Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Match preview: York City v AFC Wimbledon
MATTY BLAIR will hope to play in the FA Cup proper for the first time tomorrow – but the flying winger isn’t getting carried away with dreams of a big clash against a Premier League giant come January.
The 22-year-old has only ever turned out in the fourth qualifying round of the world’s most famous domestic cup competition but, barring a selection surprise, will get the chance to savour the atmosphere of a first round clash against AFC Wimbledon at Bootham Crescent.
Blair has made a huge splash in knockout competitions in his 17 months at York, scoring the crucial opening goal in the FA Trophy final at Wembley in May, while also netting the winning goal in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final under the Arch a week later.
And he said he is looking forward to getting out on the pitch to properly begin his FA Cup experience.
Blair said: “I’ve never played in the first round of the cup. It’s always been the fourth qualifying round.
“I went out to Wrexham with Kidderminster and Wrexham with York last year. I am looking forward to it. It’s an exciting competition as anything can happen.
“If we go and beat Wimbledon, which I am pretty confident we can do, then you get a chance to get into the draw.”
“I don’t think you can be as arrogant as to do that,” Blair added when asked if he had looked ahead and cast a gaze at the possibility of a third round tie against a Premier League outfit should tomorrow’s match go to plan. “We have to beat Wimbledon first.
“The FA Cup has still got its magic – even though people say it hasn’t – because even that first round, for lower league teams that aren’t in the Football League, it’s their pay-day.
“It’s a lot of money to them and they need it. We will try our best. If we can get to the second round, get a good tie, and if you can get to the third round and get a big Premier League club, then it’s fantastic.
“But we have got to beat Wimbledon first.”
In eight years in the Conference, City were knocked out three times in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup – in 2004/5 at Carlisle United, 2008/9 at Mansfield in a replay and last season at Wrexham.
They fell three times in round one – 2005/6 at home to Grays Athletic, 2006/7 at home to Bristol City and 2007/8 at home to Havant & Waterlooville.
On the other two occasions, they exited in the third round – at Stoke City in 2009/10 and the following season at Bolton Wanderers.
In City’s last season in the Football League, they were beaten 2-1 in the first round at Bootham Crescent by Barnsley in front of 5,658. Lee Nogan was the scorer and the line-up on November 9, 2003 was: Ovendale, Edmondson, Merris, Smith, Brass, Hope, Ward (Brackstone), Dunning (George), Nogan, Bullock, Cooper (Wilford).
It happened on November 3
1956: A 1-0 home win over Gateshead with Norman Wilkinson on target in Division Three North watched by 7,325.
1962: In the first round of the FA Cup, City and Rochdale drew 0-0 at Bootham Crescent in front of 4,663.
1973: City drew 0-0 at Brighton in Division Three (League One). It was Brian Clough’s first match in charge of the Goldstone Ground outfit and the attendance was 16,017.
1979: Peter Lorimer, Terry Eccles and Kevin Randall scored in a 3-1 home win over Hereford United in the Fourth Division. The attendance was 2,226.
1984: Keith Houchen notched a hat-trick in a 7-1 win over Gillingham at Bootham Crescent in the Third Division (League One) watched by 2,921. Others on the scoresheet were Alan Pearce (2), Keith Walwyn and an opponent.
2001: A 2-2 draw at Oxford United in the Third Division (League Two) with Lee Nogan and Michael Proctor on the scoresheet.
Compiled by Dave Batters