2,367
  4. FC United of Manchester 1,943
  5. Chester 1,838
  6. Chorley 1,650
  7. Kidderminster Harriers 1,602
  8. Darlington 1,391
  9. AFC Telford United 1,352
  10. Altrincham 1,244
  11. Boston United 1,105
  12. Southport 1,071
  13. Spennymoor Town 859
  14. Blyth Spartans 801
  15. Nuneaton Borough 799
  16. Guiseley 794
  17. Leamington 666
  18. Brackley Town 645
  19. Alfreton Town 534
  20. Bradford (Park Avenue) 525
  21. Curzon Ashton 449
  22. Ashton United 362

In NL South, champions Torquay topped the averages with 2,551. Woking (2,057) were the only other club with a 2,000+ average.

In National League, 6 clubs had a home average of over 2,000.

  1. Leyton Orient 5,444
  2. Wrexham 5,145
  3. Chesterfield 4,504
  4. Hartlepool United 3,124
  5. Salford City 2,509
  6. Maidstone United 2,178

For all the details see Football Web Pages, a wonderful web site.


  • Sean Newton explained on the I Had Trials Once podcast in June 2024, the spat between Sam Collins and Newton began ahead of a Christmas party, after a 2-0 loss against Boston United on Saturday, December 8 (2018). “We had an ex-manager where Christmas do’s are a two days, where no matter what happens, you’re allowed the Monday off. Hotels were paid, tables were paid and we got beat by Boston, and he said that we were in on Monday. I think that I was the captain as well, I’m just thinking that I’ve got to say something here because I knew that every single of the lads would be out. “I said to the gaffer that we will be in on Monday, and if anyone says otherwise now and I’d be happy to know, but we’re off out for two days. He said that it was fine as long as we’re all at training at 9am on Monday. I got to training on the Monday and Taity [Joe Tait], he’s a cannonball, had smashed his nose up and he’s absolutely loaded, but he dresses like a scruff. He showed up in a long sleeve creamy baggy top on, his nose was massive with a big cut on it, he wore a cap and looked like a doofus. It got to Monday and we hadn’t seen him, we were all training and were wondering where was Taity, he still wasn’t there. He rings us, ‘I’ve had to get a taxi from Newcastle. I’ve had to leave my car, I’ve had to leave my bag’. Everyone was in the changing room, he’s turned up in school socks, shorts and a t-shirt, I think they were from lost and found from where we trained. I’d pulled my groin because there was no water but only alcohol, another lad got injured, all because he [Collins] had gone back on his word.” That was just the beginning of the straining of relationship between captain and manager, with Newton going on to explain how the rumours of his refusal came about. Newton continued: “The same manager leaked to the press that I had refused to play after coming back from my injury, he’s said to go and get fit over the next few days because I was starting. We did 11v11, we drew or lost the game before, so I was staying after training doing loads of running, loads of extras. It comes to the Friday and the squad goes up, and I’m not in it. I’d gone from being on the bench and coming on, getting told I was starting, to not being in it (the squad). So for the first time in my life, I’ve lost my head going into the manager’s office. I’ve gone in and sat there, he’s come in and asked if I want the physio and Parns (Stuart Parnaby who played for Middlesbrough), a legend of a person, to go, and I’ve said no they can stay. I’ve gone ‘what is going on here? You’ve told me I’m starting and I’m not in the squad’. He’s sat back on his chair and put his hands on his head and just said ‘I don’t know what to do’. I’ve gone ‘what? What do you mean you don’t know what to do, you’re the manager’. He’s just said that he doesn’t know if I’m fully fit and how he needs the win, so I’ve said ‘I tell you what you can do, me and you are done, if you’re not putting me in the squad now and we’ve lost when I’ve been coming off of the bench, what chance have I got?’. “He just said that I was probably right because the fans are on you at the minute, so it might take a bit of slack off of him. I’ve just said sound, I’ll find myself a club whilst I’m away, you go and get your results. I think they drew and then won, they beat Darlo [Darlington] at home, he called me back in before the Darlo game and asked where my head was at. I’ve just said I’m going, I’m not happy with how you’ve treated me and I’m going. He’s agreed, shook hands and gone. I’m at the game the next day and someone’s gone ‘have you seen Twitter?’, I’ve gone no and I’ve gone on and seen Sean Newton refuses to play for the club. I actually hadn’t, he hadn’t picked me for the squad, we’d had a disagreement and then agreed that it was best if I moved on, I don’t know if he’s told someone but I’ve got abuse from the York fans for it. To this day, I still think they believe it but I never refused. It’s the manager, be upfront, if he had pulled me on the Friday and said that he doesn’t know if he can play me because of this, then I would have had training to get my head around it. I probably would have disagreed, but at least he would’ve pulled me on it. He’s put the squad list up, I’ve had to read the list like a kid, I was 28 and captain of the club. I’m not even in the squad, he hasn’t told me and is expecting me to just get in my car and drive home. It’s mad, I got three player-of-the-year awards whilst at York and the fans hated me when I left.”

2018/9 Reserves & Intermediates

With Sam Collins named club manager in August, Tim Ryan was appointed Youth Team Manager on November 12th 2018. He had previously worked in youth football at Doncaster Rovers before moving to the Minstermen. A former left back, he’d enjoyed a long lower league career, notably with Doncaster and Southport.

At the end of the 2017/8 season, 2 years after relegation from The Football League and the ending of EPPP (Category 3) funding, which was worth £260,000 in 2016/7 and half that amount in 2017/8, York City left the Elite Player Performance Plan system. From 2018/9, City will have no central funding for youth football. Consequently, the Minstermen had to relinquish EPPP status and pull out of the Football League Youth Alliance. Another immediate effect was that when 16 year old Vinnie Steels left the club in August 2018 (for Burnley when they served 7 days' notice), being under 17, he had been unable to sign a professional contract with City and no EPPP compensation was applicable.

Dave Penney revealed that the loss of jobs, previously funded and required as part of EPPP, adding: "We’ve had a massive restructure because people have had to leave and everything needed to be stream-lined after we lost our funding. We needed seven full-time staff when we were governed by EPPP, but now there will only be two. We have lost some players to other clubs and that will happen because, having left the EPPP Programme, we cannot sign (professionally) players until the age of 17, so have no hold over them. But that doesn’t mean they won’t come back here. "Not every parent wants to take their child to Hull twice a week. Here, from 16 down, we’re keeping things running with parents contributing financially every month and they have been brilliantly supportive." Penney also argued that last season provided an example of how City can offer young hopefuls a first step on the professional ladder long before they might be given an opportunity elsewhere. “People can get in the first team here but, if you go to somewhere like Hull, can you get in the first team, because the fall-off rate is ridiculous for scholars," the ex-Doncaster boss reasoned. "Flynn McNaughton, Vinnie Steels and Ryan Edmondson all made their debuts here last season, so we have that pathway. If clubs around us are releasing players at 15 or 16, we can also be their exit strategy, as a lot of players develop later."

YORK City's youth team will play in the National League Under-19 Alliance with Sporting Director Dave Penney hailing the move as the "perfect solution" to a funding headache. First-year pros Flynn McNaughton, Vinnie Steels, Ryan Whitley, Harry Thompson and Josh Rogerson were eligible to play in the new league”, but Penney reasoned: "We’ll have to decide where they get their football. They could be involved with the first team or go out on loan as well." On the switch to the different league, Penney said: "It’s a good standard. It’s not a college league and I don’t think the standard will drop vastly. "We’ll also still look to get some friendlies on a Saturday against the teams we played last season, as well as some open-age matches to test our lads against men. The EPPP programme guarantees a certain standard, but it also ties you into things to a certain extent. We can now tailor-make our youth department to suit our own requirements. It’s all education-based and the players will still go to York College twice a week and they'll carry on receiving full-time training from 16 to 18. It’s the perfect solution and sits well with us. When we get back into the Football League, we didn’t want to be starting from scratch, so we’re trying to keep the department going as best we can and are able to do that with the continued support of the chairman (Jason McGill)."

Effectively, the competition is for National League teams' youth sides who operate outside EPPP, but is a step down from the previous season. The upper age limit is a year higher at 19, meaning first year professionals are eligible to play. City's home matches are played on Wednesday afternoon (not Saturday mornings) at the Wigginton Road Training Ground unless otherwise stated.

The competition is split into 10 regional divisions. City play in Division I which was won by Guiseley last term, with the Leeds club finishing ahead of South Shields, Halifax, FC United of Manchester, Gateshead, Rochdale, Darlington, Maltby Main, Farsley Celtic and Harrogate Town. National League Under 19 Alliance - Home Page

City bowed out at the second hurdle of The FA Youth Cup, losing to Tadcaster Albion, a team they beat in their first cup tie a season earlier. The competition is run as an Under 18 competition, meaning the first year professionals (McNaughton,Thompson and Rogerson included were ineligible). City reached the quarter finals of the National League Youth Alliance League Cup.

The club will also continue to operate the same number of teams from under-16 downwards, but parents of players will be expected to make contributions towards costs, either through sponsorship or from their own pockets.

Additionally it is envisaged that City will play some "reserve" games to allow professionals outside the first team some match time. Indeed, there was at least one pre season friendly and when Alex Harris joined City in September 2018, it was stated that he had impressed in reserve games against Hartlepool and Leeds (September 18) whilst on trial during the previous 2 weeks.

2018/9 Under 19s

City finished the season in second place with 46 points (from 20 games). Guiseley (54 points) were champions with South Shields (38 points) third.






Wed 05 September

Handsworth Parramore



W 3-1

Wed 12 September




W 3-2

Wed 19 September

Tadcaster Albion



L 1-3

Wed 26 September




D 0-0

Mon 15 October




W 3-1

Wed 31 October




W 9-0

Wed 14 November




W 4-0

Fri 16 November




L 0-2

Wed 21 November




L 0-1

Mon 26 November




L 0-2

Wed 05 December

Romulus FC



W 5-3

Wed 12 December

Halifax Town



W 3-2

Wed 19 December




W 2-1

Wed 09 January

South Shields



L 1-2

Wed 16 January




W 2-1

Fri 25 January

Frickley Athletic



W 6-0

Wed 06 February




L 0-3

Wed 13 February

Basford United (Nottingham)



L 1-1 (3-4 Penalties)

Mon 18 February




W 6-1

Wed 20 February




W 4-0

Wed 27 February

Farsley Celtic



W 5-1

Wed 06 March




W 5-1

Mon 18 March

Harrogate Town



W 2-1

Wed 20 March

Eccleshill United



W 3-2

Wed 27 March




W 2-1

Wed 03 April




W 3-2

Wed 17 April




W 1-0

  1. Handsworth Parramore (A) (05/Sep/18) (FA Youth Cup - Preliminary Round) W 3-1
    GOALS from Isaac Overton, Nathan Dyer, and Aston Harrison booked City's passage to the first qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup as City won 3-1 against Handsworth Parramore in a preliminary round tie at the King of Soho Stadium in Worksop.
    City took the lead after 22 minutes when midfielder Overton, seizing on a defender's header, struck a stunning first-time shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the Handsworth penalty box. There was a close shave for City in the 32nd minute when Handsworth striker Sam Eccles lobbed a shot narrowly wide after breaking free on the edge of the area. However, City doubled their advantage in the 37th minute when captain Dyer lashed a 25-yard free kick into the top corner of the Handsworth net. Handsworth reduced the deficit to 2-1 just before the interval when striker Eccles produced a smart near post finish to score at a corner.
    City restored their two goal advantage three minutes into the second half when winger Harrison rose at the far post to head home a corner from Dyer. Goalkeeper Jack Teale produced a quality save in the 62nd to block a close range shot from Brandon Nguetchuessi at his near post. Teale also dived low to save a header from Ellis Bobby Moore at the subsequent corner. Harrison was denied a second goal for City when Handsworth goalkeeper Daniel Brown tipped his curling left-foot effort around the post. Referee then ignored a strong penalty appeal by City after fullback Charlie Jebson-King appeared to be tripped in the area by Sonny Wilson. Dyer nearly wrapped things up in style in stoppage time but his shot was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Brown.
    City: Teale; Dyer (C), Cawthorn, Watson, Jebson-King; Whitfield (Stuart 69); Harrison (Henderson 80), Overton, Jackson, Haigh (Binsley 83); Ventura. Unused Subs: None noted.
    Handsworth Parramore: Brown, Austin (Foster 52), Dixon, Marbridge, Moore, Geelan (Case 45), Wilson, Dosvora, Eccles, Nguetchuessi (Hunt 80), Hobson. Unused Subs: Gee, Johnson.
    Bookings: Moore (Handsworth)
    Referee: Paul Matthewman
    Attendance: TBC
  2. Frickley Athletic (H) (12/Sep/18) (NL U19 Alliance) W 3-2
    City's youngsters opened the National League Under-19 Alliance campaign with a 3-2 home win over Frickley Athletic at Wigginton Road. Goals from Nathan Dyer and Kiari Ventura gave City a 2-1 interval lead before midfielder Isaac Overton added the third in the second half.
    Head of Youth Dan Wilson said: "We controlled the game well and created a lot of chances. We could have been two or three nil up at halftime but let them back in with a couple of mistakes. We were never dominated in the game and we can control those mistakes in future."
    City: Teale; Dyer (D.Jackson 32, Henderson 70), Cawthorn (Stuart 60), Watson, Jebson-King; W.Jackson, Overton, R.Harrison (Whitfield 65); A.Harrison, Ventura, Haigh (Binsley 80).Unused Subs: -
  3. Tadcaster Albion (A) (19/Sep/18) (FA Youth Cup - 1st Qualifying Round) L 3-1 i2i Stadium. Admission: £3 adults, £1 concessions
    With Head of Youth Dan Wilson in charge, as youth team manager Sam Collins continued as caretaker-charge of the first team, City’s Under 18 side visited Tadcaster Albion who had progressed to the first qualifying round courtesy of an 8-0 victory over Farsley Celtic. Wilson said: "It's an exciting one for the boys as the FA Youth Cup is a fantastic competition and they also know a few of the opposition players. The boys have done really well in our last couple games and we are looking to build on that tonight. "You never know where you could end up playing if you progress far enough in this competition," he added. "The possibilities are endless but you have to focus on getting through the early rounds before you can start dreaming." City's Under-18s went out of the FA Youth Cup following a 3-1 defeat at Tadcaster Albion. Two goals in the final six minutes of the game by Albion striker Jon-Paul Vass took the Brewers into the second qualifying round.
    City had initially fallen behind in the 16th minute when Jon-Paul Turbine beat goalkeeper Jake Teale to a cross and turned the ball home from 12 yards. The home side had been put under pressure for long periods and Aston Harrison nearly levelled on the stroke of halftime when his curling shot came back off the post.
    Teale made a fine save with his legs to keep out a far post header from Vass in the 61st minute and City got back on level terms five minutes later when Albion defender Mikey Hodgson (og) turned a cross from Nathan Dyer past his own goalkeeper. The game looked to be heading for extra-time until Vass ran onto a long ball over the top of the City defence and lobbed goalkeeper Teale with six minutes to play. Vass scored his second goal of the night five minutes later when drilling home from the edge of the box as City attempted to clear a free kick.
    Thus City went out to a side they’d beaten 4-0 a round earlier in last season’s competition.
    City: Teale; Dyer, Cawthorn, Watson, Jebson-King; A.Harrison (Henderson 88), Overton, R.Harrison, W.Jackson, Haigh (D.Jackson 62); Ventura. Unused Subs: Stuart, Whitfield, Binsley.
    Tadcaster Albion: Burn, Higginbotham, Hutton, Hodgson, Scrowston, Watson, Turbine, Allerton, Greenway, Ward, Vass. Hunter. Unused Subs: Sharlotte, Smith, Ribbens, Bleanch, Allinson.
    Referee: TBC
    Attendance: TBC
  4. Gateshead (A) (26/Sep/18) (NL U19 Alliance) D 0-0
  5. Preston North End Myerscough (H) (15/Oct/18) (National League Under-19 Youth Alliance League Cup R1) W 3-1
    Goals from Harry Thompson, Aston Harrison and Ethan Henderson secured a 3-1 victory for City over Preston North End Myerscough in the first round of the National League Under-19 Youth Alliance League Cup. The opponents are a club run in partnership between the Championship club and a local college giving youngsters who missed out on an apprenticeship a second chance.
    City took the lead after half an hour when midfielder Thompson scored with a freekick but Myerscough levelled from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime.
    Winger Aston Harrison restored City's advantage with a deflected shot in the second half before substitute Ethan Henderson wrapped things up with a calm finish following a cross from Charlie Jebson-King.
    Head of Youth Dan Wilson said: "The boys handled the game well and got a good result against a fairly good team. We had started brightly and dominated the early stages but Myerscough got a foothold in the contest after we lost Luke Stuart to injury after 10 minutes and changed formation. The lads were a bit deflated at halftime but they had done OK and controlled possession." Manager Sam Collins spoke to the players at halftime and the team responded with two goals in the second half. "He went through some basics and the players went about the second half in a good manner," said Wilson. "We created a lot of chances and caused them a lot of problems." Wilson praised midfielder Archie Whitfield for his 'hard work and determination' and also highlighted the influence of first year professionals Ryan Whitley and Josh Rogerson at the back for City.
    City: Whitley; Rogerson, Stuart (Whitfield 10), Watson; R.Harrison (Binsley 80), Thompson (D.Jackson HT), W.Jackson, Jebson-King; Overton; Ventura (Henderson 60), A.Harrison. Unused Subs: Teale.
  6. Doncaster Reserves (A) (16/Oct/18) (Friendly) L 2-3
    A City reseve side lost 3-2 in a behind closed doors friendly away to Doncaster Rovers. City, featuring Parkin, York, Parslow and Kempster plus youngsters went 2 up before losing. 2 first year scholars impressed Sam Collins. NB Game reported on 17/Oct/18, so assumed played on Tuesday 16/Oct/18 as the City U19 beat Preston on Monday 15/Oct/18.
  7. Harrogate Town (H) (31/Oct/18) (NL U19 Alliance) W 9-0
    City recorded an impressive 9-0 victory over neighbours Harrogate Town to move top of their division in the National League Under-19 Alliance.
    Striker Ethan Henderson led the way with a hat-trick followed by goals from Aston Harrison (2), Archie Whitfield, Luca Binsley, Luke Jones and Will Jackson.
    Head of Youth Dan Wilson said: “It was a really strong performance from the team and professional from start to finish. We asked them to do two things before the game – concentrate and be clinical - and we were excellent at both.”
    City: Whitley; Rogerson (Jones HT, Binsley 55), Stuart, Watson; R.Harrison, Whitfield, W.Jackson, Jebson-King, A.Harrison; Henderson, Ventura (Evans HT); Unused Subs: Teale
  8. Farsley Celtic (H) (14/Nov/18) (NL U19 Alliance) W 4-0
    Goals from Harry Thompson, Ethan Henderson, Kiari Ventura and Dom Jackson secured City a 4-0 victory over Farsley Celtic.
    New Youth Team Manager, Tim Ryan praised the contribution of first year professional Harry Thompson who is still playing for City's Under-19s despite currently being on loan to Billingham Town. "We want Harry to get a smile on his face and enjoy his football. He was brilliant against Farsley and I gave him the captaincy as a senior player. Basically, I wanted Harry and Josh Rogerson to push the team on and help the younger lads - which they did and that was really pleasing."
    City: Teale; Binsley (Cawthorn 60), Rogerson, Watson (Stuart 75), Jebson-King; R.Harrison (Overton 70), Whitfield, W.Jackson; A.Harrison (D.Jackson 75), Henderson (Ventura 60), Thompson (C).
  9. Salford City (H) (16/Nov/18) (National League Under-19 Youth Alliance League Cup R2) L 0-2
    City were re-instated as Salford fielded an ineligible player.
    City: Teale; R.Harrison, Rogerson, Watson, Jebson-King; Overton (D.Jackson HT), Whitfield, W.Jackson; A.Harrison, Ventura (Henderson 55), Thompson (Haigh 60); Unused Subs: Binsley, Stuart
  10. Sheffield Wednesday Reserves (H) (20/Nov/18) (Friendly) W 3-2
    City chief Sam Collins said: “We played a reserve game against Sheffield Wednesday this week and quite a few players in and around the squad made a big impact. We won 3-2 and they had players like Sam Hutchinson, George Boyd and Daniel Pudil in their team. Some of their players were on £35,000 a week, but Macaulay Langstaff got a couple of goals and Alex Harris did really well. I think, with Alex, he hadn’t played a lot of football when he came here and, after doing really well for us, he went a little bit flat after quite a few games close together. But we’ve given him a little breather and he looks hungry and good to go again, so he’s in my mind because he can create things for you and we need to do better in and around the final third. Joe Tait also played half a game against Sheffield Wednesday and did well. It’s good to have him back and he’s a really good character to have around the group". Youth-team duo Reiss Harrison and Archie Whitfield, meanwhile, are edging closer to first-team debuts after also catching Collins’ eye against the Owls. Harrison, 17, has signed pro terms despite being a first-year scholar like Whitfield with Collins adding: “The two young lads who did well against Northallerton in the County Cup did again against Sheffield Wednesday and it all boils down to how hard they work. “They close people down and I want to see that in first-team games. Reiss was on the bench at Swindon and he’s getting to the point where he’s starting to put some of the senior players under real proper pressure. Every time he trains with us, and every time he plays in a game for us, he’s standing out. Young Archie travelled with us to Swindon too and just missed out on a place on the bench. They’re both central midfielders and are in the same boat. They’re brave and fearless, so they are in my head and I feel they have got to be with me all the time in the first-team environment, because they’re not hiding, they’re excelling. Archie is still only 16 but, if they keep doing what they are doing and I have to put them in ahead of a 32-year-old, I will do because they will have deserved their chance and, if it keeps the other players on their toes, so be it.”
  11. Darlington (A) (21/Nov/18) (NL U19 Alliance) L 0-1
    City went down 1-0 to Darlington who had been reduced to ten men shortly before the interval following a red card challenge on midfielder Reiss Harrison. City enjoyed the majority of the possession in the second half but were unable to find a way through Darlington's defence and conceded on the counter-attack in the last minute of the game.
    Youth team manager Tim Ryan said: "It was an awful pitch and the players need to use the game as a learning experience. They are not always going to be playing on nice pitches with nice facilities like we have at our football club. We must learn to combat all sorts of elements and how to deal with playing against 10 men. As long as we do that, the lads will be better for the experience".
    City: Whitley; Cawthorn, Stuart, Watson; R.Harrison, Thompson(C), Whitfield, Jebson-King; A.Harrison (D.Jackson 60); Ventura, Henderson (Overton HT). Unused subs: Binsley, Haigh.
  12. Guiseley (H) (26/Nov/18) (NL U19 Alliance) L 0-2
    City's Under 19 lost their top of the table fixture to Guiseley 2-0. The Leeds team have now opened up a five point gap over the 3rd placed City, Sam Collins added, "There wasn’t a lot in the game, but our lads missed a lot of chances. Along with the likes of Reiss Harrison and Archie Whitfield, Jake Watson is also doing well at the moment”.
    City: Whitley; D.Jackson, Watson (Binsley),Cawthorn Jebson-King (Overton); A.Harrison, Whitfield, Evans, Thompson (Haigh); Stuart, Ventura (Henderson). Unused subs: Teale.
  13. Romulus FC (A) (05/Dec/18) (National League Under-19 Youth Alliance League Cup R3) W 5-3
    Striker Kiari Ventura scored a hat-trick as City won 5-3 at Romulus FC in the third round of the National League Under-19 Alliance League Cup. Aston Harrison and substitute Ethan Henderson were also on target as City took a 4-0 lead in the game but they were pegged back in the second half.
    City had been re-instated to the competition after second round opponents Salford City fielded an ineligible player.
    City Win 5-3 - Action Pictures
    Youth team manager Tim Ryan was delighted with the performance against Birmingham-based Romulus whose senior team play in the Midland League Premier Division. “It was a brilliant performance and the first time since I have arrived that the lads really showed what we have been working on the training ground. There was a lot more urgency, better organisation, and we did the right things at the right times. We were 4-0 up and if we had come away with a clean sheet it would have been a good professional performance. But, credit to Romulus, they had a couple of lads who are playing at Evo-Stik south level and they came back late in the game and put a lot of pressure on. We weathered that pressure and, overall, the lads were brilliant.”
    Commenting on striker Ventura, Ryan said: “Over the last few weeks, his work-rate has been setting the standard for the rest of the team. His work rate doesn’t always get the rewards it deserves but, it did on this occasion, and afterwards he felt it was the hardest he had worked in a game. He knows he has still got a lot to work to do but he is an honest kid who turns up every day with a smile on his face and, hopefully, we can progress him as a player.”
    City: Whitley; Cawthorn, Rogerson (C), Watson; Whitfield; D.Jackson, Evans, W.Jackson (Stuart 87), Dixon; Ventura (Overton 65), A.Harrison (Henderson 55); Unused Subs: -
  14. Halifax Town (A) (12/Dec/18) (NL U19 Alliance) W 3-2
    Goals from Ventura, Henderson and Jebson-King saw City win 3-2. Thanks to Halifax for the match report.
    York found themselves playing long ball football towards their strikers a lot but the Town defence did well to handle the situations. The first real chance came from a Halifax set piece. Edward Tordoff whipped the ball towards Jay Benn from a corner who found himself in acres of space and narrowly headed over the crossbar. However, set pieces were coming a lot from the other end too with City just not taking their chances.
    Ousman Cham found himself in a position to put Town ahead as he was slid through 1 v 1 with the City keeper. He had the option of cutting the ball back or shooting first time but instead chopped inside giving the City defence time to intercept.
    There weren’t any goals in the first half, but the second half proved to be the turning point. Haliax started the half strong keeping the ball in the City final third numerous times.
    The first goal came from Jake Taylor-Mountford who powered his header into the top corner putting Halifax ahead. However, not long after did City equalise as they got the ball out wide to the winger who curled his pass around the left centre back of Halifax Karamo Sesay.
    The pass looked overhit as Callum Bromley, the Halifax keeper come out to contest it. But Kiari Ventura was able to just get his foot round the ball.
    The atmosphere of the game really began to change as both teams battled for the second goal. It was Halifax who went up ahead again with Jay Benn putting the team ahead with his first-time side footer which sprayed into the top right corner.
    City began to put pressure on as they got a chance from a cross which Callum Bromley saved exceptionally well. City had a couple free kicks which came close to being converted to goals, but the Halifax keeper did well to prevent this.
    However, City equalised from Bromley stopping a cross which seemed have spilled out of his hands and the City substitute Ethan Henderson was in the right place at right time as he was able to just get a toe to the ball a yard away from goal.
    The game got to its most intense period with only 2 minutes left to play. Ousman Cham tried to slide through Jake Taylor but the pass got intercepted. In the last minute, the City centre half played a long ball towards the left wingback. The ball went over the Halifax right backs head and City wing back tapped the ball around Halifax centre back before winger Charlie Jebson-King struck with a half volley from 15 yards into the bottom right corner in the fourth minute of added time.
    Youth team manager Tim Ryan felt the team's fitness was a key factor in the victory. "The fitness levels from our lads were superior, they work on their fitness and strength and conditioning two or three times a week and we are now starting to reap the benefits. Halifax were well organised and they gave everything for 90 minutes but they were flat on their backs to lose in the 94th minute. It's been a good few weeks. The lads are buzzing and it was important to follow-up the Cup victory at Romulus with a victory in the league. The reaction from the lads after the winning goal was fantastic. We had a 20-man huddle and it showed that we are all in it together. Since I have been here, Dan Wilson (Head of Youth) and I have been trying to build a work ethic and a team ethic. We speak daily with Sam Collins and we are trying, as a youth team, to replicate the work of the first team so when players get asked to step up and train with the first team, they are better prepared. The lads are starting to take everything on board now. They set the standard in the Cup win at Romulus – by doing the right things at the right times - and now we have to replicate that on a consistent basis. If we do that, they have a better chance of getting in and around the first team environment.".
    City: Whitley; Cawthorn, Rogerson (C), Watson; Whitfield; Evans, W.Jackson (Overton 75), Binsley (Henderson 60), Jebson-King; A.Harrison, Ventura; Unused Subs: Teale, Stuart, Haigh
  15. Carlisle (H) (19/Dec/18) (NL U19 Alliance) W 2-1
    Goals from Ethan Henderson and a late winner from Aston Harrison saw City win 2-1.
    Academy Manager, Tim Ryan noted, We have worked really hard over the past month or so on our fitness and it shnoe through as Aston scored the winner in the 88th minute .
    City: Whitley; Rogerson (C), Jebson-King, Whitfield, Cawthorn; Watson, A.Harrison, Evans (D.Jackson 80); Ventura (Jones 60), W.Jackson, Henderson (Overton 57); Unused Subs: Binsley, Stuart
  16. South Shields (A) (09/Jan/19) (NL U19 Alliance) L 1-2
    City conceded 2 late goals to go down 2-1 after Will Jackson had give City the lead.
    Two late goals denied City's Under-19s a fourth consecutive victory on Wednesday afternoon against South Shields in the National League U19 Alliance. Tim Ryan's side enjoyed a 100 per cent record in December - beating FC Halifax Town and Carlisle United in the league and Romulus FC in the League Cup. City were leading 1-0, courtesy of a goal from Will Jackson, but conceded twice in the final 15 minutes to lose 2-1. The game took place at the Silksworth Sports Complex in Sunderland.
    Academy Manager, Tim Ryan took plenty of positives from the game, It was a long, hard shift against South Shields who were, by far, the best team I have seen in our section. They had a lot of possession and, after defending for long periods, tired legs were beginning to show and we made a defensive lapse. We are learning how to go away from home against really tough opposition, keep our shape, and work our socks off. Percentage wise, possession was 70:30, and we had long periods without the ball, but defensively, we were brilliant and so was Ryan Whitley in the net. Their manager praised our fitness levels".
    City: Whitley; Dyer, Jebson-King, Whitfield, Watson; Rogerson(C), Evans (D.Jackson 87), Cawthorn; Ventura (Henderson 70), W.Jackson, Henderson (Overton 60); Unused Subs: Binsley
  17. Chester (H) (16/Jan/19) (National League Under-19 Youth Alliance League Cup R4) W 2-1
    Substitutes Ethan Henderson and Kiari Ventura scored late goals as City knocked holders Chester FC, previously unbeaten ths season, out of the National League Under-19 Alliance Cup at Bootham Crescent. Henderson headed City level in the 73rd minute before Ventura turned the ball home at a corner with just seven minutes to play. The visitors had taken the lead four minutes before the interval when midfielder Cain Noble - one of three first team players in the Chester line-up - drilled the ball home after goalkeeper Ryan Whitley spilled the ball at a corner.
    City's line-up included Nathan Dyer at rightback along with three Under-16s - Matty Dixon, Alfie Evans, and Luke Jones. New manager Steve Watson was looking on from the stands along with sporting director Dave Penney, physio Ian Gallagher, and injured midfielder Simon Heslop.
    Whitley produced a good save early on to deny Louis Hayes while Dyer had a shot blocked in the Chester area following a cross from Charlie Jebson-King. Chester's Lloyd Marsh-Hughes struck the foot of the post with a low drive after 25 minutes while goalkeeper Alex Atton produced a flying save to tip over a header from Aston Harrison after a great delivery from the right by Dyer. Captain Josh Rogerson was booked for a foul on Iwan Murray and Whitley pushed the subsequent freekick from Molyneux around the post. Whitley then saved a terrific volley from Stuart Crilly at the corner. Chester took the lead four minutes before halftime when Whitley dropped the ball under pressure at a corner and Noble drilled home a low shot. City appealed in vain for a foul on Whitley who had come off his line to try and catch in a crowded penalty area.
    Harrison should have equalised for City in the 53rd minute but his close-range header from Dyer's cross flew over the crossbar. Striker Jones was ruled narrowly offside in the 62nd minute after rising to head home another excellent cross from Dyer. However, City finally got back on level terms with 17 minutes to go when substitute (b)Ethan Henderson headed home a left-wing cross to the far post from Jebson-King. City snatched victory seven minutes later when Chester's defence switched off and Dyer's near post corner was deflected over the line by . Dion Jones spurned a late opportunity to equalize for the visitors but drilled wide when unmarked on the edge of the penalty area.
    City are now in the last eight of the competition having previously beaten Preston North End Myerscough and Romulus FC and been re-instated when second round opponents Salford City fielded an ineligible player.
    City: Whitley; Rogerson (C), Jebson-King, Whitfield, Watson, Dixon, Dyer, Evans, Jones (Ventura 72), Overton (Jackson 63), Harrison (Henderson 54); Unused Subs: Binsley, Cawthorn.
    Chester: Atton; Butterworth, Molyneux, Cottrell, Jones (C), Clarke, Crilly, Noble, Marsh-Hughes, Murray (Edwards 88), Hayes (Goodwin 88). Unused Subs: Ruffer, Jones.
  18. Frickley Athletic (A) (25/Jan/19) (NL U19) W 6-0
    City's Under-19s climbed to third place in the National League Under-19 Alliance Division I after a 6-0 victory over Frickley Athletic. Strikers Ethan Henderson and Kiara Ventura both scored twice and captain Josh Rogerson and substitute Aston Harrison were also on target.
    City have now won five of their last six games in all competitions including the 2-1 victory over holders Chester at Bootham Crescent in the National League Cup. City's opponents in the quarterfinal of the Cup will be Nottingham-based Basford United who are currently fourth in Division G. The game is scheduled to take place at Basford's Greenwich Avenue ground on Wednesday February 13.
    Reflecting on Friday afternoon's victory over Frickley, youth team manager Tim Ryan said: "It was a comfortable win but the lads stayed disciplined and organised and goalkeeper Jake Teale kept a clean sheet. The stand-out performers were Josh Rogerson and Jake Watson at the back."
    The game was originally scheduled for January 23 but was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
    City: Teale; Rogerson (C), Cawthorn, Watson; Binsley (Overton 70), R.Harrison, D.Jackson, W.Jackson (Whitfield 57), Jebson-King (Anderson 80); Ventura (A.Harrison HT), Henderson; Unused Subs: -
    Frickley Athletic:
  19. Guiseley (A) (06/Feb/19) (NL U19 Alliance) L 0-3
    Youth team manager Tim Ryan said: "In the first half we were second best all over the pitch. We defended in numbers but were justifiably 1-0 down at the interval. We were playing on a tight, astroturf pitch and we were over-playing in certain areas of the field,. At half time, I asked the players to liven up and be more 'streetwise'. In fairness to the lads, they did exactly what we wanted, we also rotated a few positions,and we were right in the game for 25-30 minutes. On another day, we might have nicked a goal and got something out of the game, but Guiseley scored with 15 minutes to go after a defensive lapse in concentration. 3 minutes later, we conceded a penalty which made it 3-0. Guiseley have only lost one game all season and are justifiably top of the league. We always try to take positives out of the game and we produced half an hour of good quality attacking football at a good tempo when we were more than a match for a team that is likely to win the league. But the last 5 minutes and the first half were not acceptable or what I want from my team. I think we showed Guiseley too much respect. For such a young lad, he (Alfie Evans) leads by example and demands from others. He is a player with a bright future and has signed on for us next season."
    City: Whitley; Rogerson (C), Cawthorn (Overton 80), Watson, Dyer, Whitfield, Evans, Jebson-King (W Jackson HT), A Harrison (D Jackson 80), Jones (Ventura 55), Henderson (Anderton 80); Unused Subs: Teale

    Frickley Athletic:
  20. Basford United (A) (13/Feb/19) (National League Under-19 Youth Alliance League Cup Quarter Final) L 1-1 (3-4 Penalties)
    City's U19s will return to league action against Gateshead on Monday afternoon after losing on penalties to Basford United in midweek in the quarter final of the National League U19 Alliance League Cup.
    Tim Ryan's side fell behind to an early Lloyd Patterson headed goal at Greenwich Avenue but Charlie Jebson-King equalised from the penalty spot with 18 minutes to play.
    The game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and went straight to a penalty shoot-out which City lost 4-3.
    City's goalscorers in the shoot-out were Will Jackson, Jack Cawthorn, and Josh Rogerson. Jebson-King's penalty was saved and Nathan Dyer shot the final penalty over the crossbar.
    Youth team manager Tim Ryan said: "We have produced our best performances this season in the League Cup and although we are now out, there are still load of positives to take from getting this far. I would even go so far to say the best team lost on the day based on possession and goalscoring chances. We were so dominant it was untrue. Obviously we were gutted to lose on penalties, it is one of the worst feelings in football, but the lads can hold their heads up high. You don't always get what you deserve in football and there are usually more knocks than highs, so it wil serve as a learning curve. We always looked the fitter, stonger team but we just lacked a tiny bit of cutting edge. If we can maintain that standard of performance for the rest of the season in the league, results will be good and we will all be happy."
    City: Whitley; Rogerson, Cawthorn, Watson; Dyer, Whitfield, A.Harrison, W.Jackson, Jebson-King; Jones (Anderson 85), Henderson (Overton 60); Unused Subs: Binsley, D.Jackson, Teale.
    Basford United:
  21. Gateshead (H) (18/Feb/19) (NL U19) W 6-1
    City's Under-19s romped to a 6-1 victory over second placed Gateshead FC (who were 4 points and 2 places above City) in National League U19 Alliance Division I.
    Top scorer Ethan Henderson took his tally for the season to 14 with a 20 minute second half hat trick while Kiari Ventura, Charlie Jebson-King, and Aston Harrison were also on target.
    Tim Ryan noted, "They were sitting comfortably above us in second place so we had to prepare properly for the game. The lads played with smiles on their faces and ran out convincing winners. For the first time this season, we really dominated one of the top teams in our division."
    City: Whitley; Rogerson (C), Cawthorn (Binsley 65), Watson; Dyer, Whitfield, W.Jackson, Jebson-King, Anderson (D.Jackson 55); Henderson, A.Harrison (Ventura 60); Unused Subs: Teale.
  22. Chesterfield (H) (18/Feb/19) (Friendly) W
    Meanwhile at the same time, at Bootham Crescent, manager Steve Watson ran the rule over a couple of trialists during a victory in a private friendly against Chesterfield. The side included the vast majority of the players who missed out on playing time during Saturday's 2-1 victory over Kidderminster Harriers in Vanarama National League.
    Details are scarce, but Ryan Cresswell who had been training with City, and part of the reason for arranging the friendly, did not play as he'd signed for Mickleover Sports over the weekend. Steve Watson had hoped to play 3 trialists, but it is believed it was less than 3 who turned out. However, the game allowed several City squad members to get a full 90 minutes of game time.
    City: TBC; Unused Subs: -
  23. Eccleshill (H) (20/Feb/19) (NL U19 Alliance) W 4-0
    Goals from Ethan Henderson (2), Nathan Dyer and an own goal saw City record a 4-0 win.
    The game marked the debuts of midfielders Oli Jordan, son of Scott Jordan, the former City midfielder and one of our scorers in our 1995 League Cup win over Manchester United and Blake Drury. Tim Ryan added, "Oli and Blake are 2 of our Under 16s who have agreed to join us next year. They both performed to a good standard, alongside lads who are 2 or 3 years older in some cases, and didn't look out of place. Over the course of the remaining 8 or 9 league games, I want to give a number of the U16s an opportunity. We have already done that with the likes of Alfie Evans, Matty Dixon and Luke Jones. All those who reach 16 between now and the end of the seaon will be given game time with one eye on next year. It gets them up to speed with youth team football, the tempo and physicality, and helps them get used to the lads they will be playing with next season. So far we have offered places on our Under 19 programme to 8 players. That shows there is good progression in our Academy and, hopefully, with a year or 2 under their belts, they will be pushing towards the first team."
    City: Teale; Binsley (D Jackson 45), Rogerson (C), Watson; Drury, R Harrison, (A Harrison 70), Jordan (W Jackson 85), Whitfield, Dyer; Henderson (Ventura 55), Jebson-King (Anderson 75); Unused Subs: -
  24. Farsley Celtic (A) (27/Feb/19) (NL U19 Alliance) W 5-1
    Goals from Ethan Henderson (3, his 3rd hat trick of the season), Kiari Ventura and Jack Cawthorn saw City record a 5-1 win.
    City: Teale; Rogerson (C), Jebson-King, Whitfield, Watson, Cawthorn, R Harrison, D Jackson, Ventura, W Jackson, A Harrison; Subs: Henderson, Overton, Anderson, Binsley
  25. Darlington (H) (06/Mar/19) (NL U19 Alliance) W 5-1
    Goals from Kiari Ventura (3), Alfie Evans and Ethan Henderson saw City record a second successive 5-1 win.
    The win maintains pressure on leaders Guisley.
    City: Teale; Rogerson (C), Jebson-King (Binsley 75), Whitfield, Watson, Cawthorn, R Harrison (W Jackson 54), Evans, Ventura (A Harrison 80), Overton (D Jackson 67), Henderson (Anderson 68); Unused Subs: -
  26. Harrogate (A) (18/Mar/19) (NL U19 Alliance) W 2-1
    First half goals from Ethan Henderson and Kiari Ventura saw City record a 2-1 win. However keeper, Jake Teale was the hero saving penalties as City threatened to squander a 2 goal lead.
    Tim Ryan said, "The lads approached the game with the wrong mentality and it was a massively out of sorts performance from start to finish. We had beatan Harrogate 9-0 earlier in the season but you shouldn't take any opposition lightly until the game is won. Our mindset and mentality going into the game was simply not where it should have been. I was pleased for Jake (Teale), he has had to look up to Ryan (Whitley) and wait patiently for game time, but, over the last few months, he has made steady progression and is definitely a more competent goalkeeper. It will be up to Jake to secure the number one spot in the U19s next season although other challengers may also be coming in".
    City: Teale; Binsley (D Jackson 70), Rogerson (C), Watson, W Jackson, Whitfield, R Harrison (Overton HT), A Harrison (Anderson 60), Jebson-King, Ventura, Henderson; Unused Subs: -
  27. Eccleshill United (A) (20/Mar/19) (NL U19 Alliance) W 3-2
    Goals from Charlie Jebson-King, Ethan Henderson and Alfie Evans saw City record a 3-2 win.
    Tim Ryan said, "We dominated the first half and looked comfortable in possession. We led 1-0 at the interval but we took the foot off the gas and they gave us a massive scare in the second half and went 2-1 up. I reminded the players that they need to keep impressing if they want to push on to the next step of their career. Set targets to be the best you possibly can and don't stop trying to impress until you finish your career".
    City: Teale; Dyer, Rogerson (C), Watson, W Jackson, Whitfield, Evans, Jordan, Jebson-King, Ventura, Henderson; Unused Subs: Overton, Binsley, Anderson, D Jackson, A Harrison
  28. Halifax Town (H) (27/Mar/19) (NL U19 Alliance) W 2-1
    SEVEN UP!! City's U19s made it seven consecutive wins in the league when beating Halifax Town 2-1 at Wigginton Road. Winger Charlie Jebson-King and striker Kiari Ventura scored the goals. At the other end Ryan Whitley made a double penalty save. Well done lads!
    Tim Ryan said, "It was a much better and strong disciplined performance against a good side. We kept our shape and made it hard for them to get behind the lines".
    City: Whitley; Rogerson (C), Jebson-King, Jordan, Watson, Whitfield, Dyer (A Harrison 84), Evans, Ventura, W Jackson (Overton 68), Henderson; Unused Subs: D Jackson, Binsley, Anderson
  29. Carlisle (A) (03/Apr/19) (NL U19 Alliance) W 3-2
    EIGHT UP!! City's U19s made it eight consecutive league wins when winning 3-2 away to Carlisle United with goals from Ventura, Harrison (A), and an 88th minute Jebson-King penalty.
    Tim Ryan said, "It took a few months to change our style of play but we are now producing more mature and high tempo performances. We have played some top teams late on in the season and to finish second is credit to the players who have come in every day and worked their socks off, trying to improve and striving to push for the first team. We went into the Carlisle game missing a lot of players through injury but the lads who came in took their chance and it was one of the most pleasing performances of the season. Carlisle's players are all 19 and many are already playing 'men's football' but we stood up to the physical challenge and played some good football".
    City: Teale, Dyer, Whitfield, Drury, Jebson-King, Jordan (D Jackson 72), R Harrison, Evans, Overton (Anderson 79), Ventura, A Harrison; Unused Sub: Binsley
  30. South Shields (H) (17/Apr/19) (NL U19 Alliance) W 1-0
    NINE UP!! City's U19s made it nine consecutive league wins when beating South Shields 1-0 in their final game of the season to secure runners up spot, behind Guiseley who retained their title. Left winger Charlie Jebson-King scored the only goal of the game, the fourth consecutive game in which he'd scored.
    Dan Wilson, Head Of Youth, said, "The opposition have been the best footballing team in the league this season, but they were limited to just 2 shots on target which tells you the lads are doing something right. It was a fantastic result and a really well managed game by the players".
    City: Teale, Whitfield, Rogerson, Watson, Dyer, Evans (Overton 75), Jordan, W Jackson (R Harrison 60), Jebson-King, A Harrison (Jones 60), Ventura; Unused Sub: D Jackson, Binsley

2018/9 Youth Team Scorers: Henderson 22, Ventura 17, Harrison (A) 9, Jebson-King 7, Dyer 3, Evans 2, Jackson (W) 2, Overton 2, Thompson 2, Binsley 1, Cawthorn 1, Jackson (D) 1, Jones 1, Rogerson 1, Whitfield 1. Own Goals 2. NB League goals, FA Youth Cup and other youth cup games included. Excluded are NRSC and all first team and reserve team games.

With top scorers Ethan Henderson (22 goals from 15 starts and 10 sub appearances), not 17 until May 2019 and Kiari Ventura only just 17, they’ve another full scholarship season ahead of them. It is to be hoped that they continue their development in our Under 19 side along with the new intake, including highly rated Alfie Evans, Luke Jones and Oli (son of Scott) Jordan, signing 2 year scholarship contracts on leaving school this summer in readiness for starting their City careers in July 2019. Given the core of the side should be the same that finished runners up this season, it is not unrealistic to look to improve on their league runners up spot and cup quarter final. As ever, some of the best 16 year olds from the York area will start their scholarship careers with Leeds, Max McMillan (son of Andy) included, but that has always been the case and some things will never change. It what happens after 16 that counts.

North Riding Senior Cup

  1. Northallerton Town (A) (07/Nov/18) (North Riding Senior Cup - Round 1) W 4-0
    Goals from Jake Wright, Dan Jones (OG), Alex Kempster, and Wes York secured a comfortable 4-0 victory for City tonight at Northallerton Town in the first round of the North Riding Senior Cup. Manager Sam Collins named six players with first team experience in the starting line-up - captain Joe Tait, strikers Jake Wright and Alex Kempster, winger Wes York, and defenders Tom Allan and Nathan Dyer.
    City made the better start and Dyer forced goalkeeper Tom Dawson into a diving save from a freekick. Josh Keogh shot over the bar for Town from 25 yards and City goalkeeper Ryan Whitley came off his line to save at the feet of Nicky Martin. Striker Wright needed lengthy treatment after a bad challenge on the halfway line by Town defender Jones but was soon back in the thick of the action. Jones made a last-ditch tackle to stop Wright scoring from close-range after goalkeeper Dawson saved York's initial shot. With 2 City goals already disallowed, there was nothing Town could do to prevent Wright putting City ahead in the 32nd minute with a perfectly executed shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box. Town, who are currently fifth in the Northern League Division Two, were unlucky not go in level at the break as Aaron Ramsbottom bundled the ball over the bar from inside the six yard box and midfielder Damon Reaks struck the crossbar with a 25 yard freekick.
    City doubled their advantage almost immediately after the break when Town defender Jones turned a cross from Dyer past his own goalkeeper under pressure from Wright and Kempster. Kempster added a third for City just a few minutes later - shooting smartly past Dawson from 18 yards after exchanging passes with Wright. Town defender Andrew Ramsbottom headed a chipped effort from Wright off the line before Wes York made it 4-0 in the 64th minute with a right-footed shot that floated over goalkeeper Dawson and inside his far post. Jack Proctor nearly scored a consolation goal for Town in the 74th minute but his fierce drive from the edge of the area grazed the top of the crossbar.
    City: Whitley, Dyer, Jebson-King, Allan, Tait (Watson 69), R.Harrison (Ventura 69), Whitfield, W.Jackson, Kempster, Wright (A.Harrison 61), York. Unused Subs: Stuart, Teale (GK).
    Northallerton Town: Dawson, Pattinson, Andrew Ramsbottom, McWaters, Jones, Proctor, Reaks, Keogh, Martin, Aaron Ramsbottom, McGlade. Unused Subs: Shepherd, Walker, Noble.
    Referee: Tom Ross
    Attendance: 267
  2. Redcar Athletic (H) (15/01/19) (North Riding Senior Cup - Quarter Final) W 6-1
    Goals from Jon Parkin, Kallum Griffiths, Joe Tait, Liam Agnew, Macaulay Langstaff and Alex Kempster saw City beat Redcar Athletic 6-1 and ease the Minstermen into the semi-finals of the North Riding Senior Cup. Stuart Browne got the Northern League second division side's consolation.
    Ex-Gateshead chief Steve Watson watched the first 75 minutes of the match, scribbling notes in the directors’ box, where City chairman Jason McGill also looked on, having been absent from first-team games for a number of weeks, before joining his assistant Micky Cummins in the dugout for the remainder of the match, where he witnessed a red card for on-loan Harrogate midfielder Agnew for supposed dangerous play.
    Wes York made a bright start for the hosts, firing wide from 25 yards in the second minute. After Tait had sliced a clearance from Gary Wood’s left-wing cross narrowly wide of Adam Bartlett’s goal, York then lifted a ball in from the right that saw Parkin open the scoring on seven minutes with a header that looped over Redcar keeper Will Lawrence. Within a minute, the Minstermen had doubled their advantage when Kempster cleverly lifted the ball into the path of a rampaging Griffiths, who drilled a firm diagonal drive into Lawrence’s bottom-right corner. York went on to call Lawrence into action from an acute angle, while the away keeper also pushed Langstaff’s edge-of-the-box effort around his near post. On 24 minutes, Kempster could not get enough purchase on Griffiths’ cross to extend Lawrence, before Sam Calvert headed the visitors’ only chance of the half over from ten yards. Kempster, meanwhile, cleared the goal from point-blank range after meeting Sean Newton’s corner in the air, but Griffiths went closer when he thumped the crossbar from a 25-yard free kick. City continued to create openings with Newton’s 20-yard attempt gathered by Lawrence, who subsequently threw up an arm to deny Parkin as he bore down on the away goal. Tait added a third, though, on 42 minutes when he collected the loose ball following a blocked York shot and turned to find the roof of the net in confident fashion from eight yards. The half finished with Parkin aiming a free kick too high, following a foul on Langstaff.
    Half-time sub Agnew made it 4-0 from the first attack of the second period, firing an emphatic 20-yard shot past Lawrence following Langstaff's lay-off on 49 minutes. But the visitors reduced the deficit two minutes later with their first on-target attempt as poor City defending saw Gary Redman seize on a bouncing ball in the box with Browne then reacting sharpest to crash an eight-yard effort in off the bar. Within seconds, Adam Preston might have added a second, but headed straight at skipper-for-the-night Bartlett. At the other end, Langstaff left Matthew Crossman on his backside but drove his 15-yard effort straight at Lawrence, before Hamza Bencherif's header from a Newton free kick was also routinely gathered. Newton curled another free kick narrowly wide from 30 yards, but centre-back Browne might have grabbed his second goal of the night moments later when he was given a free header from Joe Bennett's corner, but cleared the crossbar. On 82 minutes, City were delivered a blow when Agnew was red carded despite appearing to win the ball following a strong challenge on Redman, who had been afforded far too much space down the City right channel throughout the second period. Away sub Lance Skelton went on to head over from another corner, before Langstaff capitalised on a mistake to charge through on goal and finish firmly into Lawrence's bottom-left corner on 88 minutes. The rout was then completed in the first minute of stoppage time when Kempster exchanged passes with Parkin through the left channel and found an empty net after deftly lifting the ball over an advancing Lawrence.
    New assistant manager Micky Cummins insisted that York City need more “urgency, excitement and positivity”. Despite the margin of victory, Cummins felt the display highlighted why the Minstermen currently find themselves sitting sixth bottom in the National League North table, pointing out: “The result was always going to go our way, but it was clear what’s missing here from the performance. We need a bit of tempo, urgency, excitement and positivity. I lost count of the number of sideways passes we made and me and the gaffer have an attacking philosophy and that’s what we want at the club. There has to be enthusiasm and a spark, because that then translates to the crowd as well. We want midfielders breaking lines and full-backs marauding forward and putting crosses in, but everything seemed to be safe and, without meaning any disrespect to Redcar, we should have been running all over them. We should have been dominant and looked stronger and fitter but, at times, we got brushed aside and reacted a bit slowly. It’s all stuff we can work on, though, and I don’t want to point fingers and criticise.”
    In a disjointed second period, Redcar had further opportunities to net, with Cummins particularly perturbed by a vulnerability at dead-ball situations. The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international added: “They had too many opportunities at set-pieces and we looked like we were going to concede from those situations, so that’s another area we’ve got to work on.” Cummins went on to stress the need for more players who will inspire and guide those around them, arguing: “There aren’t many leaders and there’s some manoeuvrability in terms of what we can bring in, but our first job is to get what we have on the front foot.”
    With Simon Heslop injured, Jordan Burrow was the only senior player rested from squad duty, while David Ferguson and Jake Wright were unused subs, with Cummins insisting: “You can’t read anything into the starting line-up. We just looked at the last few games and at the lads who needed minutes. In the videos we watched, Jordan had played a lot of minutes and we felt it was an opportunity to look at other players. He still did a bit of running, though, so he didn’t have the day off.”
    Agnew was red-carded for a foul on Redcar winger Gary Redman, but the suspension will not apply to National League North games and Cummins questioned whether the on-loan Harrogate Town midfielder should have been dismissed in any case. "It was sloppy play on our part, because Josh (Law) lost the ball with a square pass and I then thought Aggers was well within his rights to make a challenge,” the former Port Vale midfielder declared. “It wasn’t a lunge, it was a slide but, because the ball was in the air, their lad made a meal of it, and we were pretty disappointed by the reaction of the opposition.”
    When asked if 37-year-old veteran Parkin still has a part to play this term, Cummins said: “It’s something we’ll look at. The intention was to give him 90 minutes, but I don’t think he got many scoring opportunities because of the team’s slow play. Off the ball, Jon got himself in good positions and in areas to attack crosses, but never got the supply, which is what we need to work on to get the best out of what we’ve got.” On Kempster’s first City outing since his return from a loan spell at Spennymoor, the City number two reasoned: “He played in midfield and at wing-back and he has good energy and is positive. He also switched off a couple of times, but we can work on that.”
    City: Bartlett; Griffiths (Law, 46), Parslow (Bencherif, 46), Tait, Newton; York, Harris, Moke (Agnew, 46), Kempster; Parkin, Langstaff. Unused Subs: Wright, Ferguson.
    Redcar Athletic: TBC. Subs: TBC.
    Bookings: Jackson (York City) 28mins (Dissent)
    Referee: Conor Ledgeway
    Attendance: 352
  3. Scarborough Athletic (A) (05/03/19) (North Riding Senior Cup - Semi Final) L 0-0 (0-3 penalties) A dreadful penalty shoot-out saw York City knocked out of the North Riding Senior Cup semi-finals at Scarborough Athletic. Skipper Jordan Burrow saw his spot kick saved, while Alex Harris and Joe Tait both cleared the crossbar with terrible attempts as the Minstermen lost 3-0 on penalties after the score had been deadlocked at 0-0 following 90 minutes. Scarborough trio James Walshaw, Wayne Brooksby and Ross Killock all held their nerve from 12 yards to fire the hosts into a final meeting with either Middlesbrough under-23s or Marske.
    The Minstermen kicked off the game with a team of outfield players who have all played first-team football this season, including five – David Ferguson, Adriano Moke, Scott Burgess, Alex Kempster and Burrow – from the side that started Saturday’s 1-0 National League North win at Leamington. Reserve keeper Ryan Whitley, meanwhile, took over in goal from Adam Bartlett.
    Scarborough included former City pair Michael Coulson and David Merris in their first XI and it was the Evo-Stik League premier division hosts who created the better first-half openings with Luke Dean seeing a 25-yard half-volley bounce wide just before the quarter-hour mark.
    Whitley was then forced into the first save of the night when he kept out Brooksby’s effort from an unfavourable angle and the youth-team graduate went on to safely gather Coulson’s follow-up attempt. On 32 minutes, Whitley was again tested and responded brilliantly to push Walshaw’s firm 15-yard drive around his left-hand upright after the ex-Harrogate Town striker had outmuscled Nathan Dyer following a long punt forward by Seadogs keeper Tommy Taylor. The Minstermen’s first shot of the night - and only effort of the first half - came two minutes before the break when Burgess sent Harris raiding forward through the right channel, but the Scotsman blasted into the sidenetting.
    City upped the tempo after the restart with Kempster’s header from an inswinging Ferguson free kick cleared off the line by home defender Kevin Burgess. After Coulson had worryingly gone down in a heap and limped gingerly off with the assistance of two Scarborough officials, Harris intercepted a dangerous square ball, played by Jamie Forrester inside his own half, but the ex-Hibernian midfielder lifted a woeful edge-of-the-box effort well over. Kempster’s glancing header also missed the target from another Ferguson centre, before Scarborough’s first opportunity of the second period saw Walshaw head over from a perfectly-delivered free kick into the box by sub James Cadman. On 70 minutes, Tait headed over from a Josh Law free kick whilst, at the other end, Brooksby blasted in, but the whistle had gone for handball before he fired at Whitley’s goal. A curling Ferguson corner, meanwhile, was grabbed under his own crossbar by Taylor. Walshaw also headed wide after Bailey Gooda’s right-wing cross cleared Whitley and, on 88 minutes, Dyer’s long ball out of defence picked out Harris, but he was deceived by a peculiar bounce on the 3G pitch before shooting wide from 20 yards, sending the tie into penalties.
    City: Whitley, Dyer, Tait, Bradbury, Ferguson, Burgess, Law, Moke (Henderson, 73), Harris, Burrow, Kempster. Subs not used: Rogerson, Harrison, Jebson-King, Teale.
    Scarborough Athletic: Taylor, Johnson (Gooda, 68), Killock, Burgess (Davie, 87), Merris, Valentine, Dean, Forrester, Brooksby, Walshaw, Coulson (Cadman, 57). Subs not used: Morgan, Annan.
    Bookings: Jackson (York City) 28mins (Dissent)
    Referee: TBC
    Attendance: 1,608