Another Season: Big Hopes / Slow Start / Big Squad / Low Finish


Season - Preview

When previewing the season, about the only thing that can be said with certainty is that it will not be a quiet season for City. Either on the pitch or off the pitch, something will not be right, somewhere or with someone. Last season, we entered the season with new hope, it proved to be unfounded, this season, again new hope (and new money).

Having retained the core of the 2021/2 squad that made a flying start last season, we became embroiled in a relegation dog fight. So anything could happen.

With Wrexham and Notts County promoted, Hartlepool and Rochdale relegated, City lose 2 of last season’s top 3 crowd pullers.

City also lose the 2 longest away trips of the season (Torquay and Yeovil) in a league and featuring 13 teams based in the south east (an area bounded by Southend, Oxford City and Eastleigh) plus Kidderminster and Solihull Moors representing the midlands. The league includes 12 former Football League clubs. Only Oxford City are first time opponents for City.

Early summer dragged on as rumours of a Glen Henderson sale persisted and new recruits were slow to arrive. In June, Mikey Morton noted that he was unclear on his budget and that the sale of Glen Henderson's shares was hampering progress, adding that by this stage, he would expect to be further forward in assembling his squad. David Stockdale (who noted that he’d had interest from 2 Division 1 clubs but Mikey Morton (who he already knew) sold him the vision) and Cedric Main being the only announced signings before pre-season training started. Neither was universally acclaimed, Stockdale’s impact on Ryan Whitley’s future and the career history of Main, mainly at a lower level than City being the main focus of ire. That said, season ticket sales remained robust, over 1,800 sold before the discount period ended, not too far short of the previous season’s total.

Then, on June 28, 2 days after pre-season training had started, it was announced that Glen Henderson had sold his shares to “394 Sports Ltd”, a company fronted by Matt Uggla (son of a billionaire) and his mother Julie-Anne Uggla. They joined City’s board as Co-Chair alongside Alastair Smith and Mike Brown. The Trust retained its 49% shareholding. Read More on the takeover.

Matt Uggla’s initial thoughts were that he was wanting to bring in his own manager, but speaking with Mikey Morton, he quickly noted "new school, data and stats based, on everything we talked about we were completely aligned". He told Morton that Zanda Siziba was the only Yeovil player worth signing.

Within days of the takeover, there was a flurry of signings, some raised eyebrows as players were scouted from far and wide, often from divisions below City as the concept of a development squad was mooted, the first season was expected to play just friendly games. Eyebrows were further raised as 4 (Quevin Castro, Thierry Latty-Fairweather. Levi Andoh and Kevin Joshua) were all clients of Eyeconic Sports Management Ltd owned by Arfan Rehman. On July 7, City signed Tyler Cordner for an undisclosed fee, but believed to be £100,000, his release clause. Matt Uggla spoke of the difficulty of making signings as clubs and players raised their demands.

In an in house interview (July 5), Morton spoke about the 3 Cs, Condition, to be one of fittest teams in the league and has been using Premier League resources, Control, the ability to control all phases of the game and Confidence. He spoke about last season’s side not having his identity and a desire to be one of the most physical teams in the league. He noted various behind the scene aspects weren’t in place last season, specifically he has upped the focus on fitness. Paddy McLaughlin has done a lot of work with the players and last season’s squad were sent on their summer holidays with specific summer fitness enhancement programmes whilst David Stockdale’s recruitment role will help to identify new players before they are needed. He wants his squad players to push for first team places. Last season, squad players and the under 19 team had little chance to push for first team places. He is looking for good talent, good backgrounds, players who have still got something to develop and has a slightly bigger squad than imagined with more players still expected. He said nothing earth shattering, just plain common sense.

The signings continued throughout pre-season. 2 of the latter ones being marquee signings, Dipo Akinyemi who joined City after a season in Scotland with Ayr United where he had netted 20 goals and seven assists in the Scottish Championship. The 26-year-old won the PFA Scottish Championship player of the season award after playing regularly in England throughout his career. As revealed by Daily Record in January, Ayr had turned down a deal worth £240,000 from an unnamed Sky Bet League One side for Akinyemi. Sky Bet League Two outfits Gillingham and Walsall as well as Carlisle from a league higher were also rumoured to have been interested in the forward this summer, so his move to the Minstermen is expected to be for a hefty fee. Speculation put it at £300,000, no doubt with sell on clauses attached and believed to be all money paid upfront. It is to be hoped that such a fee is justified for a player who has rarely played at Conference level and only really found his scoring boots 2 seasons ago. I might have been happier spending that amount of money on a player dropping down a league or 2 like Wrexham did with Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer. That said, his video profile / scoring reel is impressive. There were rumours that his partner was unhappy to be in Ayr so far away from her family in London, let's hope she is fine with York. Some social media reports put his wage at up to £4,500 a week, nearly twice what was believed to be City's best ever paid player. If the transfer fee is correct, it more than doubles the previous record fee paid for a player by City (£140,000). A few days later, City's long pursuit of the free scoring Andrew Dallas, a free agent after his Solihull Moors deal had expired, ended when he joined Division 1 Barnsley on a 3 year deal. A couple of days later, Alex Woodyard, who'd been a Division 1 regular for AFC Wimbledon last season, joined City when his Dons contract was ripped up with a year to go. He arrived with an impressive stats as a defensive midfield player although some questioned his fitness throughout last season (a six month spell out meant his first game of last season was in October 2022, however he went on to play 34 league games) and others compared his attitude to that of Sean Newton.

Akinyemi and Woodyard didn't make their first City appearances until the second half of City's last official pre-season friendly at Accrington. Akinyemi's arrival was accompanied by a delay to his international clearance which meant he had been unable to play in 4 friendly games after he joined City.

A day before the Accrington game, Yeovil chairman Martin Hellier re-ignited, in a most unsavoury way, a feud with Matt Uggla, some of the tweets attributed to Hellier seemed worthy of investigation by football's authorities. Read More and More. On the same day, David Bujara announced himself as City's new Chief Scout.

If Chesterfield overcome play off defeat disappointment, they can be expected to be challenging again (especially as if as a Trust owned club, they can afford to pay Danny Rowe a reported £2,500 a week, a figure way beyond City's financial capability last season). We can expect the likes of Bromley, Woking and Boreham Wood to punch above their weight whilst the well supported Oldham and FC Halifax will look to push on from their FA Trophy success. Equally, Gateshead will hope to push on from a strong second half of last season.

Given the turmoil of relegation, both Hartlepool (even with John Askey) and Rochdale are more likely to be nearer the bottom than the top. As in recent years, most of the promoted sides might struggle, (expect AFC Fylde to be the best placed). Having released a number of players, it might be a hard season for Solihull Moors. Maidenhead and Dorking with limited resources might both face another season of struggle. I wonder how much longer Wealdstone can continue to perform above their weight whilst Southend will face another season of struggles, off field issues hampering on field results.

Once again, season ticket details were slow to emerge, they went on sale on May 26 when season tickets holders had a 2 week period in which to renew at last season’s price. On general sale, prices rose by 10%. There were the usual problems with the online ticketing system. City announced over 1,000 were sold within the first week (June 2) by June 8 (with one day of the discount window remaining) over 1,500 had been sold. Subsequently Glen Henderson stated “over 1,800” sold and when Matt Uggla‘s takeover was confirmed it was stated that City were on target to beat last season’s tickets (2,218 being the last published figure). City announced 1,860 sold on July 2. By July 20, that number had grown to "over 2,000". Elsewhere, on June 2, Notts County announced "season ticket sales have already equalled our 2022-23 total of 4,000” and at a similar date, Oldham had sold over 3,000. City’s sales were about 3 times as many as Harrogate. City introduced differential match day ticket pricing, a £2 increase on last season if bought at the turnstiles or £1 if bought in advance.

2 of the more heralded signings arrived carrying / managing injuries. Quevin Castro arrived with a doctors' note from WBA advising City how best to manage his back injury with which he'd struggled with when on loan at Gateshead and Callum Harriott had a painful foot injury which restricted him to just the Middlesbrough pre-season friendly.

By the last friendly, City had 33 registered professional players. Talk of a development squad was rife although given the lateness of Matt Uggla' arrival and City's new direction, it is envisaged that for 2023/4 season that the development squad would be restricted to friendly games and players being found loan moves.

Roll on City's "promotion train", a phrase coined by Matt Uggla shortly after our big money purchases although David Stockdale was just one of those who tried to rein back the sentiment.

From various ad hoc polls amongst City fans, around 8% of us thought City would be champions, around 55% more had us in the play off places and very, very few had us in the bottom half.

The Squad

Once again, details of the 2023/4 squad were slow to emerge and only picked up momentum when Matt Uggla's takeover was announced. Speaking on York Hospital Ball in June 2024, Matt Uggla noted, ”(his late arrival meant that City) missed the boat on a number of free agents”. By the time pre-season training, City had an almost complete squad. Some eyebrows were raised by the addition of 4 players (Castro, Latty-Fairweather, Andoh and Joshua) from Arfan Rehman's Eyeconic Sports Management Ltd. With the late signings of Dipo Akinyemi and Alex Woodyard, City had 33 professionals. By the end of July, given the quantity and quality of signings, it seemed like a “top” budget (City claimed it was the 8th or 9th top) with Akinyemi arriving despite strong interest from an unnamed Division 1 side and newly minted Division 2 Gillingham whilst Woodyard ripped up a Division 2 contract to join City. By the big kick off, City had 13 new signings (excluding the 2 scholars who earned professional contracts).

David Stockdale will possibly start in goal whilst many felt Ryan Whitley had finished last season strongly. Tyler Cordner and Callum Howe look to be a strong centre back partnership. Michael Duckworth and Ryan Fallowfield provide stability down the right, neither seemed to stay fit for long enough last season to make the right (wing) back shirt their own.

Alex Woodyard should assume the defensive midfield role leaving the likes of Olly Dyson, Quevin Castro and Dan Pybus to fight for other central midfield berths. Out wide, we could be spoilt for choice with Maz Kouhyar, Alex Hurst and Callum Harriott as leading contenders, maybe with one being deployed in a more central role.

Dipo Akinyemi will lead the line with Lenell John-Lewis around to provide support when needed.

The likes of youngsters Finlay Barnes, Levi Andoh, Thierry Latty-Fairweather and Zanda Siziba possibly did enough in pre–season to suggest they will be around the first team.

Last season, Mikey Morton was keen to swap formation, he said to match up with the opposition. Pre-season, he had invariably used 433. It remained to be seen whether this is to be the regular formation. Given the size of the squad, it is to be hoped that we don’t need to slot players into unfamiliar positions and that a large squad doesn’t mean a much changed line up every game.

Given City’s large playing pool it will be interesting to see how the “development squad” progresses. Believed to have been assembled too late to play league football in the 2023/4 season, they will be restricted to friendly games and sending players out on loan. It is to be hoped that the friendly games give those players a real opportunity (and motivation) of pushing for a place in the first team squad.

Equally, our outgoing loanees need to be playing regularly for clubs at, or just beneath, City’s level to give then the necessary level of experience to come back to stake a claim for a place in City’s first team. The first to move out on loan was Sam Sanders who joined Truro on a 6 month loan deal in July to play National League South football having had his City contract extended just before he moved out. That will mean he has 3 years as a City contracted player to become a first team regular.

City went into the season with 33 professionals. a far cry from Mikey Morton's early indication that he wanted to work with a small squad. A large squad (and Mikey Morton's penchant for changing formation) led to a constant change in line up and formation leading to a difficulty in gelling the side and getting results over the first 6 games.

The start of the season didn't mean an to the signings, 4 new players (Dan Batty, another marquee signing, the highly Scottish youngster Kai Kennedy, Rory Watson and Jack Stott (loan)) joined City in the 48 hours before the August bank holiday weekend. Neal Ardley's arrival saw the introduction of 2 further loanees.

When Neal Ardley arrived, he noted the lop sided nature of the squad, especially at left back and striker. His first signing was Aiden Marsh, a young striker at Barnsley and 3 days later, after Tyler Cordner picked up a one game suspension for 5 yellow cards, he signed Will Smith on loan from Harrogate with Sanders and Joseph out on loan and other possible options (Duckworth and Andoh) injured. Meanwhile, Neil Cox mentioned that the large squad might have contributed to low early season fitness levels

By the time of the visit to Chesterfield (October 24), City had 38 registered professionals (including 3 loanees and 9 young pros who'd not make a start between them). However, with 8 players out on loan and a further 9 injured, City went into the game with just 21 fit professionals. By the end of that week, 2 more had arrived (making 40 players, 36 contracted and 4 more loanees, the season's peak squad size). Throughout the season, 41 different players were used, Marvin Armstrong being the most recent debutant. Another 10 professionals saw no first team action.

Season - Review

At the start of the 2023/4 season, expectations were high. New ownership was in place and the summer had seen a healthy transfer budget with City's transfer record being broken. Dreams were quickly shattered and like every year since 2020, City's fate wasn't confirmed until the last day of the season. For a second successive season, City employed 3 different managers.

Along the way, there was evidence that the side was capable of a much higher finish whilst City went out of both cup competitions in a disappointing fashion (toothless upfront (injuries / cup tied players) against Wigan and at Nantwich a largely second string side couldn't cope with tier 8 opposition or the wind.

Great expectations lasted for about the first hour of the season. A slick start at Wealdstone saw City lead, but they were unable to put the game to bed. As City ran out of steam, Wealdstone hit back to score twice to win 2-1. Mikey Morton was sacked after 6 games (3 draws and 3 defeats) following a 3-1 Bank Holiday home defeat to Rochdale. Those 6 games saw 3 red cards (Howe, John-Lewis and Crookes).

There was soon discontent in the camp. On August 22, Dan Pybus left to join Dorking on a 3 year contract (with no fee assumed). It had been rumoured that he was unhappy and wouldn't play again after Askey had been sacked, so it had been rather surprising that he signed a new 2 and a half year contract in January 2023. Matters appeared to come to a head before the Altrincham game (August 15). He and Alex Hurst were not in the 16 man squad, both were believed to have refused to play. With Woodyard sustaining a calf strain in the pre match warm up, City could name only 4 substitutes from the provisional 18 man squad. The YCFC web site reported it as "York City FC can confirm that Dan Pybus has left the club. Subject to league and FA approval". Later, Mikey Morton noted "The discussion we had on the night of that game was when his head wasn’t in the right place, that’s fine and we made the decision not to play him". A month later, Alex Hurst left the club.

Next manager betting was not dissimilar to Charlton who were looking to replace Dean Holden with the likes of Michael Appleton, Danny Cowley and Darren Moore being high up in both markets. Neal Ardley, Phil Parkinson (Altrincham) and Mike Williamson were also leading City candidates according to the betting market. Darrell Clarke was cut from 33-1 to 4-1 on morning of September 4 and 2-1 by early that afternoon before drifting out to 5-1 later in the day. That day, both Karl Robinson (not listed at 50-1 or shorter) and Sol Campbell (who suddenly appeared at 12-1 having been mentioned on several social media posts during the day) were rumoured to be in contention. The lower reaches of the betting market included a lot of names who'd been quoted in recent City managerial vacancies. Betting was suspended on several occasions, including Tuesday 5th (PM) September as Ardley tightened to 1-4.

Neal Ardley was named as manager on Wednesday September 6, he had 2 days with his players before his first game. The first half of that game pointed to a more structured and disciplined approach but familiar frailties crept in as the game wore on. City twice lead but had to settle for a 2-2 home draw with Boreham Wood.

His first few weeks saw a horrendous injury list amid several comments that his players needed to be fitter. He noted the lop sided nature of his large squad, the lack of a left back and cover across central defence, attacking midfield and upfront and the need to strengthen the squad but that he wouldn’t expect to see his team to be playing his way this season having missed out on pre-season with them. Defensive problems persisted and he wasn’t afraid to point out the team’s shortcomings in his interviews. The players were not Ardley’s players. At times, it seemed they were either unable or unwilling to play how he wanted them to do. That said, so many players that seemed so encouraging in pre-season seemed to turn out so poor. Over the following weeks, previous failings persisted.

As with many new City managers, there was a very limited new manager bounce. Contrast that to Unai Emery, he took over a struggling Aston Villa in late October 2022, without the benefit of being able to sign players immediately, he quickly changed Villa, so much from being strong relegation candidates when he arrived, he oversaw qualification for Europe, his record being that of a top 4 club. In mitigation, the injury crisis that had blighted the start of City's season continued.

As the injury crisis gradually abated, the team started to took on a more settled look, although injuries to key players (and a desire to match the opposition) meant switching between a back 4 and a back 5 whilst Dan Batty’s midfield presence was missed (3 month knee injury). Dipo Akinyemi missed 3 games in late October and never quite seemed to regain his early season potency before he went down with a hamstring injury at the end of November. Strenuous efforts to add to the squad were largely thwarted as on more than one occasion Ardley noted the difficulty of making signings. At the 6th attempt, Ardley finally signed a left back, Luke Daley, on loan from Huddersfield. Lenell John-Lewis wasn’t at his best when asked to play 3 games a week. Ardley’s desire to name 4 strikers in his match day squad was still was desire.

The injury crisis peaked at the time of the Dagenham game when City had a reported 10 players injured / ill, with another 7 out on loan, City were down to 21 fit professionals, including 4 young pros with no first team game time behind them. It should be noted that other players may have had unreported injures and were therefore also unavailable.

One bright spot was the form of Scott Burgess, 2023’s forgotten men. Recalled to the bench at Dagenham in early October, his introduction helped a lack lustre City side come from behind to record a last gasp winner. His form continued with a good number of assists when deployed in a wide right attacking role.

At the half way point of the season, City were in 20th position in the table, precariously one place and one point above the relegation zone, just below a congested mid table with an improving points per game tally, a matric that Ardley has often quoted.

Ardley's arrival saw the club's infrastructure improved including a raft of training ground improvements and additional backroom staff recruited. His first 2 permanent signings (GSK and Will Davies) gave promise for the future. However, some of his press conferences raised comments, especially his regular upbeat assessments of upcoming opponents and criticism of his own players whilst some suggested that his downplaying of the FA Trophy, allied with his much changed line up and appearance at the back of the dugout, set the tone for tie.

Ardley often referenced a big January transfer window allied with 3 "new" signings in Cedric Main, Finlay Barnes and Sam Sanders as they returned from regional National League loan spells. Regular football seemed to fire up Main, a decent return in terms of goals and performance, his presence and endeavour should have made him a favourite with Ardley and alongside Lenell John-Lewis, City had the 4 strikers that Ardley craved. Finlay Barnes built on good month at Darlington with an impressive 3 months at Scarborough whilst left sided defender Sam Sanders had regular football in a less pressurised environment, but it remained to be seen whether the flaws in his game that restricted his game time with City had been ironed out at Truro. As it was, Sanders stayed on loan (presumably not ready for National League) and whilst the other 2 were recalled with the intention of adding to the first team squad, neither got a real opportunity.

On several occasions, Ardley referenced his desire for more signings, possibly tempered by outgoings, as he seeks to build his own manageable sized squad. Centre back, left back, attacking midfield and striker (after Main left and given John-Lewis seemingly coming towards the latter days of his career) appeared to be the more immediate areas for strengthening.

Ardley's biggest challenge was moving on players he saw as surplus to his ideal sized squad. Cox had revealed (October 26) Hancox turned down a loan move 2 weeks earlier whilst Ardley noted (December 8) that Kevin Joshua had turned down 2 loans since he returned from Macclesfield noting that he needs to be playing games. On December 14, he added that Castro, Siziba, Barrow, Joshua and others are all made available for loan and some of them have turned down loans because "they are too good for that level". 4 young players had their contracts cancelled during December and January.

The expected big January transfer window came and went. Ardley spoke about wanting 3 signings. Billy Chadwick arrived, 2 impressive loanees, Olly Green and Luke Daley did not have their loans extended when both fell ill and midfield transfer targets fell amid rumours of the transfer budget being slashed. In April, Peterborough's Kabongo Tshimanga, who joined Boreham Wood on loan in January, was noted as being another target. In late January, strong rumours of further interest in Andrew Dallas, he left Solihull Moors (Ardley’s previous club) for Barnsley in the summer also came to nothing. Speaking on York Hospital Ball in June 2024, Matt Uggla noted, ”in January 2024, one deal fell through,(which) would have been really big”

The one essential in the second half of the season was safety. The initial signs were promising and one only had to look back to January 2021 and a 3-0 home defeat to Bradford PA to remember what can happen in 4 months. An FA Trophy run would have been nice.

After Christmas, with results starting to drop off, Neal Ardley was surprisingly sacked on February 26 with Adam Hinshelwood appointed manager a day later. Worthing announce Hinshelwood's departure and City announce Hinshelwood's appointment. Speaking on York Hospital Ball in June 2024, Matt Uggla noted ”Neal Ardley didn't fit what the club wanted to do and he felt the end would come at the end of the season but after Barnet, he didn’t think we'd stay in the division. He was attracted to Adam Hinshelwood as Worthing had over achieved and played an attacking brand of football“ .

Under Ardley, City had become more organised and had a gradually improving points per game. However, it was often a laboured performance that was difficult to watch. City had become much more defence first in style with his sides set up to combat the opposition, often making changes to formation and personnel. Ardley seemed to stifle City’s players. The confidence drained from the players. He seemed to make game more difficult than it needed to be, by the time he left, City couldn't see the wood for the trees.

Midfield was ponderous and Dipo Akinyemi never quite recaptured his early season form. His partnership with Will Davies never really developed after a bright start.

Ardley tended to “big up” the opposition and frequently referenced that City didn’t have the players who could play in his style, noting that we’d see a better Billy Chadwick next season when the team was playing his way and criticising Dipo Akinyemi’s work rate on several occasions.

When Ardley was sacked, City were outside the relegation places on goal difference, but with subsequent results, Adam Hinshelwood started his first game with City inside the drop zone. Ardley had specific requirements, almost seeking the perfect player, Luke Daley eventually joined on loan after attempts to sign five other left backs had fallen through. It is conjecture to speculate the impact on Ardley of the death of his mother in January and to a much lesser extent, his disappointment with City’s January transfer window.

Matt Uggla noted the falling PPG and style of play were factors in the club’s dismissal of Ardley. In the aftermath of the dismissal, he said that some players had spoken to him privately expressing concerns over lack of game time whilst he noted that City were "getting worse" and that City were moving away from the club identity he envisaged. Given Ardley had inherited a bloated and lop sided squad, he could never be expected to change style so quickly. Players talking to the owner is nothing new, after all we are a small club and Matt Uggla has shown himself to be a hands on chairman with a big social media presence. With over 30 players, you will always find some players out of favour and lacking in game time, it is up to management to manage the situation. When Ardley departed, City were in 20th place, with results elsewhere found ourselves a place lower and in the relegation zone when Hinshelwood's regime kicked off.

Going for a more attacking style, Hinshelwood’s first 2 games, both home, saw City’s defensive frailties return, the defence was often wide open. A more defensive approach earned a dire 0-0 draw at Kidderminster before reverting to the attacking style and a 6-1 thrashing in the next game at Altrincham. Few, if any, predicted the turnaround that was to follow. 3 successive wins over top 5 sides, Aldershot, Bromley and champions Chesterfield as City climbed out of the bottom 4.

Under neither Ardley nor Hinshelwood did City see an immediate “new manager bounce” that was evident at Hartlepool and Kidderminster just before Ardley was sacked. Hinshelwood signed Marvin Armstrong, immediately, City's midfield was more progressive and far more energetic. Armstrong sought to push forward at every opportunity and Alex Hunt was a revelation compared to his 45 minute debut at Barnet. The much more cautious approach of Paddy McLaughlin and Alex Woodyard was not missed. As Hinshelwood better understood his players, he revitalised Akinyemi by shifting him back to a more central striking role, allowing him to run in behind defenders, and got the best out of Maz Kouhyar and Alex Hunt (many thought we’d never see him again in a City after he was subbed after half time on his debut). Quevin Castro also earned a recall as Hinshelwood sought to up the tempo of his team prior to the signing of Armstrong. Whilst Armstrong was a key signing, all the players were playing with newly found positivity. The side had a much more settled side meaning unfocused squad players were not regularly being dropped into the side. Under Hinshelwood, basics like passing and movement which had deserted City under Ardley returned. With such basics, quicker progression up the pitch included, City were more on the front foot, spending more time attacking, meaning the midfield didn’t get overrun and there was less pressure on the back line. Hinshelwood would praise his players' performances, something rarely heard under Ardley, the players seemed much more settled and were playing with a smile on their faces.

Keen to give fringe players a chance, he was also not afraid to play first team players in different positions. With injuries mounting, he noted Dan Batty naturally drifts to the right when playing central midfield, thus the thought of him playing right back, much to the players initial reluctance, proved to be a success and that Ryan Fallowfield defends quite narrow when at right back, hence the move to centre back.

Come the final day of the season, with Kidderminster, Dorking and Oxford City already relegated, City were one of 5 teams looking to avoid the final relegation spot. All had their fate in their own hands. City were safe if Boreham Wood (51 points) failed to win, but otherwise, Woking (52 points) and 3 clubs (City, Wealdstone and Ebbsfleet (away at Boreham Wood)) needed a result (and results elsewhere to go for them) to be safe, in City's case, probably even a 3 goal defeat would mean safety. Given the closeness of goal difference, it was even possible for 3 clubs to end the day with 53 points and a 59-75 goal difference assuming Boreham Wood won 1-0 and Woking didn't lose.

Despite going down to a late goal and a 1-0 defeat at Solihull Moors, results elsewhere ensured City's safety, finishing 20th on 53 points, one point above relegated Boreham Wood. 53 points being the highest points tally needed since 2013 to avoid relegation. At the top, Chesterfield were runaway champions and third placed Bromley were promoted via the play offs despite having only the 16th or 17th best budget in the league.

In a post season message, Matt and Julie Anne Uggla wrote.

City fans,

Wow, that was a ride!

With the Minstermen home and dry in the National League, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for your unwavering support throughout this season.

We’ve been through highs and lows over the last seven months, but win, lose or draw, we’ve all stuck together for the good of York and its 200,000 proud natives. Next season we are striving for bigger and better things, and with Adam, Gary, and Cam at the helm, we know that the sky’s the limit when it comes to what our club can achieve.

You got us over that finishing line, with your magnificent following both home and away, and we cannot thank you enough for the support you have shown us and the team so far, and after seeing the potential of what we can be through those games against Woking and Chesterfield, we want that to be the norm at York City Football Club.

You’ve stuck by us in this transitionary season, one of the toughest periods in the history of the club and for that we are so grateful. Together, we can continue to take one of Britain’s most iconic cities on a fairytale football journey through the leagues and climb the footballing pyramid with pride.

Have a great summer, and we will see you next season.

Kindest regards,

Matt and Julie Anne Uggla

For the record:

  • 111,705 fans passed through the LNER turnstiles during this league season, with 8.9% supporting the away side. City’s away league games were watched by 65,543 with 17.4% supporting City
  • With no league penalties awarded, it was the 6th season in City's history where they had not converted a league penalty after 1927/8, 1959/60, 1976/7, 1991/2 and 2001/2. It is not known whether City missed any penalties during those seasons
  • Congrats: Paddy McLaughlin – available for the most (45) league games this season. Closely followed by Tyler Cordner (44) and Callum Howe (43)
  • Oh Dear: Rory Watson missed 32 league games when available, followed by Hancox (24), Siziba (23) and Cordner (22)
  • Get Well Soon: Missing the most games through injury: Levi Andoh (42) and Callum Harriott (37).

At times, it was a hard watch during the season, especially as one very reliable source noted that the 2023/4 season saw the wage bill almost triple. Inevitably when some players earn 6 or 7 times more than their teammates, figures of £4,000 and £3,500 per week were mentioned, it is going to cause problems in the dressing room, especially in such a large dressing room where some players got very limited game time. City need to get some players shifted, reduce the wage bill dramatically and establish a core squad of players working for each other and the fans. It is to be hoped that this summer, City’s recruitment this summer is much more focused than last summer. We need more fitness, energy and dynamic play on match days. Players need to take responsibility, both as individuals and a team.

Within a month of his appointment, Hinshelwood had travelled to Blyth to watch an academy game and on a Saturday morning, he'd been watching City's U15 and U13 sides in action. Before the end of March, he noted 4 academy players (Alex Payne, Harley Dawson and Leon Gibson-Booth plus Bill Marshall) as being "signed" to complete the first team squad and 2 of those travelled to Solihull Moors on the final day of the season. If he is able to establish a vibrant and progressive pathway from academy to first team, that would be something no City manager has done in the past 20 years.

Compared to similar clubs, it is hard not to say that players have been spoiled rotten by the club for years. Many have accommodation / utility bills paid, luxury coaches, free food, overnight stays (Boreham Wood do one overnight per season, City do around 15) and a have load of other development resources available to them. The reality is that City are a National League club and it is not meant to be so easy.

Early February, Mike Brown posted on social media that the Ugglas are looking for external investment whilst later in month, Rochdale and Torquay chairman stop funding their clubs whilst. The "Price Of Football" podcast had previously noted an average NL club loses £700,000 pa but with checks in place (dating back to around 2021) noted no "true NL" club (i.e. excluding FL relegated and upwardly mobile clubs) had gone into insolvency since those checks were instigated. Meanwhile, Maidstone (NLS) co-owner, Oliver Ash noted their run to FAC4 (Ipswich (A)) would net them £500,000 (including TV and prize money) for a club with a £1.5m turnover, victory at Ipswich and a Round 5 tie at Coventry will have further boosted their bank balance.

In their first year, the Ugglas will have learnt many valuable lesson the hard way. It is a shame they didn't heed some early warnings, but in the long run it is probably for the best. Throwing good money after bad is not going to solve anything and is not sustainable. A deep culture change is needed.

In November 2023, the Ugglas increased their shareholding to 75% (from 51%) and Mike Brown noted in February 2024 that they were seeking external investment (to defray costs). At times, the YCST influence seemed marginalised, notably their input into the managerial changes and decision to allocate Chesterfield the whole of West Stand.

Across the season, Matt Uggla seemed very close to certain people. Initially won over by Micky Morton and David Stockdale, he was sitting with Tyler Cordner at Barnet, Ardley's last game and in the aftermath of his sacking some players spoke to Uggla expressing their desire for more game time. On the evening of the Woking win, Uggla was pictured out in the city centre with Hinshelwood. It is a fine line between being good friends and maintaining chair / staff distance and ideally advice should be coming from independent sources. However, he has shown he is willing to take decisive action and hopefully will further grow into the chairman's role.

On the pitch, opinion is divided as to how far the team that finished the season can take City forward. Given a 20th position finish and 2 loanees as regular starters, strengthening is required. In the immediate aftermath of the game, Hinshelwood spoke about the need for fast wingers. Given the squad size, the new signings need to be first team starters whilst the 2023/4 squad needs a good trimming in size, possibly easier said than done as many will be contracted for the next one (or 2) seasons. It could be said that City have 2 (even 3) decent number 2 keepers and that all areas of the side need to be bolstered.

It is to be hoped that Dipo Akinyemi and Will Davies can develop into a big strike partnership. Both have the ability to play at a higher level, it is to be hoped that in a settled (and more successful) side, their skills shine through and give City a strike force to be feared. At the other end of the pitch, the much heralded signings of Tyler Cordner and Callum Howe failed to show the type of form that saw them amongst the best performing central defenders in the National League during the 2022/3 season. Howe was generally settled whilst we never saw the best of Tyler Cordner. Cordner and Alex Woodyard were 2 big signings whose City future is in doubt. For all the impressive performances of Woodward, the arrival of Armstrong suddenly saw a revitalised midfield.

Generally speaking, the final table didn’t look too far away from what many expected. The big / traditional clubs towards the top and the less well funded clubs towards the bottom. Given Danny Rowe (remember him) had been on a reported £2,500 a week, it was not surprising to see Chesterfield top the table. The relegated 4 included Kidderminster and Oxford City, both in their first season in the league along with Dorking and Boreham Wood, presumably both with small budgets. Boreham Wood, after punching above their financial status for several seasons finally succumbed, a similar club, Woking, survived only on the final day. As often, the relegated clubs, Rochdale and Hartlepool, struggled with the transition from the Football League. An honourable mention to Southend, with their financial woes, some doubted whether they’d start the season. Often playing with just 2 substitutes before Christmas, a financial agreement in principle saw a strong end to the season. It is to be hoped that all the clubs with financial issues survive to fight another day. As usual, City defied logic.

City’s 2004 relegation from the Football League heralded an 8 year non league wilderness, 2024/5 will see our second spell enter its ninth season.

Read Ryan Deeney's review of the 2023/4 Vanarama season.

Sadly, as ever, during the season, City lost some ex players, Andy Clements (19/Dec/2023), Viv Busby (dd/May/2024), xxx xxxxx (dd/Mmm/202n), and xxx xxxxx (dd/Mmm/202n) , former club Secretaries Tom Hughes (18/Sep/2023) and Keith Lamb (04/01/2024), former leading light in local football and manager to many players post their City professional career Jim Collis (xx/Jan/2024) ,plus supporters Ciaron Forrest, Dan Lydiate (19/Jun/2023), Harry Lydiate (29/Jul/2023), Dave "Dickie" Barton (18/Sep/2023), Bruce McIntosh (dd/Nov/2023, aged 97), Dave Kendall (23/Dec/2023, bank manager and compere), Dave Windross (dd/Dec/2023, author and supporter), Malcolm Ferguson (26/Dec/2023), Chris Thomson (dd/Jan/2024), Glen Stoddart (dd/Jan/2024), Keith Simpson (24/Jan/2024), Colin Milner (dd/Mar/2024), Mike (dd/Apr/2024) and xxxxx (dd/Mmm/202n) xxx and xxxxx (dd/Mmm/202n) xxx and xxxxx (dd/Mmm/202n) included.

Along the way:

  • The 2023/4 York City commercial brochure was launched on June 2 2023
  • On August 11, the new YCFC website went live (Mike Brown's handiwork)
  • On August28, Mikey Morton was MM relieved of his duties. He was subsequently offered an internal role which he did not take up.
  • On August 29, Darren Kelly was confirmed as City's General Manager
  • On September 14, City welcomed Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka on board as the club’s new back of shirt sponsor, apparently the previous sponsor, Easy Communications, had reneged on their deal. The Minstermen’s home and away shirts will wear the logo for the 2023/24 season with immediate effect.
  • September 18 was Mike Brown's last day on the YCFC board, James Daniels replaced him as a YCST representative. Read More.
  • On September 29, in reply to a question posed by John Clark on Facebook, Matt Uggla replied, "Dipo has a long contract with no release clause. He’s not going anywhere. Plus knowing him well I know how much he loves the club and city".
  • On September 29 it was reported on social media that Companies House noted "The SMC has been acquired by Greenwich Leisure Limited (ownership of shares – 75% or more)".
    • 29 Sep 2023 Notification of Greenwich Leisure Limited as a person with significant control on 28 September 2023
    • 29 Sep 2023 Cessation of York City Football Club Ltd as a person with significant control on 28 September 2023
    • 29 Sep 2023 Registered office address changed from York Community Stadium Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross Drive Huntington York YO32 9AF England to Middlegate House Seymour Street London SE18 6SX on 29 September 2023"
    • Later, on October 10, City confirmed the SMC sale.
  • On November 15: In a pre YCST share sale presentation, Julie-Anne Uggla and Matt Uggla revealed they have made a £2.5m investment (not loan) to date consisting of purchase price, paying off inherited debt, salary increases for certain existing employees, new players and new backroom staff, effectively all the spend (i.e. no YCST input). There was no indication whether this was all to cover costs incurred to date or if it factored in any committed future spend.
  • Was November 20 a bad day for the Trust? First Mike Brown posts on Facebook about the increase in the wage budget and the disparity between the top and lowest earners in the dressing room and then Jim Calverly posts on R&B about Neal Ardley's adult daughter. Despite City (and others) constantly citing confidentiality and non disclosure agreements for not being specific, a very recent ex Trust chairman / YCFC board member (who'd resigned less than 2 months previous) feels free to put into the public domain information he would probably have known when a serving club director, admittedly, anyone with Football Manager 24 might be able to gleam something similar. Then Jim Calverley (2023/4 Squad, P343) re-posts a Neal Ardley social media post, about one of his daughters who Ardley has barely referenced during his time as City manager and another Trust member replies before the post is partly deleted.
  • On November 22, Barnsley were expelled from the FA Cup after a 3-0 Round 1 replay win at Horsham 8 days earlier for playing Aiden Marsh. He was ineligible as he was on loan with City when the original game was played and was recalled 2 days after it.
  • After the fans forum on November 28, YFF noted "(I've) Been to many of these events where the toxicity and negativity has made it a painful experience. Tonight was refreshingly positive from start to finish. Neil and Matt spoke passionately and it’s clear everyone at the club is working towards the same successful vision". It looked like a full house. The first post event City tweeted read "Massive thank you to everyone who has entered tonight’s raffle and donated prizes, with £685 being raised so far for @MartinHouseCH"
  • David Stockdale left the club just before the season ended and shortly afterwards, Matt Lever also left, the recruitment team disbanded, speaking on York Hospital Ball in June 2024, Matt Uggla noted, "both did a good job, both new to job".

... and finally, after the great escape:

  • Don't expect every Hinshelwood signing to be as good as Marvin Armstrong
  • We won just one out of our last 3 games
  • How many building blocks were put in place for Solihull Moors' Wembley 2024 twice in a week adventure by Neal Ardley during the 2022/3 season?

Training, Fitness and Conditioning

The season started with big questions over the fitness of the City squad.

City started with 33 contracted professionals, 22 had been announced by the time that pre-season training started on June 26, meaning that 11 were announced after that date. Whilst some definitely signed for City after that date, it is unclear whether others had joined City by the start of pre-season training with their signings being drip fed in the build up to the new season.

Mikey Morton had given last season’s returnees, numbering 20, a 4 week pre pre-season training schedule as he sought to play a high energy game with a team with “Premier League” levels of fitness. Quite, frankly, I’ve never understood (pampering and dedication aside) why any full time professional can’t be as fit as a Premier League footballer.

Meanwhile, it must be reasonable to assume that the later signings were either training with their previous clubs or, if free agents, keeping fit in readiness for a new club and contract. They should have arrived at City and hit the ground running.

After 6 weeks of pre-season training, Michael Duckworth said that he was “shattered” by 65 minutes of the opening game at Wealdstone, the game was played on a cool day with City largely on top for most of that time.

Indeed, the early games saw City struggle to match their opposition for fitness.

Game 3 (Altrincham, home) saw Alex Woodyard pull up in the warm up with a calf strain before what was intended to be his second City start.

Game 4 saw City play at Aldershot, home fans thought Tyler Cordner looked unfit and over weight. In his post match interview, Mikey Morton indicated that the squad would be split into 2 for Monday’s training session, possibly with one group working on fitness and another on technique or split by those who'd played on Saturday and the rest.

After the Altrincham game, Mikey Morton had given an insight into his squad selection and deployment. He’d named an 18 man squad, but for various reasons, he could only name 4 substitutes, meaning that 3 players dropped out. Woodyard was injured whilst it is understood that Pybus and Hurst were the other 2, here is not the time or place to speculate why they didn’t appear but both had left the club within one month. The point is that Morton said that other players had done a specific set of conditioning work and so is wasn’t appropriate to put them into match action after their day’s training.

Given the modern ways of a quiet day before and after a game, with 8 pre-season games, of the 30 week days of pre-season training, then on only 16 days were the full squad available to be put through their places.

In former days, pre-season consisted of weeks of cross country runs and fitness work ending with an open practice match on the Saturday before the season starts. Nowadays it is a procession of friendly games as City look to swell their coffers with prestige friendlies against higher league opposition and return the favour with a trek around a number league Yorkshire amateur sides. Which is better?

Speaking on October 2, a day before the Dagenham trip, Neal Ardley noted a lot of niggles have arisen from the run of Saturday / Tuesday games due to pre-season conditioning not being there, he noted Alex Woodyard as a case in point. All in all, more questions than answers about pre and early season fitness levels.

Both Morton and Ardley spoke about the importance of a balanced training schedule, possibly more so than any previous City manager, including the need for a balance between hard days and recovery days and therefore depending on games, splitting the squad into different training schedules on the same day.

Ardley also spoke about the importance of bringing players back into the team after injury, noting how Callum Harriott had gradually been brought back after his hamstring injury in December, building up in training and then gradually increasing his game time before a tired Harriott suffered another hamstring injury towards the end of the game at Rochdale when tiring. He also spoke about the next game and how to integrate Dipo Akinyemi back into the side, suggesting that he'd be used from the bench, but highlighting the risk of re-introducing a player returning from injury from the bench when he might come on not properly warmed up.

On his arrival, Ardley felt that standards needed to be uplifted across many areas of the club. He had harsh words for the standards of the training ground facilities. Early actions including getting rid of the table tennis table at the training ground and to put back the start of training to 11:00 to allow a full hour of warm up. On October 12, he noted on Callum Harriott's latest tight hamstring, "club and culture and (due to) things we haven't been doing in training, the bodies couldn't handle it". A week later, Neil Cox indicated that he felt that a too large a squad may have contributed to a lack of fitness. New training equipment for gym started to arrive in mid December. On the personnel side, a new Chief Scout (David Bujara) was an early arrival and was followed Paul Harmston (Head Of Sports Science) and Matthew Lever (Head of Scouting Organisation) in early November.

Season - Game By Game

  1. 230805 Wealdstone (A) L 1-2: On top for one hour, lead, but couldn't take our chances or put game to bed. In the last 30 minutes, were City overrun or did The Stones negated City's style of play?
    • Mikey Morton had expressed a summer desire to have a super fit squad (pre pre-season training programmes), but a high energy / high press first half soon disappeared, with reports of players being shattered by full time
    • Anecdotal evidence included, "Duckworth told him (a friend) his back pass was a "lazy one" and he was absolutely "shattered" at that time"
    • Played 352 after mainly 442 in pre-season
    • It seemed a much bigger side than last season
    • Despite the new player influx, 7 of last season's players were in the starting line up
    • Of the debutants, Callum Howe impressed the most (in both boxes) before a dubious straight red card
    • Akinyemi had quick feet and made a couple of sharp turns, but blazed a couple of shots well over from outside the box
    • Of the post Uggla marquee (fees paid / dropping down) signings, Akinyemi and Howe started, Castro and Woodyard were on the bench and Harriott and Cordner were injured
    • 7 and 10 minutes' added time
    • Very little chanting.
    • Richard Herring's match report.
  2. 230812 Kidderminster Harriers (H) L 0-1: 4 changes with a 541 formation including Siziba and Kouhyar as defensive wingbacks, Pybus and Castro the more advanced of the 4 central midfield players "supporting" Akinyemi who looked lost upfront. Boos at half time and full time. Morton said "staff and players got it wrong" in the opening words of his post match interview. Selection, tactics and post match interview all bore too close a resemblance to David Webb for comfort.
  3. 230815 Altrincham (H) D 2-2: An improved performance saw City lead twice but pegged back on both occasions.
    • Open, end to end game, City's defence looked very open despite reverting to the pre-season favoured 442 formation for the first time in a league game this season and the first pairing of City's 2 marquee centre backs, Cordner and Howe
    • From the published line up, Woodyard (starter, calf) and Pybus (sub, Morton wouldn't confirm that he refused to play) didn't start. McLaughlin was promoted to the team and Hancox added to bench leaving City with just 4 subs. It appears someone else (believed to be Hurst) in City's 18 man squad wasn't ready to play whilst Morton stated that the players outside the 18 player match day squad had done a full day's conditioning work and so he didn't consider adding one of them to the squad
    • Stockdale originally named captain, McLaughlin wore armband as he was promoted to the team
    • Morton noted 6 players in the team weren't fit enough to play 90 minutes
    • Fourth official put up the wrong number for each of City's 3 substitutions.
  4. 230819 Aldershot (A) D 1-1: Definitely a point gained rather than 2 dropped with The Shop's injury time equaliser. After about 30 minutes, Scott Barrow, summarising for Radio York noted "anything we do in training is not executed ... just nothing there ... again, jogging, jogging, jogging", 10 minutes later, "so, so sloppy", just before half time, "sloppy, sloppy, sloppy" and at half time "work ethic, poor".
  5. 230826 Dorking (A) 2-2: An improved performance with a stiffened midfield, a game where both sides might consider they dropped 2 points.
    • Change from recent away trips with the "full" squad travelling for the overnight stay rather than just an (approximate) 18 man match day squad
    • Debuts for Batty and Stott
    • City broke the downwards journey with a training session in Northampton and will have got home after midnight
    • David Webb in attendance
    • In his post match interview, Mikey Morton noted that he expected more players to leave on loan shortly, stating the need for players to get match day action and also fewer players would allow him to put more detail into training sessions.
  6. 230828 Rochdale (H) 1-3: Another poor defensive display as City's backline was regularly torn to shreds whilst both sides will have cause to rue an inept display by the referee making his National League debut.
    • Darren Kelly in attendance sitting next to Matt Uggla, his role as City's new General Manager was confirmed a day later
    • Ryan Fallowfield named captain, a first in his career and he kept the armband when McLaughlin came on
    • All City's back 4 got a card
    • Widespread booing and "Morton Out" chants towards the end. His departure was confirmed later that evening.
  7. 230902 Ebbsfleet (A) 1-4: Possibly the worst performance of the season so far from a very lacklustre City.
    • Change in captaincy for the 4th successive game with Paddy McLaughlin regaining the armband he'd worn 3 games previously before handing it over to Lenell John-Lewis who passed it onto Ryan Fallowfield
    • After assuming the managerial reins / hot potato on Monday evening, Tony McMahon gave the players the next 2 days off (Wednesday is a standard day off) leaving just Thursday to do specific match preparations before setting off for the Ebbsfleet game
    • Telling comments from the home side's local radio commentary re the deficiencies in City's formation and general performance
    • Meanwhile Zanda Siziba's great first half equaliser was barely celebrated on the pitch.
  8. 230909 Boreham Wood (H) 2-2: A Strong opening 25 minutes (Ardley's influence or the new manager bounce that never seems to come our way, discuss) saw City take the lead before slipping back into old ways and conceding 2 very sloppy goals.
    • Ryan Fallowfield named as captain in a largely familiar side. No sub keeper named with Alex Hurst returning to the bench and no place in the 16 for Mitch Hancox
    • A slight change to the start of the pre-match warm up, the players split into pairs and did some ball work before starting their stretching exercises
    • Match delayed just before half time for a couple of minutes when an assistant referee disappeared down the tunnel, apparently an eye issue (contact lens problem, fly or sweat in his eye, you decide)
    • A promising start for Ardley with overlapping wing backs and central midfielders providing cover, unfortunately as Ardley became aware of his players' abilities, he wasn't unable to build on his desired expansive style of football
  9. 230916 Southend (H) 3-0: After a very slow start, City grew into the game and were well on top before Southend exploded.
    • Matchday programme curse struck again as Callum Howe, pictured on the front cover, missed the game through injury
    • A day after stating he strongly believed in naming a full bench of 5 outfield substitutes, Neal Ardley put keeper Rory Watson on the bench
    • Southend named just 3 substitutes as a result of restrictions placed on them due to their financial situation
    • Known for the number of red and yellow cards he's brandished this season, referee Paul Copper showed 2 red cards to Southend players in the second half, the second as full time approached appeared to be the result of mistaken identity and prompted around 20 Southend fans to invade the pitch knocking over one lady steward
    • Fingers crossed for the next 7 months that Southend survive and that their results are not expunged
    • City recorded the day's biggest non league crowd (4,679) ahead of Hartlepool United (4,214), Kidderminster (3,016), Bromley (2,571) and Rochdale (2,568)
  10. 230919 Oldham (A) 0-2: Disappointing result after Saturday's win, its possibly fair to say the performance was better than the result, that'll please Neil Ardley
    • TLF should hold his hand up for the first goal and Crookes was outmuscled for the second
    • Dips had his worst game so far for City and LJL one again proved he can't play 2 games in 4 days, together resulting in some neat build up play not getting any reward
  11. 230923 Woking (A) 2-1: A deserved win over another "top" team
    • Neal Ardley bigged up Woking before the game
    • Both sides named just 3 outfield players and a keeper on the bench
    • Ardley named an 18 man travelling squad on Thursday. The named players turned up for Friday training with their overnight bags. Castro hurt his ribs in training and didn't travel. Ardley decided not to replace him. Overnight, Dyson and Kennedy went down with a tummy bug meaning just 15 players were named in the matchday squad
    • With Woking's red / white shirt clashing with City's red and white change shirts (and no 3rd change kit), Woking wore their black / charcoal shirts, their 3rd choice kit
    • Post match, Tyler Cordner responded to personal media abuse
  12. 230926 Barnet (H) 2-4: Second half collapse against a team some observers felt were the best visiting side to play at the LNER
    • Neal Ardley bigged up Barnet before the game
    • Line up included the only 4 fit defenders plus 4 midfield players on the bench due to a lack of numbers
    • LJ absent through "personal / family reasons", a similar situation occurred at Wealdstone last season
    • Switched 442 to 352 at half time, in an attempt to change the course of the game, some observers noted the second half display was reminiscent of the worst of the Webb / Morton era
    • Ardley noted poor body language as City went behind and that Barnet were "better than us in all areas", that he wanted City to play like Barnet. He noted a lack of "openness or legs" and that 6 of the match day squad had been impacted sickness / diarrhoea. Start delayed by a couple of minutes as one player (believed to be TLF, who 2 days after the game, Ardley called out as still suffering stomach cramps) was in the toilet. Maybe the performance needs to be viewed through that lens
    • Post match, David Stockdale's role as Head Of Recruitment came under more scrutiny than usual
  13. 230930 Solihull Moors (H) 2-2: Lead and come from behind to earn a draw in front of the lowest home crowd, so far, this season. More defensive woes.
    • 3 wingers, a striker and keeper on the bench due to sickness
  14. 231003 Dagenham and Redbridge (A) 2-1: Defensive woes (mainly first half) gave way to 2 late goals
    • Plenty of slopping first half defending ("really really poor in the first half" - Neal Ardley), often initiated from playing out from the back. At 1-0 down, City were caught on the break by a 1 - 5 overload
    • 2 substitutes used by the start of the second half as Ardley sought to change the team formation to get City back into the game. An early switch saw McLaughlin moved to left wing back in favour of Siziba and then John-Lewis replaced Marsh (38') and Harriott replaced Siziba (HT). Later City went 442
    • Scott Burgess' late cameo, his first appearance since December helped to turn the game
    • City's following of 176 was the biggest in the National League one the night, beating the Rochdale following at Solihull Moors by one
  15. 231007 Boreham Wood (H) 2-2: Payback time as City concede an equaliser deep into stoppage time.
  16. 231014 Needham Market (H) 0-0: City appeared to be slow and lacking in intensity throughout the game in a game of few chances
    • City named just 6 of the 7 allowed substitutes, including Scott Barrow on his return from his ACL injury suffered against Boston in the NLN Final in May 2022. No academy graduates included
    • In a scathing post match interview, Neal Ardley noted (last season), by playing the channels, Andrew Dallas (22) on the left of a front 3 and Joe Sbarra (17) from number 8 scored goals, maybe a pointed reference to Dipo Akinyemi's performance on the left, "they didn't do the game plan" he said, he talked about "high energy". Only Ryan Fallowfield merited a good word.
  17. 231017 Needham Market (A) 1-0: A late winner in City's first ever game in Suffolk in another scrappy game. 7 subs named. Ardley left the dressing room a good 5 minutes before the team at the start of the second half and looked a forlorn figure as he walked across the pitch to the dugout
  18. 231021 Eastleigh (A) 1-3: More defensive issues in a game where City were often outplayed although Neal Ardley noted City missed some "great chances" (particularly Marsh and Fallowfield) and that City "played some good stuff between both boxes". Dipo Akinyemi, the last ever present of the season missed the game through injury
  19. 231024 Chesterfield (A) 0-4: After a bright start (City had 3 corners in the first 12 minutes), it went downhill as Chesterfield got into the game. Goalless at half time, Chesterfield tweaked their formation and ran out 4-0 winners. Rory Watson (and the defence in general) didn't cover themselves in glory
    • Chris Marples who kept goal for both sides noted, "I thought York worked hard first half but Chesterfield’s quality came through in the second after scoring straight after half time. This is a good side who have won 13/16 games. Sometimes you need to take your medicine. The kid in goal got no help from his back line what so ever. Yes didn’t have his best game but first half kept score to 0-0. Get off the players backs they need your support more than ever in these difficult times whilst the manager needs time to sort it out and he will if given the support from the chairman. Just finally find it disgusting and not showing class which the supporters always (did) were whilst I played there singing about people losing their homes to floods over the past few days. The good times will return I’m sure but stick together as one"
    • Top 4 away NL away followings on the night were:
      • Oldham - c. 1300 (at AFC Fylde)
      • York - 554
      • Woking - 289 (at Eastleigh)
      • Hartlepool - 273 (at FC Halifax)
  20. 231028 FC Halifax (A) 1-1: Young debutants George Sykes-Kenworthy (arriving with 94 consecutive games for Bradford PA behind him) and Olly Green stood out as a late City goal, old guard left wing back Paddy McLaughlin popping on the edge of the 6 yard box up in the 93rd minute to give City an equaliser
    • 2 debutants, George Sykes-Kenworthy, making it a club record 5 keepers in a league season and Olly Green equalling a club record by wearing the 39 shirt, the highest number worn in City's and previously worn by Jake Hyde
    • Live on TNT Sports
    • In his TNT Sports post match interview, Neal Ardley was asked, "why so many players injured", his response was "well I could tell you why they're injured" before swiftly moving on. The interviewer didn't press further. On BBC Radio York Sport, he mentioned it was up to the squad payers to impress in training to earn a first team berth, Mitch Hancox was named but Ardley was keen to stress that his reply wasn't Hancox specific
  21. 231104 Chester (A) 0-0: A more workmanlike display, City were generally solid but rarely looked like hurting Chester. Until Dips came on, City looked blunt up front with Fallowfield being our most potent option. The home side pressed City in the last 10 minutes without really threatening.
    • BBC Radio York commentary was unavailable due to "technical issues" despite David Ward / Iain Dunn being loud and clear pre match. The link broke as the game started, possibly as a result of the BBC's contract which does not allow overseas commentary, no different to the situation they find themselves in with all Harrogate's games.
    • Just after the hour mark as Chester relieved pressure on their defence, a breakaway saw them "go close", causing screeches from the Chester FC ("Seals Live") in house commentator, he was brought back to earth by his co-commentator noting the shot had gone out for a throw in. Shortly afterwards, the commentator noted Aldershot were leading at Swindon, "to keep it polite, by the odd goal in 7", he said, it was 7-0 at the time.
  22. 231111 AFC Fylde (A) 2-0: An assured "full 90 minute performance" gave City a comfortable 2-0 win with many City man of the match candidates, Alex Woodyard possibly just edged the vote.
  23. 231114 Chester (H) 2-1: A Lenell John-Lewis brace gave City a 2-0 goal lead before Chester scored with 20 minutes to go. Not as impressive as the Fylde game, but generally, City were in control
    • City named 9 substitutes for the first time ever in a game
    • The win earned City £41,000 in prize money and guaranteed a £60,000 "appearance" fee from the BBC who will show the Round 2 game against Wigan live on BBC2
    • John Askey and Mark Goodlad were in attendance ahead of Saturday's game against Hartlepool
    • Large queues outside the ground before the game (and after kick off) with a reduced number of open turnstiles due to the expected crowd size and scanner issues. SMC tweeted to say "wet tickets" were a problem.
  24. 231118 Hartlepool (H) 1-3: The curse of the big crowd struck again with home supporters up in number by about 500 and 1,502 fans from Hartlepool. A lethargic City went down to a home defeat after a feel good week, both on and off the pitch
    • John Askey got the better of City on his first return as a manager
    • From the off, Callum Howe looked off the pace and a 3rd appearances in a week for Lenell John-Lewis seemed one too many for him
    • Post match, Neal Ardley said he saw it coming during training on the previous day and noted during the game that "both ends failed" whilst the midfield showed energy. He went on to say that "before games, (he) was having to ask players to runaround with intensity" and that he has an "experienced back line of people that don't talk". He said it was "the first club he's been at where he's worried whether his players will run around" (with intensity, speed and aggression) and it was an "awful, awful, disgusting performance".
  25. 231121 Oxford City (H) 2-0: A much improved performance. Early goals from Tyler Cordner (a 35 yard screamer) and Will Davies put City 2 up inside 17 minutes and in command
  26. 231125 Maidenhead (A) 1-1: With 11 men, City might have been disappointed with a point, but with 10 men for 70 minutes it was a well deserved point
    • Alex Woodyard received a straight red card after 20 minutes, it appeared that the fourth official gave it, just about the only person in the ground who thought it warranted a straight red card, even looking back at the highlights, there was little demand from the Maidenhead fans for a red card. The red card was later rescinded.
    • Again, Ardley showed his tactical nous, re-shaping his formation and line up with a 41st minute substitution and 2 more personnel changes at half time
    • Despite being a player down for most of the game, Maidenhead were largely restricted to long range efforts
    • Moan #1: Some thought the Maidenhead penalty was offside
    • Moan #2: Will Davies felt he was impeded by the referee in the build up to Maidenhead's goal (although the defence seemed to easily part ways) and it took a wicked deflection
    • Another Burgess assist and goal from Callum Howe, again, showing how difficult it is to defend a cross deep into the 6 yard box.
  27. 231201 Wigan (H) 0-1: Class eventually told on a foggy evening.
    • 53 places above City in the pyramid, Wigan's class eventually told after they had spurned a number of presentable chances
    • With Dipo Akinyemi and Will Davies unavailable, City went into the game light up front
    • It took a rush of blood to Tyler Cordner on the half way line to set up the winner just after the hour
    • As City moved away from their 541 starting formation in search of an equaliser, Lenell John-Lewis missed a couple of late chances whilst Olly Dyson put one chance agonisingly wide
    • For Wigan, scorer Stephen Humphrys was an ever present danger up front whilst Alex Woodyard had his best game for City (and constantly caught the eyes of the BBC TV commentary team)
    • City's FA Cup run netted £50,375 (£9,375 + £41,000) in prize money from 2 wins, £60,000 from a TV appearance fee against Wigan and a near 50% share of all match gate receipt after match expenses had been deducted
    • Wigan's win earned them £67,000 in prize money and a home tie against Manchester United in the next round
    • The game was broadcast live on BBC2, the first time a City game had been broadcast nationwide on terrestrial TV although a 1995 league game at Oxford was shown live on regional Central TV in 1995
    • In his eve of the game press conference, Neal Ardley noted that Olly Green had missed training earlier in the day due to the adverse snow conditions and post match interviews used this as the reason for him being on the bench as he'd been unable to be a part of the match tactics training session.
  28. 231209 Nantwich (A) 2-3: 3 down in 28 minutes, 2 late City goals made for a semi respectable scoreline, but it papered over the cracks, going down to a team 249 places (3 tiers) below them in the pyramid, in terms of rankings (and performance), one of City's worst ever defeats.
    • Tier 8 (NPL (West)) Nantwich Town had won 5 ties to reach this stage (winning the last 3 games on penalties after the games had finished 0-0 after 90 minutes)
    • Tyler Cordner named captain (5th different captain so far this season)
    • Neil Cox was the prominent voice in the City dugout with Neal Ardley taking a more back seat role. That extended to Cox doing the post match interview. Later, Ardley revealed that he wasn't allowed on the touchline as he wasn’t wearing the right shoes
    • Virtually everyone mis-read the teamsheet, Luke Daley who'd played at left centre back in the last game returned to his regular left back role whilst TLF was slotted in on the left of a 2 men central defence partnership
    • "They (Nantwich) used the wind really well, we didn't" - Neal Ardley
    • With 7 personnel changes to the starting line up, none of the players who'd been knocking on Ardley's door asking for a game seemed to improve their prospects
    • From the game, Nantwich took £4,500 in prize money and City received £1,250. After this round, 5 wins in the competitions resulted in a trophy at Wembley plus £123,750 in prize money and associated gate receipts.
  29. 231216 Rochdale (A) 0-0: Neal Ardley noted “We did a lot of work to make sure that we didn’t find ourselves in the same position as last week, 3-0 down in 20 minutes" as a much changed City side, once again lacking upfront, held out for a goalless draw against play off challengers, a much improved result from the LNER game against Rochdale in August.
  30. 231223 Ebbsfleet (H) 1-1: A disappointing game spiced up with a lively finish
    • Both goals came about following dubious refereeing decisions
    • Ebbsfleet's 95th equaliser was scored by their keeper Mark Cousins from a corner. The attack had initially been started when City thought they had been awarded an attacking throw in, an Ebbsfleet defender handed the ball to Kouhyar and the linesman signalled a York throw, the referee thought differently. That said, City had chances to prevent the goal before GSK flapped at the corner, the only negative from another assured performance from the young keeper, allowing Fleet's keeper to head home the equaliser, about the last action before the final whistle
    • Cousins is believed to be only the second opposition keeper to ever score against City (no City keeper has scored for us in a competitive game)
    • As the teams left the pitch, a mass brawl broke out. The referee showed at least one red card, believed to be to Tony McMahon, City's coach, although in all the confusion, it was difficult to be certain at the time. It was subsequently confirmed and he received a 3 match touchline ban and £500 fine
    • After the game, Matt Uggla tweeted, "I’m happy to get in trouble. Refs at this level are an absolute disgrace. That guy should be demoted to Sunday league. Had a argument with them after and the arrogance is unmatched. Sort it out". On February 6, the FA announced he'd been fined £250
    • Read the FA findings on Matt Uggla and Tony McMahon's disciplinary hearings
    • In May 2024, it was announced that Matt Uggla had been hit by a 3 match ground ban and a further £250 under the same FA E3 rule for the post match incidents.
    • Read the FA's May findings.
  31. 231226 Gateshead (A) 1-1: Another backs to the wall performance (a la Rochdale) saw Ryan Fallowfield's goal give City the lead just after the half hour only for Gateshead to equalise with just 8 minutes left
    • Although not pretty, City largely nullified the home team's threat, frequently referenced by Neal Ardley as the best footballing side the in the division and able to cut teams to shred
    • After the game, Soccerbase's half time league table had City in 3rd place (one point behind the leaders) but second half performances would have put City bottom of the table.
  32. 240101 Gateshead (H) 2-0: A confident performance from City with Akinyemi and Davies re-united up front for the first time since November's 2-0 win over Oxford City
    • Whilst Gateshead had more possession in midfield, City were largely the better side in both boxes
    • Awkward post match moment when Billy Chadwick, who knew he was leaving Gateshead and knew his next destination, went looking for Rob Elliot, his manager to say his farewells. He was directed to Neal Ardley's office where the 2 managers were in conversation, looking at Elliott, an awkward looking Chadwick bade his farewells to Elliot.
  33. 240107 Boreham Wood (A) 1-1: Another late City equaliser
    • Moved to Sunday for TNT coverage, Boreham Wood made all admission half price
    • Their incentive appears to have been rewarded with a gate, excluding City's support, which was bigger than many home games earlier in the season
    • However, a YCST letter to the Vanarama National League deploring the late change of kick off date / time and seeking compensation for fans who'd already made arrangements received no response
    • Neal Ardley reverted to his preferred subs bench of 5 outfield players as he felt he had "really strong options off the bench"
    • The home side were just as Neal Ardley had predicted during his YCS meet the manager on the eve of the game strong in possession with a fast and direct approach. His warning of the dangers of Chris Bush's long throw weapon resulted in no long throws for the home side, pity he didn't warn his side about Bush's long range shooting
    • New signing Billy Chadwick came straight into the side with Paddy McLaughlin sacrificed, despite showing some very nice touches, his more advanced role possibly upset team dynamics.
  34. 240116 Dorking Wanderers (H) Postponed
    • NA noted 25 outfield players in training on the day before the game
    • Despite freezing conditions in the run up to the game, City's confidence was high that the game would go ahead despite the Leeds / Everton Under 21 game being cancelled on the Monday due the freezing conditions. On the day, the temperature was +2 all day / evening with wintry showers forecast. Anecdotal evidence suggested it "wasn't cold" and above freezing which supported the forecast. A referee's inspection saw the game postponed just after 1pm
    • SMC had seemed confident that the game would go ahead with the pitch covers being in place in the run up to the game. However, late morning when Neal Ardley had had a jog on the pitch only to find it frozen solid making him believe the game was in severe jeopardy.
  35. 240120 AFC Fylde (H) Postponed. With both clubs agreeing to a Saturday midday inspection, the anticipated thaw came too late to save the game
  36. 240123 Oxford City (A) 2-1: Played in a howling wind and torrential rain, City won a scrappy game with a late Will Davies winner
    • Pre-match, Neal Ardley indicated that he was expecting to name the same line up as he'd planned to name in the last 2 games, albeit with tweaks to shape to address the different opposition, suggesting he knew he'd a preferred starting eleven, although plans maybe hampered by a late withdrawal (TLF) due to personal reasons. Barnes and Main had been named in the 18 men squad for the previous 2 postponed games.
    • Tony McMahon started his 3 game ban following his red card against Ebbsfleet meaning Neal Ardley did the striker warm up
    • It was the first time Neal Ardley had been able to deploy his 4 striker approach with Akinyemi and Chadwick starting and being replaced by Davies and John-Lewis
    • In his post match interview, having previously said that Oxford City have some good players, he named their half time substitutes Zac MacEachran and Josh Ashby as running their midfield in the second half. He also said the players would be in their "recovery pants" (more like a machine with compression leggings / tights with a built in machine that with 20 minutes pumping removes the lactic acid built up during the game, they support the muscles and speed up recovery, especially useful in first few hours after exercise when muscles begin to relax) and eating their bread
    • The official attendance figure was 266 away fans in a 641 crowd, given the reaction to the goals, the proportion of away fans seemed considerably higher, especially as there was no segregation for fans paying at the turnstile (or anywhere inside the ground). On the same evening, Oxford United hosted Barnsley who took 307 supporters to their game.
  37. 240127 Hartlepool (A) 1-2: City's unbeaten 8 game run comes to an end in an entertaining game with few clear cut chances
    • Pre match, it appeared that City fans had bought tickets from Hartlepool for seats that did not exist causing people to sit / stand in the gangways or to occupy other people's seats
    • During the match, a febrile atmosphere caused by the overcrowding and a number of City fans / home fans in the adjacent section who seemed more intent on causing trouble
    • Post match, for the first time there was considerable negativity towards Neal Ardley, including his post match view of the game, lack of left back options and team selection
    • Post match, various reports of trouble around the ground
    • Once again City had the biggest away NL following of the day, the top being City (1,054), Southend (832) and Kidderminster (209)
  38. 240203 Maidenhead (H) 1-1: A disappointing draw against a bottom 4 side
    • City's equaliser was credited as an own goal by Sam Beckwith, although some reports gave it to Will Davies who was pressurising Beckwith, saw the teams level at the break
    • City couldn't turn second half chances into goals
  39. 240210 Southend (A) 1-0: A backs to the wall win thanks to a late winner from substitute Lenell John-Lewis
  40. 240213 Dorking (H) 0-1: City conceded a long range (their only real effort) late goal to go down to a disappointing home defeat against lowly Dorking
    • Some booing was audible during the game in a game judged by many to be the worst, so far, under Ardley's reign
    • City's 532 (352) formation often had Akinyemi isolated up front as it appeared more 541 at times
    • Dorking jumped out of the bottom 4 to go level with City who created a good number of chances but which often lacked the killer final pass
    • It took 30 minutes for Neal Ardley to appear for his post match media duties. For the first time under him, comments were raised as to whether he had been watching the same game as the fans
  41. 240217 Dagenham & Redbridge (H) 1-1: A game City "didn't deserve to win" according to Neal Ardley, the crowd was identical to the previous game, albeit with an extra 5 away fans present
  42. 240220 Oldham (H) 1-1: Reverting to a back 4, an improved display saw draw specialists City take a point against in form Oldham
    • The draw moved City up to 16th place, one point above 21st place, one of 7 seven clubs on or one point above the 21st placed club in a very compressed table whilst a couple of wins in the last 3 home games would have lifted City to 11th place
    • A GSK mistake, when he came to claim a high cross near the penalty spot and failed, gave Oldham the lead on the hour as they belatedly grew into the game
    • With identical crowds of at the last 2 home games, with about 4,076 home fans at each, City’s “share” of the gate was down to 3,786, possibly a reflection on the amount of recent home games and / or poor performances at those games. Only fewer City fans attended the Oxford City game in November. That said, if Altrincham took more than 46 fans to Hartlepool, City's "share" of the gate was bigger than any other NL club on the night and more than half as many again as the 3rd best supported side.
  43. 240224 Barnet (A) 0-2: City went down to a disappointing 2- 0 defeat
    • Reverting to a back 5, the 3 players (Allen, Chadwick and Barnes) who provided much of the forward momentum against Oldham found themselves out of the starting eleven
    • Barnet effectively walked through the centre of City’s defence for both of their goals
    • A change of formation and personnel saw City start the second half strongly. City quickly had a great chance to equalise, but Charlie Allen will be very disappointed when a glorious pass from Dan Batty saw him fluff a one on one chance with the keeper. Akinyemi also missed a clear one on one.
    • City had further good second half chances and considerable possession up front without converting any of them
    • In the first half, City struggled to clear their own half, the goal came from a City goal kick, when after 3 successful passes, City lost the ball on the half way line, a short pass allowed Callum Stead to run largely unchallenged and score from the edge of the penalty area
    • The second goal came from a Barnet free kick on the edge of their own area. A long ball was knocked on, Barnet won the header and Callum Stead outmuscled Ryan Fallowfield on the edge of City’s area to score
    • With The Hive's North Stand demolished, both sides could play knowing the Wembley Arch was within touching distant
    • Meanwhile, several sources noted the chuminess of Matt Uggla and Tyler Cordner sat together in the stands.
  44. 240302 Wealdstone (H) 2-3: Once again, no new manager bounce. With 5 changes to the starting line up (including a recall for Cordner after nearly 3 months out of favour), many of the defensive shortcomings that Ardley had eliminated returned vengeance as City's defence was wide open at times
    • With results elsewhere, City kicked off in 21st position and a relegation spot
    • With Ryan Fallowfield injured and LJL starting on the bench, Callum Howe was named captain at the start of the Hinshelwood regime
    • After heavy rain, for the first time since City moved in, the pitch showed signs of some puddles down the side of it whilst various multi coloured pitch markings were visible following the England RU training sessions earlier in the week
    • A Billy Chadwick goal gave City a lead before 3 bad defensive mistakes saw Wealdstone go 3-1 up, GSK and Cordner (2) would probably put their hands up as being responsible
    • Cordner's recall ended on 66 minutes when Will Smith replaced him.
  45. 240305 AFC Fylde (H) 1-3: Another disappointing home defeat, a few signs of positive play in the first half were once again undone by a porous defence and very fragile confidence
    • 4 players came into the starting line up with Paddy McLaughlin reverting to left back
    • Pre kick off, Tyler Cordner had a heated argument with a supporter in the stands (later reports suggested it arose from a mis-understanding not abuse) and after the final whistle, Ryan Fallowfield was similarly involved with another fan when acknowledging the fans who remained at the final whistle.
    • "The players looked a bit lost and confused ... it looked like a bit of a mess", Adam Hinshelwood
    • Post match, one supporter noted, "We’ve been in dire straights in previous years and clambered to safety. But this time there is so much disarray. Feeble at the back, gutless in the middle, and toothless up front. Mistake-riddled from front to back. Bereft of confidence, abdication of responsibility throughout squad, big-time Charlie’s not working hard enough, and drawing unsustainable wages. Normally I’m cut from the same cloth as you (i.e. optimistic), stuff can change, it just takes one spark , look at our rivals. But this lot are especially hapless right now. Where’s the break coming from? Who is going to step forward? Don’t see it. Oh, shocking at home too despite really good support overall. I ‘d be thrilled to be wrong but you couldn’t make a decent XI out of 30+ players in a scattergun-signed squad
    • The actual attendance looked significantly less than the (tickets sold) announced figure of 4,433, indeed 36% of the "attendance" were "no shows", tickets bought but not in attendance, mainly season ticket holders.
  46. 240309 Kidderminster (A) 0-0: 2 uninspiring sides produced a drab draw
    • Quevin Castro was recalled for his first league start since early September, after a slow start, he grew into the game
    • Some criticism from Adam Hinshelwood for new signing Leone Gravata's lack on work rate in his post match interview.
    • After the game, Kiddy manager Phil Brown noted, "I didn't ever feel as if York were offering enough for us to lose the game or score a goal, I don't think that they showed enough ambition as far as we were concerned. They've got their own way of playing and it completely confused me, because in the previous two games you watched York on a video and you think that they're going to be playing the same way, surely they were coming to Aggborough and they are going to try and impress the new manager".
  47. 240312 Altrincham (A) 1-6: One to forget.
    • City's formation, nominally 442 (defence) / 433 (attack), looked loose with players being pulled out of position. It could possibly be best described an as "open" formation with Alty having multiple overloads and frequently running through City's defence at will having
    • Altrincham had a 1.6 xG (expected goals) to City's 0.9
    • GSK will have felt he could have done much better with 4 of the goals whilst Paddy McLaughlin had a torrid time at left back with Dipo Akinyemi often pulled deep to support him
    • Several reports noted City fans spitting at GSK
    • Post match, speaking to Radio York, captain Lenell John-Lewis sounded like a broken man as he said, "I can only apologise. Without swearing, it was a shambles. The fans were amazing, we can only apologise, I can only apologise. I’m lost for words, to be honest".
    • Matt and Julie-Anne Uggla said:
    • The 6-1 defeat equalled City's worst ever (since 2004) non league defeats, those at Gateshead and Guiseley early in the 2016/7 season.
    • With 7 games left, defeat left City 23rd in the table, 3 points (4 taking goal difference into account) from safety, City's position looked dire given recent form and the next 3 games being against top 5 sides
    • Read the YorkPress match report.
  48. 240316 Aldershot (H) 1-0: With City the better side for most of the game, a much improved display saw a late Lenell John-Lewis winner against a side in a play off position
    • 7 changes to the starting line up, including Rory Watson, who despite a couple of early jitters performed competently
    • Ryan Fallowfield was more than competent when deployed as an emergency centre back after Will Smith became unavailable overnight
    • Marvin Armstrong named man of the match on his debut, his energy and vision adding much to midfield
    • Hinshelwood employed a tactic rarely used by recent City managers, he defended corners with 3 players on the half way line compelling Aldershot to keep 4 players back.
  49. 240323 Bromley (A) 2-0: A thoroughly deserved 2-0 win away to third placed Bromley, a second win in a week against a top 5 side
    • City were largely in charge and rarely looked in danger against a lethargic Bromley as City recorded back to back wins for the first time (and consecutive clean sheets) for the first time this season with a dominant display in which City won nearly every second ball
    • Dipo Akinyemi scored a classy lobbed goal from 25 yards to seal the win. From a clearance by Watson towards The Shop, the ball broke to Akinyemi who with his second touch lobbed the keeper. It was later named as City's goal of the season
    • For once, it wasn't a late winner or backs to the wall display that earned City all 3 points
    • City's support included around 20 members of Hinshelwood's family, Marvin Armstrong's young children and a good number of family and friends of City's players who originate from the south east
    • Not for the first time under Hinshelwood, instructions from the bench seemed lacking at a substitution, this time when TLF went off and City went 343 with Chadwick (RWB) and Siziba (LWB)
    • Both Akinyemi and TLF made the Vanarama team of the week.
    • Read the Bromley blogger's match report.
  50. 240329 Chesterfield (H) 2-1: City came from behind to record a 3rd successive victory
    • A City record LNER crowd of 7,571 saw City beat newly crowned champions Chesterfield 2-1. The crowd included 2,185 away fans, the most away fans ever at the ground for a league game and only bettered by the 2,960 Sheffield Wednesday fans who attended the July 2023 friendly
    • For once, the curse of the big crowd, the biggest in the non league on Good Friday, did not strike
    • Chesterfield's assistant manager, Danny Webb, thought his side could have been 4 up by half time, that might not have been far from the truth
    • Given the away following, eventually Chesterfield fans were allocated the whole of the West Stand and North Stand tickets went on sale to City fans 2 days before kick off of the all ticket game, the first time City fans had been behind both goals
    • Towards the end of the first half, TLF fell awkwardly in a duel with Olly Banks. He received about 12 minutes of treatment on the pitch before leaving on a stretcher in a neck brace, the injury appeared a lot worse than it was
    • Loanee Sam Fishburn made his City debut wearing the number 40 shirt, the highest ever shirt number worn by a City player
    • Post match, Hinshelwood talked about how they'd been working with TLF and Kouhyar on some attacking situations, the importance of a settled side is starting to work
    • Dan Batty and Dipo Akinyemi both earned places in the Non League Papers Vanarama team of the week and Adam Hinshelwood was named top boss
    • The win saw City jump into the middle third of the table, 16th place, 5 points (and a slightly superior goal difference) above the relegation zone
    • Post match City tweeted to strongly condemn the City fans who thrashed a York Pullman bus on the Y22 supporter service.
  51. 240401 FC Halifax (A) 1-1: An assured City are robbed of a 4th successive win by an injury time blunder
    • Postponed a day earlier due to a waterlogged pitch, the mud bath of a pitch made good football difficult
    • A largely assured City performance against side with play off pretensions
    • Watson injured in warm up
    • City's performance dipped after the substitutions (Fishburn, Armstrong and Akinyemi left the pitch)
    • Once again, Batty did well as an emergency right back
    • Both GSK and Castro might think they should have done better for Halifax's late equaliser.
  52. 240406 Eastleigh (H) 0-1: City unravelled late on to lose when a win for either side would have effectively ended any relegation concerns
    • Home league attendances top 100,000 for second consecutive season
    • After a strong first half, City struggled to re-produce their display after the break, not aided by an Eastleigh side who seemed intent on time wasting
    • City had 2 players sent off in the last quarter, Siziba (straight red, mixed opinion as to whether it warranted a straight red card) and Fallowfield (2 yellow cards, the second an out of control lunge in the aftermath of Siziba's red)
    • More mixed opinions as to whether Eastleigh's goal was a GSK howler or a foul on the keeper, a consensus might have been that GSK should have been stronger and that a Eastleigh player fouled him and pulled his shirt, even the Eastleigh players didn't initially celebrate it
    • Yellow cards, believed to be, for Callum Howe, Billy Chadwick and Adam Hinshelwood following Eastleigh's goal
    • The match report was hidden behind the York Press pay wall, so I had to read their top rated story about a girl being bit by her family dog.
  53. 240413 Woking (H) 2-0: After a slow start, City grew into the game and ran out worthy winners, Billy Chadwick starring
    • Admission prices were slashed to £10 resulting in a 7,657 crowd (including 303 away fans), making it the biggest ever crowd for a City game at the LNER. For the first time ever, the entire North Stand was open to home supporters
    • Adam Hinshelwood watched from the stands, the first of a 2 match touchline ban, following touchline misdemeanours whilst at Worthing
    • The Billy Fenton Memorial Trophy was presented to Ryan Fallowfield on the pitch before kick-off
    • 2023/4 saw 110,429 (up 1,276 on last season) people pass through the LNER turnstiles for league games, just 8.9% were away fans .
    • Dipo Akinyemi and Danny Amos were named in the Vanarama non league team of the week as was Mitch Hancox on his first start for Altrincham, his deflected shot falling kindly for the first goal in their 2-0 win at Ebbsfleet
    • City Flickr of the day.
  54. 240420 Solihull Moors (A) 0-1: City succumbed to a late Moors winner, but results elsewhere meant City finished one point and one place above the drop zone
    • City went into the game knowing their league status was only in doubt with a big defeat and Solihull Moors with little opportunity to improve their play off spot, hence, the game was often played at a slow tempo, a draw or narrow result suiting both teams
    • Dipo Akinyemi started with his hamstring heavily bandaged
    • Scholars Harley Dawson and Bill Marshall trained with the first team on Thursday and travelled with the team to the game.
    • City took 1,153 fans to the game, once again, the biggest away following in the league, comfortably beating the 752 fans that Aldershot took to Dagenham and beating all Division 2 (except Wrexham at Crewe) away followings, beating 9 Division 1 away followings and also beating 4 Championship away followings
    • City ended the season without winning a single penalty in league games
    • Across the season, City used 41 different players, the most ever in a season that didn't result in relegation. The squad included another 10 players (Main, Barrow, Sanders, Joshua and 6 youngsters) who got no game time
    • A day after the game there was utter confusion concerning the play offs. Altrincham (4) v FC Halifax (7) and Solihull Moors (5) v Gateshead (6) seemed quite straight forward. Then, the league ruled Gateshead ineligible to complete as their ground didn't meet the 10 year lease requirement and league rules state the 8th place club, Aldershot, cannot enter the plays offs. Their initial statement clearly stated Moors would have a bye. A few hours later, the National League quoted another rule and FC Halifax were shuffled up to 6th and therefore an away game at Moors with Altrincham receiving a quarter final bye.

2023/4 Lineups (last updated 21/Apr/2024).

Watch all season's highlights.

Awards and cards

  • Red Cards (6): Howe, John-Lewis, Crookes, Woodyard, Siziba, Fallowfield.

2023/4 - The Players

  1. Dipo Akinyemi The class signing of the summer, he blew hot and cold, maybe not helped by having to play out wide on the left at times when some questioned his commitment. On his day, played in central role, he was a top class striker. An interrupted pre-season, a couple of hamstring and an ankle injury didn't help his rhythm. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 41 (3) Goals: 15.
  2. Charlie Allen Speedy winger provided some of the “one on one domination” that Ardley has craved for in the last few weeks, but who failed to show any end product and sometimes lacked game sense . Return to parent club. Apps: 2 (2) Goals: 0.
  3. Danny Amos Steady loanee in the problem left back position, that alone should mean the out of contract Grimsby player is on City's 2024/5 recruitment short list. Return to parent club. Apps: 13 (1) Goals: 0.
  4. Levi Andoh Was looking to be one of the better summer signings before a severe back injury in late August ended his season. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 4 (0) Goals: 0.
  5. Marvin Armstrong Was a revelation after he joined City, the catalyst for City's late season revival, driving City forward from midfield. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 7 (0) Goals: 1.
  6. Finlay Barnes Promising pre season before being loaned to Tier 6 sides Darlington and Scarborough where he has generally played well before Christmas. Recalled, he had a few games for City and briefly shone, but with the amount of wide players on City's books, he dropped down the order and returned to Scarborough on loan. Deserves another chance. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 3 (3) Goals: 0.
  7. Scott Barrow Played in the NRSC game at Guisborough and made the bench for a FA Cup game. Ended the season with a 3 month loan spell at Darlington and was key in their relegation survival. A solid pro, but given his age, it is unlikely he'll be a National League regular ever again. Released. Apps: -
  8. Dan Batty Classy midfield player, who arrived late and has missed more games than he has played before Christmas. Later looked assured in a defensive midfield role and performed more than adequately as an emergency right back. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 25 (2) Goals: 0.
  9. Scott Burgess Injuries meant a recall to the bench at Dagenham in October where his late appearance helped to turn a turgid display into a last gasp victory. Subsequently played in a number of attacking positions, with an impressive number of assists, but some feel his lightweight frame will always count against him. Released. Apps: 19 (6) Goals: 1.
  10. Maison Campbell Some were surprised that he was offered an extension in the summer and then again when he was offered a further extension in August . A loan spell at Marske (Tier 7) didn't start well (conceding 8 goals in 2 games before he was dropped) and was followed by a month at Knaresborough (Tier 8) and in December, he joined Scunthorpe (Tier 6) on loan as second choice keeper. Performed adequately when replacing the injured Stockdale during the game at Aldershot. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 0 (1) Goals: 0.
  11. Quevin Castro In and out, much more out than in. Had a loan spell with Kings Lynn. Hinshelwood briefly tried him as he sought to beef up his midfield prior to Armstrong's signing. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 9 (8) Goals: 1.
  12. Billy Chadwick Neal Ardley always said we'd see the best of him next season, a good scorer in the NLN in 2022/3, he showed plenty of glimpses of skill under Hinshelwood but needs more consistency. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 16 (3) Goals: 3.
  13. Tyler Cordner Slow start, many questioned his weight, but he steadily improved until he was dropped after the Nantwich game. His only other game was Hinshelwood's first in charge but was taken off with about 20 minutes left. Often looked classy and drive forward from the back, but he had a mistake in him. Ardley noted there had been some initial interest from Football League clubs in him in January but that was not followed up. Yet to live up to the player who during the 2022/3 season was the Conference player of the month on 3 occasions, Aldershot’s top scorer with 15 goals, was selected for the Conference’s team of the year and got an England C call up. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 27 (1) Goals: 3.
  14. Adam Crookes Missed nearly half the season with a series of injuries, when he played, he was dependable at left back / left centre back. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 23 (0) Goals: 2.
  15. Luke Daley Late November loanee who impressed before falling ill and not having his loan extended. Return to parent club. Apps: 4 (0) Goals: 0.
  16. Will Davies Mid November signing, promising start but quickly his form dipped and he ended the season on loan at Bromley. It is to be hoped that he comes back a much stronger player with a full pre-season behind him. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 17 (4) Goals: 4.
  17. Michael Duckworth Another series of injuries restricted him to just 7 appearances. Released. Apps: 4 (3) Goals: 0.
  18. Olly Dyson City's 2022/3 player of the season failed to kick on and found himself out of favour under Ardley and spent the last 4 months of the season on loan at Scarborough. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 16 (9) Goals: 0.
  19. Ryan Fallowfield Consistent performances up and down the right. Filled in well as emergency centre back. Worthy Billy Fenton Player Of The Season award winner. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 46 (0) Goals: 4.
  20. Sam Fishburn Fleetwood loanee who replaced Will Davies upfront. Good hold up skills but maybe not what is needed. Return to parent club. Apps: 2 (1) Goals: 0.
  21. Leone Gravata Adam Hinshelwood's first signing, didn't impress on his debut and missed subsequent games through injury. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 0 (1) Goals: 0.
  22. Olly Green Busy attacking midfielder who has shown prominently in his first spell of men's football on loan from Hull. Like Daley, he fell ill and his loan wasn't extended. Return to parent club. Apps: 8 (0) Goals: 0.
  23. Jonny Haase Too old for any academy games, has was a regular left back on loan at Stockton Town before Christmas. Released, he joined Northallerton in January. Released during season. Apps: -
  24. Mitch Hancox Unfavoured by all 3 City managers this season, his game time was restricted. Had a month on loan at Hartlepool under John Askey that wasn’t extended by their new manager. On the pitch, he always gave 100%, I never saw him in training. Many commented on his drawn and haggard appearance, consensus was that it was down to a new vegan diet. Joined Altrincham in March. Released during season. Apps: 0 (3) Goals: 0.
  25. Callum Harriott Sustained a foot / heel injury in his only pre season game and seems to have been injured ever since, bar couple of appearances. Looked classy when he did play, but missed 37 league games through injury . Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 4 (4) Goals: 1.
  26. George Harrison He performed well in a loan spell at Bridlington Town (Tier 8) before a long term injury curtailed the loan. Will be too old for 2024/5 academy football. Contract decision pending. Apps: -
  27. Ethan Henderson (2) One month loan spell at Atherton Collieries (Tier 7) where his game time was restricted to the subs bench before injury struck. Released in December. Released during season. Apps: -
  28. Alex Hernandez Pro as a second year scholar, had a good scoring record on loan at Winterton Rangers, his first spell of "men's" football. Eligible for 2024/5 academy games. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: -
  29. Callum Howe Like Cordner, another class signing who had played well in the past against City. Steady, but not spectacular as City's main central defender. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 45 (1) Goals: 2.
  30. Alex Hunt Many thought he'd never play for City again after being pulled by Neal Ardley 45 minutes into his City debut at Barnet. Recalled under Hinshelwood, he put in a number of impressive midfield performances, always looking for a forward pass and wanting to put City on the front foot, possibly a little light weight. One loanee who might be of interest for the 2024/5 season. Return to parent club. Apps: 9 (0) Goals: 0.
  31. Alex Hurst Again flattered to deceive in early season, he was believed to have had a dispute with Mikey Morton in August. He left for Macclesfield a month later. Released during season. Apps: 1 (4) Goals: 0.
  32. Lenell John-Lewis City's second top scorer, a decent scoring record but regularly knocked by City fans as being "past it", only to put in a good display in the next game, certainly. A model pro who was lauded by all 3 managers for his off field influence. Signed new one year contract. Apps: 21 (24) Goals: 10.
  33. Kevin Joshua 3 month loan spell at Macclesfield (Tier 7) cut short half way through it. Post Macclesfield, he turned down 2 loan moves before Christmas and was released in January. Released during season. Apps: -
  34. Kai Kennedy Busy midfield player who was a near regular in his first 3 months, his starting place become much less frequent as the injured legions recover and non existent under Hinshelwood. Many asked what he brings to the side due to his lack of goals and assists. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 11 (8) Goals: 0.
  35. Maziar Kouhyar As ever, blew hot and cold and showed his versatility at left wing back, left midfield and central midfield. 5 goals from 27 appearances made him City's 3rdtop scorer, but more is expected from him, his end product often failing to live up to his approach work. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 22 (5) Goals: 5.
  36. Thierry Latty-Fairweather Dropping from Division 1 Burton, he scored one spectacular goal but the jury is out to his best position, left back, left wing back, left midfield but definitely not centre back. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 16 (8) Goals: 2.
  37. Cedric Main Productive 3 month loan spell back at Blyth (Tier 6) his previous club. Neal Ardley indicated he would be a member of his first team squad but when he wasn't, he asked for a transfer. Joining Darlington, he was the first ever City player signed on a free transfer and sold for money. Released during season. Apps: -
  38. Aiden Marsh Undoubtedly talented, he had a disappointing loan spell from Barnsley before being recalled. Barred by Barnsley for playing in the FA Cup for City, he played for Barnsley when ineligible which meant Barnsley were expelled from the competition. Later had limited Division 1 game time for Barnsley. Return to parent club. Apps: 3 (4) Goals: 0.
  39. Patrick McLaughlin Stoically fulfilled a number of roles, left back, left wing back, DCM and ACM with wholehearted commitment, possibly performing best in a more advanced role. Had the best availability record, being available for 45 of City's league games during the season. Model pro, but his class was put into the shade by the signing of Marvin Armstrong. That said, he has been well favoured by all City's managers. Signed new 2 year contract. Apps: 29 (15) Goals: 1.
  40. Dan Pybus Believed to have refused play against Altrincham in August and joined Dorking a week later. Steady at Dorking. Released during season. Apps: 2 (0) Goals: 0.
  41. Sam Sanders Some were surprised that he was allowed to join Truro (Tier 6) on loan. He has played steadily for them throughout the season. Whether he is National League ready is still to be determined. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: -
  42. Johnny Shepherd Too old for any academy games, with absolutely no game time, he was released in January and joined Northallerton. Released during season. Apps: -
  43. Zanda Siziba Showed some early promise, scoring 3 goals as the team was blighted by a prolonged early season injury crisis. Another who dropped down the order as the injured returned. Had an impressive loan spell at Blyth but blotted his copy book by receiving a straight red (some said unjust) when recalled by Hinshelwood as a substitute for the Eastleigh game. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 7 (12) Goals: 3.
  44. Will Smith Harrogate loanee who has preferred adequately on the left side of defence but ended the season on the bench. Return to parent club. Apps: 30 (1) Goals: 1.
  45. David Stockdale Marquee signing who generally looked assured in goal but went missing through injury and was noted having been de-registered as a player. Released. Apps: 8 (0) Goals: 0.
  46. Jack Stott Another Championship loanee who'd impressed for Middlesbrough in their pre -season LNER friendly. Injured early on at City, he didn’t seem to shrug of his injury and was recalled to Middlesbrough early where he slotted straight start back into their Under 21 side. Return to parent club. Apps: 2 (0) Goals: 0.
  47. George Sykes-Kenworthy Has looked assured in his early outings in goal for City but from January onwards, his displays were increasingly dotted with calamitous mistakes. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 25 (0) Goals: 0.
  48. Sam Taylor Regular keeper for academy league games. Joined Billingham Synthonia (Tier 10) on loan in December. Contract decision pending. Apps: -
  49. Rory Watson Believed to have been an early summer target, he eventually signed in late August. After a few jittery autumn appearances, he returned to the side in March and showed much improved form as an excellent shot stopper as City hit a winning run. It is debatable whether a leading non league side would want him (or GSK) as first choice keeper. Referenced a couple of times at the end of the season by Hinshelwood as being a good character, who seems good for the squad, who knows when to have a laugh and joke and when to be serious and get down to work. Signed new 2 year contract. Apps: 8 (0) Goals: 0.
  50. Ryan Whitley Quickly recalled from a season long loan at Scarborough when Stockdale was injured. Back in the first team, he performed adequately but no more, becoming only the 7th home grown City player since 2004 to make 30 City starts. Whether his mistakes could be attributed to him or the defence in front of him is up for question. Released and joined Scarborough. Released during season. Apps: 11 (0) Goals: 0.
  51. Alex Woodyard Dan Batty Mark #2, but has played a bit more. Very steady as a defensive midfield player but with very limited forward vision. Amid rumours of a bust up with Hinshelwood and Armstrong's signing, his season ended early. Already contracted beyond 2023/4. Apps: 32 (3) Goals: 0.

Away On Loan

  • Jonny Haase Stockton Town (Northern Premier League (East) (Tier 8) (08/Aug/2023 - 3 months)). Early season regular having played for them as a trialist in a pre-season game. Released in January and joined Northallerton.
  • Sam Sanders Truro City (National League South (Tier 6) (27/Jul/2023 - season loan)). Scouted by the Truro manager since his Forest days. Initial 6 month loan extended to season long loan. NLS regular.
  • Ryan Whitley Scarborough Athletic (National League North (Tier 6) (02/Aug/2023 - Season Loan)). Early season regular, recalled on August 22nd when David Stockdale was injured having played in all of their 4 opening games, keeping 2 clean sheets and conceding 2 goals. Released in October and joined Scarborough a day later.
  • Finlay Barnes Darlington (National League North (Tier 6) (25/Aug/2023 - 27/Sep/2023)) and Scarborough Athletic (National League North (Tier 6) (29/Sep/2023 - 3 months)). A day after signing, super sub Finlay Barnes scored with second touch and his third touches in Darlo's 3-2 win at Alfreton. After his month's loan was completed, he almost immediately joined Scarborough on loan. He has won man of the match awards at both clubs. He returned to Scarborugh on a season long loan on March 20 when getting no game time under Hinshelwood.
  • Cedric Main Blyth Spartans (National League North (Tier 6) (25/Aug/2023 - 04/Jan/2024). His form and work rate saw many wishing he was able to return early from his loan to play a part in Neal Ardley's "front 4". A most productive loan spell with 9 goals and 6 assists from 16 appearances. Expressing a desire for regular football, he joined Darlington for an undisclosed fee about 4 weeks after his return to York.
  • Kevin Joshua Macclesfield (Northern Premier League (Premier Division) (Tier 7) (19/Sep/2023 - 3 months)). Seemed more comfortable on the bench than the pitch and the loan was terminated about half way through it. Released in January and returned to Ireland.
  • Ethan Henderson Atherton Collieries (Northern Premier League (Premier Division) (Tier 7) (26/Sep/2023 - 1 month)). After appearing on the bench, injury limited his further opportunities. Released in December.
  • Maison Campbell Marske United (Northern Premier League (Premier Division) (Tier 7) (30/Sep/2023 - 1 month)) and Knaresborough Town (North Counties East Premier) (Tier 8) (02/Nov/2023 - 1 month)). Dropped (and relegated to the bench) after conceding 8 goals in his first 2 Marske games. On December 8, he joined Scunthorpe (NLN, Tier 6) for the rest of the season where he was second choice keeper.
  • George Harrison Bridlington Town (Northern Premier League (Division 1 East) (Tier 8) (20/Oct/2023 - season long)). Repeating the path he trod for a month in February 2023. Good early reviews before suffering a "season ending injury". However, he scored for City's Under 19 side on March 13. On July 26, a social media report had noted that he'd played for another club with a view to a loan, it is believed that it never materialised.
  • Sam Taylor Billingham Synthonia (Northern League (Division 2) (Tier 10) (15/Dec/2023 - 28 days)). A chance for senior football which although not officially announced, appeared to become a season long loan.
  • Mitch Hancox Hartlepool (National League) (Tier 5) (07/Nov/2023 - 2 months). Game time under John Askey. On March 15, he was released by mutual consent and joined Altrincham.
  • Scott Barrow Darlington (National League North) (Tier 6) (04/Jan/2024 - Season loan)). Game time under Steve Watson. Speaking on Radio York after his release, he said that no one from the club had checked up on his knee during his loan spell and that when he was released, that was the first time he'd met Adam Hinshelwood.
  • Alex Hernandez Winterton Rangers (Northern Premier League (Division 1 East) (Tier 8) (13/Jan/2024 - 13/March/2024)). A chance for senior football and a goal on his debut that day with his first touch. With the loan extended to 2 months, he netted 3 goals in 6 games. Read More.
  • Olly Dyson Scarborough Athletic (National League North) (Tier 6) (16/Jan/2024 - season)). Initial one month loan extended to the end of the season.
  • Quevin Castro Kings Lynn (National League North) (Tier 6) (19/Jan/2024 - one month loan)). Game time and on his return to City saw some game time.
  • Maz Kouhyar Hereford (National League North) (Tier 6) (23/Jan/2024 - one month loan)). Found himself out of favour towards the end of his month when the manager changed systems. Returned to City's first team under Hinshelwood.
  • Will Davies Bromley (National League) (Tier 5) (28/Mar/2024 - one month loan)). Found himself out of favour at City, was full time football affecting him. Was largely confined to the bench, including their Wembley play off success.

YCFC Loan Watch (20/March/2024) Read More.

Retained List

City’s retained list was announced 2 days after the season finished and was much as expected. It named 22 players as already being under contract for next season and another, Ryan Fallowfield, as already having signed a contract extension. Sam Sanders wasn’t named in the original announcement but was added shortly afterwards.

3 players (Lenell John-Lewis, Paddy McLaughlin and Rory Watson) were offered new contracts. In total, potentially, 27 players contracted for next season. It is unknown whether all figure in Hinshelwood’s plans and it is highly possible that some will not be here next season. Equally, whether City run a development / reserve side may determine some fates. Just 3 players (Scott Burgess, Scott Barrow and Michael Duckworth) were released.

The futures of 2 young academy professionals (Sam Taylor and George Harrison) will be determined once their season has finished in May.

Later in the day, it was announced that David Stockdale had left the club.

With so many players already contracted for the 2024/5 season, Hinshelwood has already indicated that he will be looking to move some players on before the start of the new season, whether by means of transfers / long term loan deals or agreeing mutual contract termination is unclear. Whatever the route, given the belief that City players are generally well paid, it is likely to be an expensive summer.

Agents' Fees

February (and the closure of the transfer window) has traditionally seen clubs' spending on agents' fees over the past 12 months published. In 2024, they were published in April. See The FA website for full details, including total spend by every club and players involved (although not fees by individual player).

Published later than usual, the FA's annual report on agents' fees showed that City spent £128,902 (£27,937 a year earlier), the most of any non league club. In total, non league clubs (33) spent £751,701 on agent’s fees.

City’s spend was by far the biggest in non league, it was only exceeded by 6 Division 2 sides and it was bigger than 8 Division 1 sides.

The report covers the 12 months to the end of the January 2024 transfer window.

City’s fees covered 20 players, including 2 from the 2022/3 season (Ellis and Rowe) and 2 contract renewals / extensions (Dyson and Sanders).

In full, the players were Ellis, Rowe, Main, Joshua, TLF, Siziba, Castro, Andoh, Cordner, Howe, Akinyemi, Dyson, Harriott, Woodyard, Sanders, Kennedy, Batty, GSK, Davies and Chadwick. Of the 20 transactions:

  • Eyeconic Sport Management were involved in 4 registrations (Joshua, Latty - Fairweather, Siziba, and Castro)
  • Lee Philpott in 3 (Rowe, Howe and Chadwick)
  • Jack Wilson in 2 (Cordner and Harriott)
  • Mark Obern in 2 (Batty and Kennedy)
  • 9 other agents were each involved in one registration.

About City’s only signings that didn’t attract any agent fees were Stockdale, Watson, Barnes and Ardley’s plethora of loan signings.

YCFC Development Squad

The flagship reserve / development league is the Premier League Under 21 / 23 setup. It has recently changed from an Under 23 league to Under 21 and features around 40 of England’s top sides split by EPPP category 1 and 2 designation.

For 2023/4, 26 EPPP category 1 clubs compete in Premier League 2 and 11 EPPP2 clubs compete in Premier League 2 Division Two, both operate at a nationwide level with only Reading, in the top flight, being from outside England's top 2 leagues. Over the years, the format has flipped between Under 21 and Under 23. Currently up to 5 over age players are allowed per team as the big clubs struggle to decide the best format. It could be said that players should be ready by the age of 21 whilst the 5 over age players allows both the occasional late developer and squad or other players returning from injury competitive game time.

Beneath this, at "Tier 3", sits the Professional Development League, a 21 club competition split into 2 regional sections and features a range of clubs from Burnley and Watford down to Crewe and Colchester. If my maths and understanding is correct, that makes 58 clubs.

There are various Under 23 / 21 / development leagues in existence, pyramid fashion, beyond this. Here at “Tier 4”, many lower league clubs compete in various leagues that largely go under radar. One such league that operated during the 2022/3 season was The Central League, albeit a shadow of its former glories, a 7 team competition which included Huddersfield, Wrexham and 5 lower Football League clubs from Lancashire. For the 2023/4 season, The Central League appears to have increased to a 12 club competition, spreading its tentacles to add Derby, Lincoln, Notts County, Mansfield and Barrow with west and east sections. This will also be around the level where the likes of Doncaster and Harrogate also compete.

I imagine “Tier 5” is the “National Football Youth League “set up. It has a 10 team northern set up consisting of Chesterfield, Mansfield, Macclesfield, Scarborough, South Shields, Steven Gerrard’s Academy (Paul Mullin is possibly the most notable graduate in its history) and 2 sides from each of Tadcaster Albion and i2i. Its 9 team southern equivalent includes Cambridge, Wealdstone and 7 teams from below National League. NFYL - Read More. Interestingly, records suggest that Mansfield compete in both the revamped Central League and the National Youth Football set up. It remains to be seen whether this is accurate or they have swapped competitions, potentially leaving a vacancy.

Further down, say “Tier 6” teams like Kidderminster run Under 23 sides, they complete in a West Midlands league, competing against many clubs that many have never heard of. Without a recognised EPPP academy, I could see City fitting in at "Tier 5" (and struggling to be accepted any higher up the pyramid). Given City’s late move into development squad world, it is assumed that City’s second string will play only friendlies during the 2023/4 season and look to enter a league for the 2024/5 season. Most “reserve” team leagues operate with only a handful of clubs, so playing 20 games a season might be a big ask. Given Mikey Morton’s comment that a player might need 50 - 100 games to be ready for a first team berth, it could be a long apprenticeship for some of our youngsters.

Whilst for City, "Tier 5" competition might provide a modicum of competitive football at reserve team level, it hardly seems the level that is needed to step into the first team, so for some time to come, loans at National League North / South level might prove to be the best route into our first team,

For the 2023/4 season, it looks like the development squad players’ playing time will be mostly via loan moves. However, City must play by “the rules”. Ryan Whitley was recalled after just 2 weeks of a season long loan at Scarborough, whilst Scarborough agreed to the deal, they might be disappointed to lose Whitley so quickly. It does nothing for their team planning and left them a first choice keeper down. Equally, in one of Mikey Morton’s last radio interviews, he indicated that he had 4 players lined up to go out on loan. 2 did, but when he was sacked, Tony McMahon indicated no one else would be leaving on loan until a new manager was appointed. Presumably 2 clubs were disappointed that they didn’t get the player they wanted. Such behaviour by City might make clubs think twice about asking City for a loanee if they think they may be messed around by City. Conversely, if City agree to "no recall" clause loans, that possibly suggests that the player is not "first team ready", so any clamour for his return must tempered by that.

Logically above a “development squad” would sit a “first team squad”, ideally with separate set ups and working in separate environments, City have in the past said that sometimes some academy players train with the first team squad as part of their development, that could work in a similar way with the development squad although being professionals they must always think they have a realistic chance of progressing to the first team.

I’m sure its possible that a lot of general fitness work could be undertaken in a combined group but as matchday approaches the groups split with the first team squad focusing on match preparation and further split into expected starter team and the others when undertaking specific match play / tactics work.

That brings us onto the composition of a development squad or rather the first team squad. A first team squad should comprise around 22 - 25 players with cover in each position, rather like a World Cup squad with all players capable of performing in the first team. Some expected to be “regular starters” and others capable of stepping up when required without letting the side down. That’s the distinction between “first team starter” and “first team squad”. Remember on September 16, City went into the Southend game with 8 players unavailable due to injury / illness which would mean all available first team squad players being in the match day squad (except for a 3rd choice keeper).

The rest of City’s 37 players would comprise the development squad, that is not to say there is no cross over between squads. Development squad players would get the chance to be in the first team when their form merits it and first team squad players could get match practice playing for the development team.

At the start of this (20234/) season, into the development squad, purely in terms of age, all will still be under 21 at the start of the next (2024/5) season, I would have put Siziba, Campbell, Haase, Taylor, Shepherd, Harrison and Hernandez. In terms of first team experience I would add Henderson. That’s 8 players in the development squad.

Siziba turned 20 in July 2023 and he’d played only 6 first team games (Hereford (NLN)) before joining City, so purely in terms of age and experience, he merited a development squad berth at the start of pre-season, but undoubtedly, he did enough in pre-season to feature in 7 of the first 9 games where scored 2 goals. Certainly not the finished article, but doing enough to deserve a place in a struggling side.

I’d struggle to place many more players in the development squad. Players like Castro and Latty-Fairweather dropped down from Championship and Division 1 clubs, with 20 and 47 first team appearances respectively at regional National League level or higher. I‘d be surprised if either would have dropped down to City for development squad football. I could argue that neither is a guaranteed first team starter but both have shown some first team squad quality.

The players I’d find hardest to place into a squad are Finlay Barnes and Kevin Joshua. At the start of the 2023/4 season, Barnes was 22 and with 3 seasons as a regular in lower league football whilst Kevin Joshua is 22 in November 2023 and arrived at City with 27 games behind him. In terms of balance, I’d put them both in the development squad making a 10 man squad.

I’m placing Sam Sanders in the first team squad. He’s now into his 3rd season with us and we shouldn’t expect players to spend 3 seasons in a development squad, if necessary, he can continue his development in the first team squad with the big boys. Cedric Main is an interesting case, but purely in terms of age and experience, he must also be considered a first team squad member. Both Sanders and Main are out on loan (mid September 2023), whether in terms of development, match practice or surplus to requirements is debatable.

As of mid September 2023, of our 37 players, I would say we have a first team squad 27 (including 3 out of loan) and 10 (including one out of loan) in the development squad. However, 2 of those development squad players (Barnes and Siziba) might be worthy of promotion to the first team squad place.

Whatever the make up of the first team and development squads, an even bigger consideration for a development squad must be whether City have the facilities at the training complex to support a third team (not forgetting the academy team). Neal Ardley has had plenty to say about the complex in terms of age, facilities and flooding. Does it have the size to expand to support a development squad?

YCFC Academy (To Complete)

Once again, for the 2023/4 season, City competed in the National League Football Alliance North Division (Under 19) alongside other National League and National League North teams (AFC Fylde, Altrincham, Blyth Spartans, Boston United, Chester, Chesterfield, FC Halifax Town, Gateshead FC Guiseley, Solihull Moors, South Shields and Farsley Celtic). Notts County and Darlington dropped out and were replaced by South Shields and Farsley Celtic.

14 sides competed in the southern equivalent. All last season's 13 sides (Aldershot Town, Boreham Wood, Bromley, Dartford, Dorking, Dover, Eastleigh, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Oxford City, Welling and Woking) returned and were joined by Southend.

City's National League status meant that the Under 18 side were exempted from 2 rounds (Preliminary and 1st Qualifying) of the FA Youth Cup. They joined the competition in early October.

City's academy players and their profiles. Beyond the Under 19 / 18 side, City run a whole series of age sides.

Home league fixtures were mainly played at City's Wiggington Road training ground (YO32 2RB), usually on a Wednesday afternoon with an early kick off (usually 2pm (or earlier if required)) to finish in daylight. Home FA Youth Cup were due to be played at the LNER Community Stadium (or another designated home ground).

Footnote: The end of the 2023/4 season saw Oldham Athletic become the latest ex Football League to lose their Category 3 Academy, as funding was withdrawn by the Football League 2 years after they lost their Football League status. It meant that if any of their academy players are signed by other clubs, they would not receive compensation and they are no longer able to be involved in the EFL Youth Alliance for Under 18 teams. Going forward, like City, their youth system will take the form of a Development Centre which will be self funded. The club said: "We have always been proud of our Academy structure and value our commitment to developing talented young players. Over the years, we have provided the opportunity for young players to progress in a professional environment and we have been privileged to see so many of them flourish under the guidance of talented coaches".

Further Reading: National League Under-19 Alliance website.

Watch all the season's highlights.

2022/3 National League Youth Alliance






Scorers (and notes)

Wed 06 Sep



H (Training Ground)

D 2-2

Glynn, Wilson

Wed 20 Sep



H (Training Ground)

W 3-0

Payne, Harrison, Hernandez

Wed 27 Sep



H (Training Ground)

W 1-0


Wed 04 Oct



H (Garforth Town)

W 3-0

Glynn (2), Burland

Wed 11 Oct

Solihull Moors


A (Studley Sports Centre)

D 0-0


Tue 17 Oct

South Shields


A (South Shields FC)

L 0-3


Wed 15 Nov

South Shields


A (South Shields FC Training Ground)

W 4-1

Payne (2), Wilson, Glynn

Wed 22 Nov



H (Training Ground)

D 1-1


Wed 29 Nov

Blyth Spartans


A (Wensleydale Park Playing Fields, NE24 3EZ)

D 1-1


Wed 13 Dec



A (Staveley Miners Welfare FC)

L 0-2


Wed 20 Dec

FC Halifax


A (Wyke Community Sports Village)

L 1-2


Wed 10 Jan



A (Boston United (Jakemans Community Stadium))

L 2-3

Scorers TBC

Wed 24 Jan



A (Go Active @ The Arc, Clowne)

W 1-0

Scorer TBC

Wed 31 Jan



H (YSJ Haxby Road)

W 2-0

Scorers TBC

Wed 07 Feb



A (Gateshead International Stadium)

W 1-0


Fri 23 Feb



H (YSJ Haxby Road)

W 1-1 (4-2)

Scorer TBC. City won on penalties

Wed 28 Feb



H (Training Ground)

W 4-0

Lumsden (3) + Scorer TBC

Wed 06 Mar



A (King George V Sports Hub)

L 1-2

Scorer TBC

Wed 13 Mar



H (Training Ground)

W 4-1

Hernandez (2), Burland, Harrison

Fri 15 Mar



A (Egerton Youth Club, Knutsford, WA16 6SL)

D 1-1

Scorer TBC

Wed 20 Mar

Blyth Spartans


A (Wensleydale Park Playing Fields, NE24 3EZ)

W 2-0

Marshall, Gibson-Booth

Wed 27 Mar



H (Training Ground)

W 3-0

Burland (2), Farrar

Wed 03 Apr



A (Leeds Trinity University (Trinity Fitness)

L 1-2

Scorer TBC

Wed 10 Apr



H (York College)

W 3-0

Grumley, OG, Burland

Fri 12 Apr



H (Training Ground)

D 0-0


Wed 17 Apr



H (Training Ground)

W 3-2

Scorers TBC

Wed 24 Apr

AFC Fylde


A (Mill Farm Sports Village)

WDL 1-1

Scorer TBC

Fri 26 Apr

Farsley Celtic


A (Wyke Community Sports Village)

L 1-3

Scorer TBC

Wed 01 May



N (St George's Park, Burton)

L 0-1


Fri 03 May



H (YSJ Haxby Road)

W 6-2

Gibson-Booth (2), Mortimer, Wilson, Payne, Hope

  1. BOSTON (H) (06/Sep/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) D 2-2
    City’s Under 19 side conceded 2 late goals to draw their opening game of the season 2-2 with Boston in a game were they fielded 6 debutants with another 4 newcomers on the bench.
    City started strongly with Mackenzie Crookes’s free kick turned narrowly wide (4’) and Roan Shirley heading over from a corner (8’). In between, after 6 minutes, Alex Glynn had the ball in the back of the net but he was flagged offside. City’s pressure when after 15 minutes, Alex Glynn tapped home from close range after a great low cross into the area from the Edenene on the left. City continued to press with Williams Edenene (33’) curling an effort narrowly wide after keeper error. Alex Hernandez was next to test the keeper with a header (39’) and a minute later Harley Dawson’s low effort was parried away to safety by the goalkeeper. The half ended with an injury to City’s Alex Glynn and a yellow card for the Boston defender.
    Within a minute of the restart, Dawson side footed his effort narrowly wide and 3 minutes later, Bailey Wilson’s header hit both posts before it was cleared to safety for a corner. Bailey Wilson had his reward on 55 minutes when the ball fell at his feet and he fired home from close range, neatly chipping the ball over a defender on the line from 12 yards with the keeper and a defender on the ground following a 3 way collision. On the hour, in rare Boston raid, they got back into the game with a far post header from a corner. The game returned to a familiar pattern with chances falling to City. Aaron Dijikingue headed narrowly over from a corner (65’), Hernandez (59’) drove forward and forced the Boston goalkeeper into a save whilst Dawson curled an effort over from distance (71’). After Hernandez was denied from close-range (81’), Boston came more into the game seeking an equaliser. Their efforts were rewarded in the 3rd minute of injury time with a neat finish after good approach play, but City will be disappointed that the scorer was allowed to run so far unchallenged.
    CITY: Taylor ( c ); Tate, Shirley, Dijikinque, Crookes; Marshall; Glynn (Wilson 45+3), Dawson, Payne, Edenene (Mortimer 68, Hope 86); Hernandez. Unused Subs: Nganga, Grumley.
    Goals: Glynn (15), Wilson (55). Opponents: TBC.
    Bookings: City: Mortimer (80). Opponents: TBC (35), TBC (45).
    Sent Off: City: -. Opponents: -.
  2. GATESHEAD (H) (20/Sep/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 3-0
    The U19s earned their first win of the season with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Gateshead at the training ground with goals from Alex Payne, George Harrison and Alex Hernandez. It was a stylish display in wet and windy conditions.
    City started strongly through Payne, who had a header from close range test the gloves of the Gateshead goalkeeper after four minutes, before Dawson played in Hernandez who forced a fine save from close range (6’). Hernandez then had three brilliant chances within a ten minute period as he headed narrowly wide following a free kick (10’), before going one-on-one with the goalkeeper two minutes (12’), but he fired narrowly wide of the target from close-range. The young forward then had an effort cleared off the line (14’) following a quick reaction in the box from Hernandez, following Mackenzie Crooks’ free-kick played into the area. On 25 minutes, the visitors had the ball in the back of the net following a neat cross played into the area from the right, but the goal was disallowed for the Gateshead forward being in an offside position. A minute later, Harrison had a low effort parried by the goalkeeper, before Hernandez’s shot on the rebound was deflected wide for a corner. City’s dominant pressure finally paid off as they took the lead on the half hour mark. George Harrison’s low cross into the area from the right was picked up by Alex Payne, who swept the ball beyond the goalkeeper from close range and into the back of the net to hand York the lead as torrential rain started to pour. Goalkeeper Sam Taylor had little to do inside the opening half, only being called into action twice as he was forced into a routine save from distance, before having to react quick to punch away an inswinging free kick into the area from the left (35’).
    City started the second half as they finished the first, on top and in search of a second goal of the afternoon. After Crookes’ cross was well held by the goalkeeper (48’), down at the other end, a Gateshead effort from distance went narrowly wide of Sam Taylor’s right hand post (55’). Hernandez went close again after 55 minutes, firing narrowly wide into the side-netting after being played in by Payne, before Harrison got onto the end of a left sided cross at the back post, only for the effort to be ruled out for offside (60’). The U19s had further chances to extend their lead and they nearly did so from a corner, but Roan Shirley’s powerful header came back off the post (69’), before Hernandez (70’) was denied by a smart save by the goalkeeper after going through one on one. The lead was finally extended with seventeen minutes to go as Charlie Lumsden’s low cross was turned home into the bottom right corner by George Harrison at the far post to double the Minstermen’s advantage. 2 minutes later, Gateshead put a penalty wide after a foul in the box by Shirley. The lead became even greater on 79 minutes when Alex Hernandez raced through in on goal before beating the goalkeeper with a calm finish from close range. The final chance of the game fell to Charlie Lumsden whose cross flashed narrowly across the face of goal (84’).
    CITY: Taylor ( c ); Tate, Shirley, Dijikinque (Gibson-Booth 42), Crookes; Marshall; Harrison, Dawson, Payne (Wilson 81); Burland (Lumsden 63), Hernandez (Mortimer 81). Unused Subs: Carr.
    Goals: Payne (30), Harrison (73), Hernandez (79). Opponents: -.
    Bookings: City: Dijikingue (40, foul), Alex Payne (63), Shirley (75, foul). Opponents: #TBC (8, dissent).
    Sent Off: City: -. Opponents: -.
  3. GUISELEY (H) (27/Sep/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 1-0
    City beat Guiseley 1-0 thanks to a second half goal from Harry Burland.
    From the kick off, City pressed forward and after 2 minutes, George Harrison went one on one with the goalkeeper before firing narrowly wide of the target. As play switched to the other end, Sam Taylor saved well from distance (12’) before Guiseley had a goal disallowed for offside (16’). As play swung again, Harry Burland gave City the lead when he dropped his left shoulder, turned his man out wide before advancing into the area and beating the keeper from a tight angle to score from close range. On 35 minutes, Alex Hernandez uses his body well to hold up play before driving forward and forcing the goalkeeper into a save with a fierce strike from distance. 4 minutes later, a great save from Taylor preserved City’s lead as he tipped a goal bound effort around his post for a corner after good attacking play down the left. From the resultant corner, Guiseley hit the bar.
    After Harley Dawson headed over from a Mackenzie Crookes free kick, Guiseley had chances to equalise when a shot from distance was deflected into the gloves of Taylor (57’) and was forced into another low save (68’). City finished strong, clever play from Bailey Wilson who rounded the keeper before forcing a corner (76’) and Harrison’s strike from distance went narrowly over the bar (89’). A minute later, as Guiseley fought hard for an equaliser, they had the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside resulting in a visiting player being shown a straight red card for dissent.
    CITY: Taylor ( c ); Tate, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Crookes; Marshall; Harrison, Dawson, Payne (Wilson 67); Hernandez (Mortimer 81), Burland (Lumsden 72). Unused Subs: Carr, Grumley, Hope.
    Goals: Burland (26). Opponents: -.
    Bookings: City: Harrison (66, Dissent). Opponents: #TBC (49, Dissent).
    Sent Off: City: -. Opponents: #TBC (90 Dissent, straight red).
  4. WORKINGTON (H) (04/Oct/23) (FA Youth Cup, 2nd Qualifying Round) W 3-0
    City’s Under 18 side beat Workington 3-0 at Garforth’s Bannister Prentice Stadium to progress to the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup thanks to a first half brace from Alex Glynn and a second half goal from Harry Burland.
    Both sides had early half chances before winger Alex Glynn tapped in from close range after a great cross from Burland to give City the lead. As City pressed forward, Burland was denied a penalty (21’) and Harley Dawson drove forward and fired a low effort wide of goal. On 35 minutes Alex Glynn doubled City’s lead with a tap in after another Burland cross. A minute later, Glynn was denied a hat trick when his tap in, after Alex Payne’s low effort was parried by the keeper, was ruled offside.
    After Workington started the second half brightly, City had the better chances when Alex Hernandez’s low effort was parried into the path of Payne who narrowly headed wide (54’) and 4 minutes later a lovely ball into the area across goal failed to find a City head. After Bill Marshall blocked a rare Workington effort, great work by Charlie Lumsden saw him feed Hernandez who fired narrowly over from close range (64’). On 73 minutes, Harry Burland completed the scoring with a great finish from close range. Despite late chances, Bailey Wilson (86) and Harley Dawson (88’) both volleyed narrowly wide.
    CITY: Carr; Tate, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Crookes; Glynn (Lumsden 56’), Dawson, Marshall ( c ), Payne (Wilson 66’); Hernandez (Edenene 68’), Burland. Unused Subs: Dijikingue, Hope, Grumley, Mortimer.
    Goals: Glynn (15, 35), Burland (73). Opponents: -.
    Bookings: City: Marshall (71, Foul). Opponents: -.
    Sent Off: City: -. Opponents: -.
  5. SOLIHULL MOORS (A) (11/Oct/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) D 0-0
    City, who finished 3rd last season drew 0-0 at Solihulll Moors, the side that had finished immediately above them in the table.
    CITY: Taylor ( c ); Harrison, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Crookes; Dawson, Marshall, Payne, Lumsden; Burland, Edenene. Subs (Usage unknown, 4 named): Dijikingue, Wilson, Mortimer, Glynn.
    Goals: -. Opponents: -.
    Bookings: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
  6. SOUTH SHIELDS (A) (17/Oct/23) (FA Youth Cup, 3rd Qualifying Round) L 0-3
    The Young Minstermen bowed out of the FA Youth Cup after a 3-0 defeat against South Shields, who'd already beaten Darlington and Gateshead in the competition, at the 1st Cloud Arena. It was the second time in 3 seasons that City went out to South Shields.
    City had the better of the opening exchanges when Alex Hernandez challenged the keeper (2’), as he comes rushing out to collect, but South Shields win a free kick following the challenge. After 12 minutes, Williams Edenene capitalised on a loose ball at the back but he was unable to score from close range as the ball rolled across the face of goal away from him after taking it around the keeper. 2 minutes later, a great Ben Tate cross ball found Alex Payne at the back post but he fired narrowly wide. 4 minutes later, Hernandez forced the keeper into a fine save from close range after more tidy play down the right by right-back Tate. The hosts went close from a corner (28’) and took the lead in the 32nd minute through a neat volley inside the area after good play down the right, before the lead was doubled 2 minutes later with a superbly timed volley across goal and into the bottom left corner following a cross field pass from left to right. City were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time as Hernandez was fouled after capitalising on a loose ball in the South Shields defence. The forward picked himself up to take the penalty, but he was denied from twelve yards as the keeper guessed the correct way and got down low to deny his effort.
    A change in formation in the second half saw City look to edge their way back into the game, but it was the hosts who carried on as they left off in the first-half as they looked to extend their lead further. City goalkeeper Harry Carr was called into action on the hour mark, getting down well to deny an effort from close-range, before the young shot stopper did well to divert a curling effort from distance away from goal. City sub Harry Burland was prominent. He drove towards goal down the right, but the goalkeeper was quick off his line to come and gather the ball (70’) and on 83 minutes, he was taken down in the area by the keeper but no penalty was given by the referee. On 85 minutes, The hosts made it 3-0 from close range after Carr failed to collect the ball from a cross.
    Speaking after the game, Youth Team Manager Tim Ryan said "It was a really big night for the club on an FA Youth Cup night, and I'm really disappointed with how we've come away the game, we just didn't show up at all tonight. Goals change games and we came here to set-up in a way to combat how they play, but the two goals in quick succession changed the game and it made it a lot harder for ourselves heading into the second half. We came up against a really good, possession-based side, who dominated the duels and won everything in the middle. From start to finish, they had a lot more competitive edge and fire in the belly to win the game than we did and that was disappointing to see. They're a team who are now in the same league as us and when we come up against them next we need to put on a much better performance".
    CITY: Carr; Tate, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Crookes; Glynn (Burland, HT), Dawson (Wilson 64), Marshall ( c ), Payne; Hernandez, Edenene (Dijikingue 55). Unused Subs: Lumsden, Mortimer, Grumley, Hope.
    Goals: -. Opponents: TBC.
    Bookings: City: Marshall (Foul, 67). Opponents: -.
    Sent Off: City: -. Opponents: -.

    Att: 248
  7. SOUTH SHIELDS (A) (15/Nov/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 4-1
    After going a goal down, goals from Alex Payne (2), Alex Glynn and Bailey Wilson gave City a comfortable 4-1 win at South Shields to avenege defeat in their last game, an FA Youth Cup match at Shields 4 weeks earlier. No other match details were available.
    CITY: Taylor ( c ); Marshall, Dijikingue, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Edenene; Grumley, Wilson, Payne; Glynn, Hernandez. Subs (Usage unknown, 4 named): Nganga, Mortimer, Crooks, Carr.
    Goals: Payne (2), Glynn, Wilson. Opponents: TBC.
    Bookings: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
  8. CHESTER (H) (22/Nov/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) D 1-1
    An excellent strike from Alex Glynn on 39 minutes gave City a half time lead but an equaliser from Chester (61') meant the points were shared. No other match details were available.
    CITY: Taylor ( c ); Marshall, Dijikingue, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Edenene; Grumley, Wilson, Payne; Glynn, Hernandez. Subs (Usage unknown, 4 named): Nganga, Mortimer, Crooks, Hope, Carr.
    Goals: Glynn. Opponents: TBC.
    Bookings: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
  9. BLYTH (A) (29/Nov/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) D 1-1
    A strike from Alex Hernandez gave City a half time lead but a Blyth equaliser (72') meant the points were shared as City extended their unbeaten league run. No other match details were available.
    CITY: Taylor ( c ); Marshall, Dijikingue, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Crooks; Grumley, Tate, Payne; Glynn, Hernandez. Subs (Usage unknown): Edenene, Hope, Wilson, Mortimer, Nganga.
    Goals: Hernandez. Opponents: TBC.
    Bookings: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
  10. CHESTERFIELD (A) (13/Dec/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) L 0-2
    2 second half goal condemned City’s Under 19 side to their first league defeat of the season at Chesterfield in a game postponed from October 25 due to Chesterfield's FA Youth Cup commitments.
    CITY: Taylor ( c ); Marshall, Dijikingue, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Crooks; Grumley, Tate, Payne; Nganga, Burland. Subs (Usage unknown): Carr, Dawson, Glynn, Mortimer, Hope.
    Goals: -. Opponents: TBC.
    Bookings: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
  11. FC HALIFAX (A) (20/Dec/23) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) L 1-2
    Despite a late consolation goal from Leon Gibson-Booth, his first for the club, City's Under 19 side ended the year with a 2-1 defeat at FC Halifax Town after conceding 2 first half goals in a game postponed from October 4 due to FA Youth Cup commitments.
    CITY: Carr; Marshall, Dawson, Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Crooks; Grumley, Tate, Payne; Burland, Glynn. Subs (Usage unknown, only 4 named): Dijikingue, Lumsden, Hope, Nganga.
    Goals: -. Opponents: TBC.
    Bookings: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
  12. BOSTON (A) (10/Jan/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) L 2-3
    City went down to 2-3 defeat away to mid table Boston.
    Despite leading twice, City went in level at the break before going down 3-2 courtesy of a Luke Horne brace, Boston's giant and impressive centre forward. Taylor Jaine had fired United’s second leveller before the break.
    CITY: TBC. Unused Subs: -.
    OPPONENTS: Cameron Fox, Ellis Perry-Burdett, Josh Doran, Will Langford, Taylor Jaine (Finley Ging 67), Charlie Brooks, Jake Henderson (Lucas Turrell 67), Kris Zaluzinskis, Luke Horne (Joe Wilkinson 90), Hugo Hunt (Oliver Fields 80), JJ Ward (Nathan Bowen 22). Unused Subs: -.
    Goals: -. Opponents: Horne (2), Jaine.
    Bookings: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
  13. CHESTERFIELD (A) (24/Jan/24) (National League Football Alliance League Cup (Round 2)) W 1-0
    With a bye in Round 1, a first half goal secured City an away win at Chesterfield to earn a national quarter final (northern semi final) home game with Guiseley.
    CITY: TBC. Unused Subs: .
    OPPONENTS: TBC. Unused Subs: -.
    Goals: -. Opponents: Horne (2), Jaine.
    Bookings: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: TBC. Opponents: TBC.
  14. SOUTH SHIELDS (H) (31/Jan/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 2-0
    City beat South Shields 2-0 in a game played at St Johns ground (Haxby Road) due to the waterlogged state of the training ground pitches.
  15. GATESHEAD (A) (07/Feb/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 1-0
    City won 1-0 away at Gateshead thanks to Alex Payne's goal from a quickly taken free kick.
  16. GUISELEY (H) (23/Feb/24) (National League Football Alliance League Cup (N/SF)) W 1-1 (4-2)
    City beat Guiseley 4-2 on penalties after the game finished 1-1. Despite an early goal from City's Harry Burland (6'), a draw was probably a fair result. However, City confidently slotted home their first 4 penalties to progress. City now play Blyth in the northern final with the winners playing Aldershot or Maidstone in the national final. The game was originally scheduled for February 21 at the training ground but postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and moved to St Johns.
  17. BLYTH (H) (28/Feb/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 4-0
    A Charlie Lumsden hat trick helped City to a 4-0 win over Blyth, the teams will meet again in the Northern Cup Final.
  18. CHESTER (A) (06/Mar/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) L 1-2
    City went down to a 2-1 defeat at Chester.
  19. ALTRINCHAM (H) (13/Mar/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 4-1
    An Alex Hernandez brace and goals from Harry Burland and George Harrison helped City to a 4-1 win over Altrincham, a little compensation after the night before.
  20. ALTRINCHAM (A) (15/Mar/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) D 1-1
    City and Altrincham fought out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture 2 days later in a game that was postponed from October 18 due to FA Youth Cup commitments.
  21. BLYTH (A) (20/Mar/24) (National League Football Alliance League Cup (N/F)) W 2-0
    City beat Blyth 2-0 in the northern section final. Bill Marshall (39') gave City the lead and after weathering Blyth pressure in the second half, Leon Gibson-Booth scored from over 25 yards out when he beat the Blyth wall direct from a free kick. Blyth were reduced to ten men in the second half. City will now meet Maidstone in the national final at St George’s Park on Wednesday May 1st.
    One interested spectator was Adam Hinshelwood who after the game said, "I’m really pleased, I travelled up with the lads on my day off up to Blyth. It was my first time travelling up that far, I took a picture to show the family how north I was! "I was really pleased and encouraged by how well they played, they’ve got some real good talents in their ranks there and it was nice to cast my eye over them. To get to the final is brilliant for the club. I said to them before the game that I really want them to really embrace a semi-final and a big game, and that’s what we want them to bring to the club on a more regular basis, those big games and getting to finals. It’s something that I want them to relish. I’ve done it (working with academy youngsters) a lot to be honest, part of my full-time role at Worthing was to take the under-19s so I can see them first hand which were, not just technically ready, but as a young player coming through the mentality and whether they are ready to step up as well. The lads up here have put on a York shirt and really embrace that, their spirit is really good. They were certainly up for the game yesterday which was really encouraging to see, but part of what I like to do is give youngsters an opportunity. In previous years, I’ve not been afraid to give a 16-year-old an opportunity if I feel that they are mentally ready, and I want that to be no different here. I want to work with the young, local talent, I went on Saturday morning to see some of the youth teams play, the under-13s and the under-15s play, it’s something that I want to try to eventually get across in the Summer. A playing philosophy throughout the club, with lads coming into the club from a young age and making it all the way through. It’s been a while since the club has done that, but it’s something I’m really keen to bring back.".
  22. AFC FYLDE (H) (27/Mar/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 3-0
    City were unable to repeat last season's record 15-0 win over AFC Fylde, but still won 3-0 in a game originally scheduled for October 18 but postponed due to FA Youth Cup commitments. Harry Burland (2) and Ben Farrar scored. The win lifted City to 5th in the table, with 7 games remaining they sit 4 points behind fourth placed Chester with 4 games in hand.
  23. GUISELEY (A) (03/Apr/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) L 1-2
    City went down to a 2-1 defeat away to Guiseley in a game played at Leeds Trinity University's Trinity Fitness ground. The game had been re-arranged from February 21 (and Guiseley's Nethermoor Park ground) due to City's Youth Alliance Cup commitments.
  24. CHESTERFIELD (H) (10/Apr/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 3-0
    City recorded a dominant 3-0 win over Chesterfield with goals from Grumley, own goal and Burland in a game moved from the Training Ground to York College, presumably because of the state of the pitches at the Training Ground.
  25. FARSLEY CELTIC (H) (12/Apr/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) D 0-0
    City drew 0-0 with second placed Farsley Celtic in a game postponed from December 6 due to adverse weather. The point lifted City to fourth place in the table.
  26. FC HALIFAX (H) (17/Apr/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) W 3-2
    City recorded a 3-2 win over FC Halifax despite playing with only 10 men for over 80 minutes.
  27. AFC FYLDE (A) (24/Apr/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) D 1-1
    City drew 1-1 away to AFC Fylde.
  28. FARSLEY CELTIC (A) (26/Apr/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) WDL n-n
    4th placed City lost 1-3 at the Wyke Community Sports Village in a game that was originally scheduled for 2nd placed Farsley Celtic FC's Citadel ground but was postponed from March 20 due to City's Alliance Cup commitments.
  29. MAIDSTONE (N, St George's Park, Burton) (01/May/24) (National League Football Alliance League Cup (Final)) L 0-1
    City were cruelly denied back to back trophies in the National League Alliance Cup with a stoppage time free kick earning Maidstone United a 1-0 victory. A superb free kick from Riley Court saw Maidstone end City’s hopes of retaining their trophy, despite a spirited effort from a young City squad managed by Tim Ryan and Dan Wilson. The Minstermen were watched by first team manager Adam Hinshelwood in the stands at England’s prestigious St George’s Park, where the national team train, after a sublime run saw York reach this stage of the competition. Lacking injured star striker Alex Hernandez through injury, City had several chances to take the lead but their challenge to retain the trophy was made harder by a controversial refereeing performance that included a straight red card to Alex Payne (85'), before Court stole the triumph late on with an exceptionally taken free kick (90+5').
    City's Sam Taylor was called into action inside the opening minute, reading a distance shot all the way to routinely save. Elliott Wenham rolled one wide minutes later for Maidstone, driving down the left hand flank but being unable to hit the target. City eased into the game. First, Taylor's delightful distribution got the forwards moving in the 14th minute, he picked out Harry Burland, who carried forward before Harvey Hope sent a left footed shot into the palms of Chris Swift. Referee James Cairns was waving away penalty shouts just four minutes later, denying City a chance from the spot despite Burland being cut across of inside the area. Left back McKenzie Crooks delivered an inviting chance to Hope a minute later, but the forward's connection wasn't clean enough to take full advantage of the chance. Crooks went again a minute after, again to Hope who hit hard but wide after a nick off a Maidstone defender. Wenham saw sight of Taylor's goal again in the 26th minute, this time with the near post shot saved. George Harrison picked out the ever problematic Burland in the 41st minute, with the forward controlling the ball well before blasting into the charging Swift. A mix up at the back for the Stones saw Hope gifted a chance on the edge of the area just before the break, but the forward's shot had little pace along the ground in the end.
    After the break, Riley Court cleared the crossbar with an attacking free kick for Maidstone straight after the half time interval. Wenham then had a shot blocked by Roan Shirley before it was flicked out for a corner, which Bill Marshall cleared after rising high. Harrison worked an opening on the edge of the area in the 51st minute, stinging the palms of Swift in the Stones' net. Swift then denied Hope from close range in the 63rd minute when the forward tried to lift his shot over the ‘keeper. Stones substitute Paddy Flynn struck wide from the close range shortly after, with both sides knocking on the doors. City right-back Ben Tate used his body bravely in the 79th minute to block away a chance which fall invitingly for Stones substitute Akshar Santosh. It was the turn of City substitute Charlie Lumsden to try make an impact, but in the end he guided a weak header wide in the 84th minute. Alex Payne saw red in the 85th minute after sliding in for a 50/50 challenge, which referee James Cairns deemed to be a red card challenge. City looked to be seeing it out for penalties for the remainder of the tie, with Court's distance shot easily claimed by Taylor as the game went on. Flynn had City hearts racing in the 4th of injury time when he crashed a chance onto the post from a handful of yards out. A minute later, Maidstone struck decisively through a Court freekick to seal victory.
    City's starting side contained 2 professionals, 5 players coming to the end of their scholarship and 4 first year scholars. The bench included 2 second year scholars, 2 first year scholars and one schoolboy who will be starting his 2 year scholarship in the summer. View photo gallery.
    Dan Wilson, City's Head of Youth Development was impressed by his side's performance despite the final result, "I think that the performance was good to be honest, in terms of taking the result to one side, we played quite well. We looked good on the ball, we tried to play the way that we wanted to play, we got into some good areas of the pitch but we just weren't clinical enough in the final third to take those good chances. That's why we lost, it wasn't right in both boxes but the rest of it was very good today. I didn't think that we looked like conceding for most of the game either. They're 17, 18, 19, so they've got loads to learn. We learned today and we will learn a lot from it, we will bounce back and take the lessons from today. I thought that we were on top, until the red card (midfielder Alex Payne) came it was a good game and with that performance we were leaning towards winning it. Red cards change games and especially when they are that late on, it was a big pitch so the players were tiring a little bit so it made it difficult. I thought we were okay for the ten minutes after and I didn't think that we were going to concede, other than potentially from a set piece. It's always nice when you take a trophy home with you, but we will have learned loads and it's a good experience for the boys. Its great that the National League have put this on, and I'd like to say congratulations to Maidstone."
    City manager Adam Hinshelwood, who was at the game said, "I thought that we were the better team to be honest. I thought that it was destined to go to penalties, neither team had a real good chance until right at the end. All in all, I have been really pleased with what I have seen today, there has been some good glimpses and some good players on show. Obviously they will hurt a lot this evening, it's something that we want to experience are these big games. Playing at a nice venue like this in a big game is what you want, so for them to get a bit of an experience like that today is really important for them. It's a fantastic place to come, I thought that the pitch was superb and it's great for them to host these kind of finals. It was a relatively big crowd and a big game for them, which they have worked hard for all season to reach this final. It's what we want, we want these players to become accustomed to this. There wasn't too much splitting the two teams, it was a bit nervy but once the game had settled it down it was a good game. The decisions didn't really go our way but York came out in full force for their young players which was nice to see."
    YORK CITY: Taylor, Tate (Grumley, 90), Shirley, Gibson-Booth, Crooks, Marshall ( c ), Payne, Dawson, Harrison (Lumsden, 59), Hope (Farrar, 75), Burland (Edenene, 86). Unused Sub: Carr.
    OPPONENTS: Swift, Wincott, Jackson-Hunt, Richards, Hatton, Parle, Clark, Court, Mitford, Wenham, Jackson. Subs (Usage Unknown): Wilson, Akash Santosh, Akshar Santosh, Bedzram.
    Goals: -. Opponents: Court (90+5').
    Bookings: Tate (13'), Dawson (65'), Marshall (73'): TBC. Opponents: TBC.
    Sent Off: City: Payne (84'). Opponents: -.
  30. SOLIHULL MOORS (H) (03/May/24) (National League Youth Alliance League (North)) H 6-2
    City's Under 19 side bounced back from the disappointment of 2 days earlier with a stunning 6-2 win over Solihull Moors who had a man sent off. Gibson-Booth (2), Mortimer, Wilson, Payne and Hope scored for City. Moors who'd finished last season as league runners up needed a point to climb off the bottom of the table.
    Victory saw City finish the season in 4th place, 11 wins and 6 defeats from 24 game, the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 26 goals but City's 46 goals were dwarfed by the 75+, 58 and 55+ of the top 3 sides with Guiseley being crowned league champions
    The game, postponed from February 14 due to bad weather, was played at York St John's College (Haxby Road) as City's training centre was already under its annual summer renovation programme.

Seasonal analysis to be completed (re signed / released players) ...

Seasonal analysis to be completed (re signed / released players) ...

Seasonal analysis to be completed (re signed / released players) ...

Seasonal analysis to be completed (re signed / released players) ...

FINAL seasonal analysis to follow ...

In terms of performance, overall the 2023/4 was possibly less successful when compared to the previous season's successes. In both the FA Youth Cup and National League Youth Alliance Cup, City failed by one game to go as far as last season. The team exited the FA Youth Cup in the final qualifying round (at South Shields) and once again, City reached the Alliance League Cup Final, but couldn't retain the trophy, losing to a late Maidstone winner. In the league, City's 4th place finish was 2 places below last season’s runners up spot. City’s side was generally strong defensively bit struggled to score freely. However, the perennial problem remains, none of the former academy players saw any first team action.

On the pitch, Bill Marshall was a strong leader whilst new signing Leon Gibson-Booth impressed at centre left back. Up front, no one was a prolific scorer.

The academy squad could field 3 professionals but their academy game time was limited. Striker Alex Hernandez (still eligible for all 2024/5 National League games, but not FA Youth Cup) had a successful one month loan spell at Winterton Rangers whilst George Harrison was impressing on loan at Bridlington Town before suffering a severe injury which forced him onto the sidelines for 3 months. Sam Taylor kept goal for City and had a loan at Billingham Synthonia

Sadly as ever, summer will see several of City’s academy players released at the end of their 2 year scholarships whilst it is to be hoped that some have done enough to earn their first professional contracts.

Perhaps, off the field offers more scope for success than in many recent seasons. Adam Hinshelwood has seemed much more switched into the academy set up than any other recent manager, having already watched several City Under 19 and schoolboy games and having previously promoted a number of young players into Worthing's first team.

Come late season, Hinshelwood promoted several academy players to train (and travel) with the first team. Those players were mainly defensive players. Whilst, Hinshelwood has indicated his desire to promote youth team players into the first team squad, the ongoing lack of a reserve / development side will still inhibit their development. The age old question remains. When will we see our youth products in our first team? In 2023, Ryan Whitley become only the 7th City youth product to make 30 first team appearances for City since 2004.

TO DO: Released / Signed. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Footnote: With Brad Saxton moving on from City in January, there has subsequently been a more limited release of academy news and match information.

North Riding Senior Cup

GUISBOROUGH TOWN (A) (01/Nov/2023 (19:45)) (North Riding Senior Cup, Round 2) L 2-3
City entered the competition in Round 2 (Last 16) in a draw that included Middlesbrough Under 21s and Scarborough. City exited the competition with a narrow 3-2 defeat at Guisborough Town at the King George V Stadium on a windy evening.
Overseen by Youth Team Manager Tim Ryan, the starting eleven featured a mix of first team (Maison Campbell, Thierry Latty-Fairweather, Mitch Hancox (captain), Zanda Siziba and Scott Barrow, who made his first appearance since suffering an injury in the 2021/2 National League North play off final 17 months ago) and youth team players.
Campbell was called into action early on in the Minstermen goal, firstly being tested into a save from distance which was parried away, before making a quick reaction save to deny a header from close range in the twentieth minute. City got on the front foot for a short spell shortly after as Latty-Fairweather (28') was denied from a tight angle as he won a corner before Hancox (31') tried lobbing the goalkeeper after making a break through the middle, but his effort was easily saved by the Guisborough goalkeeper. The hosts took the lead in the 37th minute with a tap-in at the far post through Sonny Coleman after a low cross played across the face of goal from the right.
City levelled the scores six minutes after the break as Mitch Hancox scored a tap-in from a central position after good work down the right by Siziba. An end to end spell followed. Siziba made a brilliant run forward before having an effort deflect away for a throw, before Campbell was again called into action as he got down low to parry away a low shot from a tight angle. Guisborough retook the lead in the 64th minute as substitute Ben Cummins pounced on a loose ball to score from close range as he put his side back into the lead. The lead didn’t last long as Zanda Siziba equalised with fifteen minutes to go. The winger hit the ball first time from distance and rolled the ball into the back of the net after the Guisborough goalkeeper didn’t put enough on a clearance. As the game looked like it was going to head to penalties, the hosts went 3-2 ahead with four minutes left. Defender Alex Nelson headed home from close range at the back post after a delivery into the area from the right. City had one final chance to pull a way back into the game, but with the final chance of the game, Siziba drilled an effort narrowly over the bar from the tightest of angles.
City conceded the first two goals down the left side when defenders were beaten or lost the man whilst both City goals came from mistakes. Barrow will have been pleased to get through a full 90 minutes but appeared to need more work before he is National League ready. None of the professionals (including TLF at left midfield / wing back with Barrow behind him and Siziba playing more as a central striker) did enough to suggest they’ll be first team regulars any time soon. Of the youngsters, Bill Marshall, sat in front of the back 4, linked the back and midfield well, showed plenty of energy and always appeared at the right time to make a challenge whilst Leon Gibson-Booth (left centre back) looked calm, composed, good in the air and with his feet was quick across the ground and was a strongman of the match candidate.
CITY: Campbell; Tate, Shirley, Gibson-Booth (Edenene 74), Barrow; Payne, Marshall, Hancox (C); Lumsden (Nganga 59), Siziba, Latty-Fearweather Unused Subs: Taylor, Dijikingue, Wilson.
Goals: City: Hancox (51'), Siziba (75'): Opponents: Coleman (37'), Cummins (64'), Nelson (86').
Bookings: City: Tate (23', Foul): Opponents: -
Sent Off: -
Referee: Matthew Dicicco
Attendance: 286

Pre Season Friendlies - For The Record

  1. SHEFFIELD WEDNSDAY (H) (08/Jul/23) D 1-1
    City come from behind to draw their first pre-season game as Finlay Barnes scored on his debut against newly promoted Championship side Sheffield Wednesday after Josh Windass had given the visitors a 26th minute lead. Mikey Morton’s side, containing 6 newcomers and 2 trialists, put up a good physical challenge against a team from 3 tiers higher. City wore a numberless version of the new season's kit that had been announced earlier in the day.
    The first chance of the game went to Wednesday, but Ryan Fallowfield’s last ditch tackle denied Luke Cook from opening the scoring. Barry Bannan delivered the first corner of the game, but Dominic Iorfa’s header was held by Ryan Whitley. City’s keeper was called into action again when he saved Lee Gregory’s close range effort. The visitors took the lead as Josh Windass made the most out of a loose back-pass inside the penalty area and rolled the ball past Whitley. Cameron Dawson was needed for the first time as he got down low to claim Maz Kouhyar’s low drive towards goal. Lenell John-Lewis then saw his left-footed volley fly narrowly wide of the post.
    The Minstermen started the second half strongly, with Michael Duckworth hitting a low effort tightly wide of the bottom corner after linking up with Mitch Hancox. Scott Burgess then had his long-range free-kick tipped over the bar, and the resulting corner saw Crookes head straight into the gloves of Dawson. On came Finlay Barnes in the 55th minute who, with half an hour to go, arrived at the back post to tap in Andoh’s low cross. Barnes then had another chance, but his curling effort was deflected and went out for a corner. In the last thirty minutes, neither side could find a winner, with little chances being created.
    General concensus was that Finlay Barnes and Levi Andoh were the better of the newcomers and Olly Dysn the best of the returnees whilst David Stockdale shaded Ryan Withey in goal.
    York City (First Half): Whitley, Crookes, Sanders, Pybus, Fallowfield, Latty-Fairweather, Trialist A (Moonan), Burgess, Hurst (Hancox 27’), John-Lewis, Kouhyar
    York City (Second Half): Stockdale, Crookes, Sanders (Trialist B (Porter) 59’), Duckworth, Andoh, McLaughlin, Dyson, Hancox, Burgess (Barnes 55’), Kouhyar (Siziba 59’), Main
    Goals: Barnes (60’)
    Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson (Charles, 61’), Iorfa (Onukwuli, 46’), Brennan (Fusire, 61’), Famewo (Paterson, 45’), James (Ihiekwe, 45’), Johnson (Smith, 45’), Bakinson (Alimi-Adetoro, 45’), Bannan (Glover, 45’), Cook (Phuthi, 61’), Gregory (Flanney, 45’), Windass (Vaulks, 45’)
    Goals: Windass (26’)
    Attendance: 5,953 (2,960 Sheffield Wednesday)
  2. GARFORTH TOWN (A) (11/Jul/23) W 4-1
    The Minstermen earned their first win in pre-season following a comprehensive behind closed doors 4-1 victory over Garforth Town. Goals from Zanda Siziba, Scott Burgess, Maziar Kouhyar and Jonny Shepherd completed the win for City, who saw off their North East Counties Premier Divison opponents at the training ground. Mikey Morton named a much changed side from the one that featured against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday afternoon, which also included three trialists from the start.
    Goalkeeper Maison Campbell had to react quickly after only three minutes to deny a Garforth shot on target inside of the penalty area, before Finlay Barnes went close to scoring his second goal of pre-season following his first goal for the club in Saturday's draw against Sheffield Wednesday, but he had a curling effort from the edge of the area tipped away for a corner. City led in the 15th minute through Siziba, who beat the keeper inside the penalty area with a first-time finish from close-range, after Trialist C did well to regain possesion before squaring the ball across the area towards the former Yeovil Town winger. The visitors equalised a minute before half time, as a ball across goal from the right hand side was finished off from close range by Tabish Hussain, who beat Campbell to score his first-ever goal in Garforth colours.
    After Garforth had a goal ruled out for offside early on in the second half, the Minstermen ran away with proceedings as three second half goals put the contest to bed. Burgess gave the Minstermen the lead once again with a stunning finish on 52 minutes, lobbing the goalkeeper from the edge of the area after the hosts acted smartly from a quick throw in. On 68 minutes, the lead became 3-1 to the Minstermen. After racing onto a ball played down the left channel, Kouhyar used his pace to beat his man and run inside the area, before beating the 'keeper at his near post with a side-footed effort across goal. After 75 minutes, City put the game to bed when Kouhyar did well to regain possesion after a mistake at the back from the hosts, before finding Shepherd on the edge of the area, who's low right-footed effort beat the Garforth 'keeper at his left hand post to secure the win for the Minstermen.
    York City: Campbell, (Trialist D (Brown) 46'), Fallowfield (C) (Andoh 57'), Trialist A (Porter), Joshua (Sanders 57'), Andoh (Latty-Fairweather 46'), Trialist B (Moonan), Trialist C (Weir), Burgess (Kouhyar 57'), Barnes, Henderson (Main 57'), Siziba (Shepherd 26'). Unused Subs: Crookes
    Goals: Siziba (15'), Burgess (52'), Kouhyar (68'), Shepherd (73')
  3. MIDDLESBROUGH (H) (15/Jul/23) D 0-0
    City drew 0-0 against Michael Carrick's Middlesbrough, in a very even pre-season game at the LNER Community Stadium. The Minstermen hosted Middlesbrough on a day full of weather changes but not a day full of goals, as City turned out in the Jorvik inspired white away shirt for the first time. York boss Mikey Morton gave debuts to Callum Harriott, Tyler Cordner and Callum Howe while Clubman Olly Dyson played his first game after extending his deal at York. Middlesbrough are looking to build towards a season where they will hope to go one better than last season’s play-off defeat, and have so far beat Portuguese top division side Vitória S.C but suffered defeat against Hartlepool during pre-season. Mikey Morton’s side put on a good performance against the second tier side in challenging, changeable conditions which saw the match briefly suspended.
    The start of the game was quite slow, with few chances of note aside from an important intervention from debutant Howe to block a Morgan Rogers chance in the 16th minute. Matthew Hoppe fired wide at the back post after stretching to meet a deep early delivery from the left. Harriott looked to impress during his first outing for the Minstermen and was a bright spark with some tricky footwork, but this did not yield a clear-cut opportunity. In the 24th minute the play was temporarily suspended due to thunder and lightning, but the wait wasn't long as around 10 minutes later we were back underway. 10 minutes after the restart Rogers was one-on-one against Ryan Whitley but Callum Howe again pulled out a superhuman challenge to stop the youngster giving the visitors the lead. Middlesbrough attacked again soon after and Sam Collins’ strike was not capable of beating Whitley. Towards the end of the half, the ball fell to skipper Lenell John-Lewis’ feet who met it with a thunderous strike over the bar. That was it for the first half as the referee blew with the score at 0-0.
    The second half started very quickly as Rogers broke down the right for the visitors and squared the ball across which was again met by Howe to clear it for City. In the 53rd minute Middlesbrough had a great chance when Sammy Silvera broke down the left, before he cut inside and curled his effort over the bar. York countered and went close at the other end with a volley from Maz Kouhyar forcing Tom Glover to make a save. In the 64th minute Maz Kouhyar cut inside and curled an effort narrowly wide with his right foot. As the clock ticked beyond 90 minutes, the Minstermen were preparing to take a corner and with players forming a queue in the box, the referee blew for full-time before it was delivered, meaning the game ended goalless.
    York City (First Half): York City: Whitley, Duckworth (Fallowfield, 60), Howe (Crookes, 60), Cordner (Sanders, 60), Latty-Fairweather (Andoh, 60), Pybus (McLaughlin, 60), Dyson (Burgess, 60), Hancox (Trialist A (Porter), 60), Harriott (Barnes, 60), John-Lewis (Main, 60), Kouhyar. Unused Subs: Campbell, Trialist B
    Goals: -
    Middlesbrough: Dieng (Glover, 45), Smith (Costello, 80), Collins (Bridge, 80), Barlaser (Simpson, 81), van den Berg (Hannah, 57), Silvera (Nkrumah, 70), Sykes (Stott, 57), Jones (Patterson-Powell, 70), Hoppe (Matthews, 57), Rogers (John, 70), Lenihan (Whelan, 80). Unused Subs: Max Howells
    Goals: -
    Referee: Ross Joyce
    Attendance: 4,958 (2,185 Middlesbrough)
  4. DONCASTER ROVERS (H) (18/Jul/23) W 1-0
    City extended their unbeaten pre-season start with a 1-0 win over Doncaster Rovers. Maziar Kouhyar’s second goal of pre-season was the difference as City saw off their League Two opponents despite having to play the last twenty minutes with ten men after Thierry Latty-Fairweather was shown a second yellow card. Rovers named a strong Doncaster side that featured ex Minstermen Joe Ironside and Jack Degruchy.
    First chance of the evening fell to Doncaster’s Kyle Hurst who drove a low right footed effort narrowly wide of David Stockdale’s right hand post from the edge of the area after six minutes, before Jamie Sterry had to make a last ditch block to prevent Zanda Siziba getting a shot away towards goal for the Minstermen after nice link up play with Cedric Main. Stockdale was called into action just short of the fifteenth minute, reacting bravely to keep out a fierce volley from Joseph Olowu from close range, before a brilliant tackle by Ryan Fallowfield saw the full back play Main in on goal, who was denied by the feet of Doncaster goalkeeper Ian Lawlor from just inside the penalty area. Latty-Fairweather then tried his luck on goal after making a brilliant surging row down the left, but the Minstermen were once again denied by a smart save by Lawlor, before Lawlor was again tested by Fallowfield at the far post, forcing a corner after an inviting cross into the area from the left by Scott Burgess. From the resulting corner, Adam Crookes had a header go through a shield of bodies and fly narrowly wide of goal as the Minstermen continued to search for an opener, before ex-Rotherham United centre-back Richard Wood found himself in a similar position as Crookes did only ten minutes prior, but he also glanced a header wide of goal for the visitors.
    After an end to end first half, Doncaster went close to scoring first early on in the opening exchanges of the second period, but after making a brilliant surging down the left hand side, Kyle Hurst drilled an effort well wide of goal and out for a goal kick. The Minstermen took the lead in the 62nd minute through substitute Kouhyar, who rose highest inside the penalty area to head home from Michael Duckworth’s corner, burying his header into the bottom right corner to beat Doncaster substitute goalkeeper Ben Bottomley. Latty-Fairweather was then handed a second yellow card by referee Marc Edwards, meaning the Minstermen had to play the remaining twenty minutes with only ten men. Duckworth nearly extended the Minstermen’s lead with a superb curling free-kick from 25 yards, but he was denied by the woodwork as Doncaster escaped from conceding a second goal of the evening. Doncaster went in search for an equaliser and they had a brilliant chance to do so with only thirteen minutes to play. Luke Molyneux made a brilliant surging through the centre of play before playing in Tyler Roberts, but the substitute forward was unable to keep his effort down as he fired well over the bar from a tight angle. The visitors were unable to pull a way back into the game as they fell to defeat against the Minstermen.
    York City: Stockdale, Fallowfield (Duckworth 58’), Crookes (Cordner 58’), Sanders (Howe 58’), Latty-Fairweather, Trialist A (Porter) (Pybus 58’), McLaughlin (C) (Hancox 58’), Burgess (Dyson 58’), Barnes (Trialist B 90' (Moonan)), Main (John-Lewis 58’), Siziba (Kouhyar 58’). Unused Subs: Campbell
    Goals: Kouhyar (62’)
    Yellow Cards: Burgess, Sanders, Latty-Fairweather
    Red Card: Latty-Fairweather (2Y)
    Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor (Bottomley 60’), Olowu (Miller 60’), Wood (Taylor 60’), Sterry (Biggins 60’), Maxwell (Long 60’), Close (Bailey 60’), Broadbent (Roberts 60’), Sotona (Allen 60’), Rowe (Faulkner 60’), Hurst (Degruchy 60’), Ironside (Molyneux 60’). Unused Subs: Watson, Flint, Wood, Kuleya, Goodman
    Yellow Cards: Degruchy
    Goals: -
    Referee: Marc Edwards
    Attendance: 2,515 (660 Doncaster Rovers supporters)
  5. TADCASTER ALBION (A) (22/Jul/23) W 4-0
    City extended their unbeaten run in pre-season to five games with a comprehensive 4-0 victory away at Tadcaster Albion. Goals before half time from Adam Crookes and Zanda Siziba saw the Minstermen lead at the break, before Siziba’s second and a Dan Pybus strike saw the visitors secure the victory at the So-Trak Stadium. New signing Quevin Castro, who joined the club in the summer from West Bromwich Albion, made his debut from the bench.
    City enjoyed early dominant pressure went close with a great chance through Paddy McLaughlin after only eight minutes, but after finding time and space with the ball on the edge of the area, he was unable to keep a right footed effort down as it flew over the bar. 3 minutes later, City took the lead Crookes, who was in the right place at the right time at the far post to score an easy finish after having the ball squared across goal to him by Siziba from the right. City went close to doubling their lead three minutes later after good work down the left by Kouhyar saw the ball fall to Lenell John-Lewis inside the penalty area, but his low effort was met by a smart save by Tadcaster goalkeeper Joe Wilton, before Siziba had an effort on goal from distance which once again called the Tadcaster goalkeeper into action. The Minstermen doubled their lead on the half hour mark through Siziba, who picked up a short ball out wide, before cutting inside from the left and unleashed a curling right footed effort, which beat Wilton at his left hand post. York had fewer chances to extend their lead even further before the break, as John-Lewis and Crookes both had efforts which forced Wilton into making further saves.
    City started the second half strongly just as they did in the first and went close within the first seven minutes. Tadcaster’s substitute goalkeeper was forced into making a smart double save to deny both Kouhyar and John-Lewis, after City looked to break down the left. City added their third goal of the afternoon on the hour mark, courtesy of Siziba’s second goal of the contest. The former Yeovil Town winger broke through a body of Tadcaster defenders, before beating the ‘keeper with a low finish into the bottom-left corner across the face of goal. Another great break down the right then saw Siziba play through John-Lewis into the area, but after beating the ‘keeper at his left hand post, his effort was denied by the linesman’s flag. Pybus added the Minstermen’s fourth of the afternoon with twenty minutes to go after beating the ‘keeper from the edge of the area after the midfielder danced his way through a handful defenders, before getting a shot away on goal. City later had chances through substitutes Scott Burgess and Cedric Main, but neither were unable to beat the substitute keeper as they ran out 4-0 winners.
    York City: Campbell, Duckworth (Fallowfield 77’), Howe, Cordner, Crookes, McLaughlin (Hancox 77’), Dyson (Burgess 77’), Pybus (Castro 71’), Kouhyar (Trialist B 77’ (Matshazi), John-Lewis (C), Siziba (Main 71’). Unused Subs: Trialist A (Dickinson)
    Goals: Crookes (11’), Siziba (30’, 60’), Pybus (70’)
    Tadcaster Albion: Wilton, Owen, McDaid (C), Thirkell, Qualter, Hardcastle, Ahmed, Kitchen, Stephens, Greenway, Kay. Subs (Usage Not Recorded): Roper, Graves, Walters, Holmes, Trialist A, Ibrahimi, Trialist B, Trialist C, Trialist D, Trialist E, Trialist F
    Goals: -
  6. SELBY TOWN (A) (24/Jul/23) L 1-2
    City suffered a first pre-season defeat following a 2-1 defeat at Selby Town. Finlay Barnes handed the Minstermen the lead after twenty minutes, but two goals from the hosts saw them turn around the game and run out winners. Mikey Morton named eleven changes from the starting eleven that featured against Tadcaster at the weekend, with four trialists being picked to start.
    City started strongly at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium and had a great chance to open the scoring after only two minutes, but Finlay Barnes was unable to keep his effort down from going over the bar from close-range after good work down the left by Trialist D. Trialist D then went on to force the Selby Town keeper into a smart low save after getting a shot away from the edge of the area, before a great counter-attack from the Minstermen down the right edge nearly saw them take the lead, but great defence from the hosts saw them clear the ball away for a corner. The Minstermen took the lead twenty minutes into the contest, as Barnes beat the offside trap to score past the Selby keeper with a clever finish, slotting the ball into the bottom-right corner to hand Morton’s side an early advantage. The lead was nearly doubled only a minute later, but after a great low ball into the area from the right, Hancox was only able to put the ball into the side-netting at the far post. City had further chances to double their advantage before the break, but Scott Burgess and Cedric Main were both unable to capitalise on chances presented to them. Selby pulled themselves back into the tier four minutes before the break, with Trialist A being beaten from the edge of the area after hosts capitalised on a loose ball at the back.
    City had two great chances to put themselves back in front in the first fifteen minutes of the second half. Firstly, Trialist D forced a smart save from the keeper after an effort from distance, before Trialist B turned an effort narrowly wide of the post with a chance from the edge of the area. The hosts took the lead on the hour mark after an effort from just inside the penalty area, which beat York’s trialist keeper at his right-hand post as it nestled into the back of the net. The Minstermen were unable to find a late equaliser in the game, as the hosts ran out 2-1 winners.
    York City: Trialist A (Dickinson), Fallowfield, Trialist B (Porter), Joshua, Larry-Fairweather, Trialist C (Moonan), Burgess, Hancox, Barnes, Main (Henderson 64’), Trialist D (Matshazi). Unused Subs: Whitley, Duckworth, McLaughlin, Pybus, Dyson, Kouhyar
    Goals: Barnes (20’)
  7. FARSLEY CELTIC (A) (25/Jul/23) W 2-1
    City returned to winning ways with a 2-1 pre-season friendly win at Farsley Celtic coming from behind after Joao Silva’s opener after 13 minutes, but a goal from Maziar Kouhyar and a second half Lenell John-Lewis penalty saw the City run out as winners. Morton once again named eleven changes to his starting eleven from the one that featured at Selby Town a day earlier with near enough same team that won 4-0 at Tadcaster Albion at the weekend. The only change being Ryan Whitley who came in to start between the sticks. Farsley, included 2 former City players, Clayton Donaldson, their player - manager and defender Tom Allan.
    City started the strongest, having the first effort of the evening. Dan Pybus tried his luck from distance, but his effort flew narrowly wide of goal from 25 yards. The hosts took the lead in the 13th minute through Silva’s shot on the turn from the edge of the area which beat Whitley at his left hand post. City didn’t let conceding an early goal go to their heads and they pushed on for an immediate equaliser. Adam Crookes forced a corner after Zan Luk spilled Kouhyar’s initial effort on target, before John-Lewis’ header was met with a smart save from Luk. City levelled four minutes short of the half hour mark when Olly Dyson’s low effort deflected through a body of Farsley defenders into the path of Kouhyar, who beat the goalkeeper from close range. Farsley responded with chances as they looked to retake the lead. Conor Branson headed wide of goal from a free kick, before Donaldson rolled back the years to show his quality in front of goal, but a superb finger tip save from Whitley saw the City goalkeeper turn his curling effort away for a corner.
    The hosts thought they’d retaken the lead just short of the hour mark when they got the ball in the back of the net after an attack down the right, but the linesman's flag ruled the goal out for offside. City were awarded a penalty with just over twenty minutes to go after John-Lewis was fouled. The city captain stepped up himself from twelve yards to go bottom left corner and give the City the winner. Morton’s men were nearly three goals to the good only minutes later when Siziba went racing clear through in on goal, but he was denied by a smart save by the Farsley goalkeeper. Substitute Quevin Castro also tried his luck as City searched for a third goal of the evening, but his long range effort from distance was well held by the goalkeeper. York City: Whitley (G), Duckworth, Howe, Cordner, Crookes, Pybus, McLaughlin, Dyson, Siziba, John-Lewis, Kouhyar (Castro 68’). Unused Subs: Campbell, Fallowfield, Hancox, Burgess, Trialist A, Main, Barnes. Goals: Kouhyar (26’), (John-Lewis 67’ pen) Farsley Celtic: Luk (G), Leake, Smith (Milambo 61’), Branson, Missambo, Allan, Blair (Watson 46’), C.Atkinson (B.Atkinson 46’), Donaldson (Allen 70’), Stephenson, Silva (Carroll 46’). Unused Subs: Baptista, Anyiam-Osigwe. Goals: Silva (13’) Yellow Cards: Silva
  8. ACCRINGTON STANLEY (A) (29/Jul/23) L 0-2
    City ended pre-season preparations with a 2-0 defeat at League Two side Accrington Stanley. Mikey Morton’s side matched their Football League opposition for the opening hour at the Wham Stadium, but two goals in the final half-hour saw the hosts run out winners.
    York had the ball in the back of the net after only two minutes in Lancashire, but Zanda Siziba’s strike was ruled out for offside by the linesman’s flag. City carried on early pressure in the final third as they looked for an opener and Quevin Castro had a left-footed free-kick from the right-hand side saved by the Accrington goalkeeper, before Maziar Kouhar’s shot from distance was well held by the Accrington shot-stopper. David Stockdale was called into action just short of the half-hour mark when he had to react quick to get off his line to deny Sean McConville from giving the hosts the lead from close-range. City had one final chance to take the lead in Lancashire before the break, but Thierry Latty-Fairweather curled a right-footed effort over the bar from out wide after making a promising break down the left-hand side.
    Another clear-cut chance came for Morton’s men, who were unfortunate once again as they looked to take the lead only four minutes after the restart. The ball fell to Dan Pybus on the edge of the area, who curled an effort narrowly wide of the goalkeeper’s left-hand post. Two chances inside a minute then came for City as the clock approached the hour-mark. Half-time substitute Olly Dyson capitalised on a loose-ball in the Accrington defence, before forcing a corner with an effort on goal saved, before the resulting corner saw the ball fall to Paddy McLaughlin on the edge of the area, who curled an effort narrowly over with the outside of his foot. Accrington took the lead in the 61st minute through Korede Adedoyin, who cut inside from the right-hand side before unleashing a low left-footed effort towards goal, which beat Stockdale at his left-hand post. A chance then came for the hosts to double their lead with fifteen minutes to go, but the strike on goal flew over the bar from the edge of the area. Dipo Akinyemi nearly produced a moment of quality for the Minstermen with ten minutes to go after he was introduced from the bench, but he curled a fierce free-kick from 25-yards-out inches wide of the goalkeeper’s left-hand post. The League Two side secured the victory with eight minutes to go as substitute Josh Woods raced through on goal, before beating Stockdale from a tight angle to secure a 2-0 win for the hosts.
    York City: Stockdale, Duckworth, Howe (Fallowfield, 54'), Crookes, Latty-Fairweather (Hancox, 76'), McLaughlin (Woodyard, 60'), Castro (Dyson, 46'), Pybus, Siziba (Barnes, 69'), John-Lewis (Akinyemi, 57'), Kouhyar. Unused Sub: Whitley.
    Goals: -
    Accrington Stanley: Savin, Rich-Baghuelou (Pickles, 46'), Mellor, Coyle (Woods, 74'), Hills, McConville, Nolan (Longelo, 53'), Conneely (Martin, 71'), Hills, Shipley, Andrews (Lowe, 67'). Unused Subs: Trialist A, Whalley, Adedoyin, Quirk, Patrick, O’Brien, Fernandes.
    Goals: Adedoyin (61'), Woods (82')
    Attendance: 792 (204)
  9. LEEDS U21 (H (TBC)) (02/Aug/23) L 0-1
    City went down 1-0 to Leeds United Under 21s in a behind closed doors friendly.
    York City: Campbell, Fallowfield, Joshua, Latty-Fairweather, Hancox; Woodyard, Castro, Barnes, Hurst, Akinyemi, Siziba. Subs: Unknown.
    Goals: -
    Leeds U21: TBC.
    Goals: TBC.
  10. HULL U21 (H (TBC)) (08/Aug/23) D 3-3
    City drew 3-3 with Hull City Under 21s in a behind closed doors friendly.
    York City: TBC.
    Goals: -
    Hull U21: TBC.
    Goals: TBC.