YORK City goalkeeper Scott Flinders reckons a rocking Bootham Crescent can prove the springboard for Football League survival.

Flinders was a member of the Hartlepool side that pulled off an unlikely 'Great Escape' last term on the back of a terrific upturn in form on their own soil.

The north-east outfit were eight points from safety at the end of 2014, having won just one of their opening dozen home games.

But Ronnie Moore's men went on to win seven, draw one and only lose three of their remaining fixtures at Victoria Park – collecting an average of exactly two points per game – to preserve their Football League status.

Four of the Minstermen's next five games are in front of their own fans and Flinders feels the bottom-of-the-table club's 84-year-old stadium can be of equal significance in the fight against relegation to the National League.

City, who lie four points adrift of a place outside the drop zone, have won two of their last three home matches and, with those 2-1 triumphs over Stevenage and Morecambe in mind, Flinders said: "Bootham Crescent has a massive part to play – especially on the back of getting a stoppage-minute winner in the last game there.

"That showed we have character and fighting spirit. We need the supporters with us because it helps us out big time when they are behind us.

"At Hartlepool last season, the fans saw that we were doing everything to keep the football club in the League and the York fans have also been brilliant to me and the lads. They can be our 12th man because we need as many points as we can get now."

Flinders is also hoping to end the second-longest run of league games without a clean sheet that he has experienced in his career.

The 29-year-old net-minder, who holds the all-time record for most shut-outs at Hartlepool, has been beaten in City's last 22 Sky Bet League Two contests.

That number is five short of his worst sequence, set three years ago, with Flinders saying: "I've been in sides down the bottom and still kept clean sheets and the gaffer has said to me that I'm overdue one.

"I'll keep striving towards that, because it's a massive thing for me. I always think that once that first one comes, they'll all come flooding in."

The 6ft 4in keeper believes, meanwhile, that there was cause for encouragement following Saturday's 2-0 defeat at table-topping Northampton, arguing: "It was another game of fine margins.

"We didn't start the best and fell asleep at a set-piece for their first goal – and they broke and scored the second just as we were enjoying a bit of good play. We were really on top and if we had got it back to 1-1, I think we would have had the momentum.

"Defeat was hard to take because it was always going to be a difficult game. But even though they are top of the league and we are bottom, we had more chances than they did and I didn't have a save to make apart from the goals.

"I expected a busier afternoon, especially with the strong wind, but there wasn't much difference between the two teams and we've got to take heart from that.

"We didn't look like a team who are dead and buried and we just need to put the goals to bed and learn from them as we work towards the Notts County game, because all goals can be prevented."

With County due in North Yorkshire on Saturday, the weather is unlikely to prove as troublesome as at Sixfields.

Even Flinders, who spent six years playing games in the shadow of the North Sea at Hartlepool, admitted: "The conditions were bad – horrible for everyone, but goalkeepers especially.

"At Hartlepool, you always got a cross wind, but at Northampton it was going straight down the pitch."

Flinders went on to argue that Luke Hendrie's second-half red card was wrongly issued, expressing his shock at the time by saying: "Once he had made the tackle, I turned around to get my bottle and have a drink. Then, all I heard was the cheers and I couldn't believe it was a red card.

"We looked at it again in the dressing room afterwards and it was really harsh. It means we'll also lose Luke for three games and he's done really well for us."

With the side already trailing 2-0 when Hendrie was dismissed on 55 minutes, Flinders did feel, though, that there was reason for optimism following the team's performance after going a man down.

At Portsmouth in November, the Minstermen conceded six times in one half following Jonathan Greening's dismissal just before the interval and the City keeper said: "We had a man sent off earlier in the season and got done 6-0.

"I always try to look at the positives and we have some good characters in the dressing room. It's all about the lads staying together from now on and getting that bit of luck because Dave Winfield had a chance cleared off the line just before they scored their second goal at Northampton."

With right-back Hendrie now facing a three-match ban, Flinders is also backing on-loan Newcastle centre half Lubo Satka – who filled in after the Sixfields dismissal – to stake his claim for a permanent spell in the position.

Flinders explained: "Lubo has looked the part and been really impressive in training and it will be his shirt to keep now."