City seek return to giant-killing spree

WHAT have Sir Stanley Matthews, Sir Alf Ramsey, Danny Blanchflower, Charlie Nicholas and David O’Leary all got in common?

A shed-load of international caps maybe but also, perhaps less well-known to people outside these parts, they have all been humbled by York City in FA Cup upsets. In recent times, however, the Bootham Crescent club have struggled to build on that proud pedigree and, following the 2-0 home victory over Bedworth, the visit of League Two strugglers Crewe Alexandra next weekend will see City hoping to cause their first Cup shock in almost eight years.

The Minstermen have lost their last three encounters against higher-league opponents in the world-famous competition, going down to Bristol City (2006), Barnsley (2003) and Brentford (2002).

Grimsby Town, then plying their trade in the Championship, were the last “giant” to be slain by City in January 2002.

In fact, that season saw Terry Dolan’s team equal a club record by dumping out three clubs from loftier divisions with Colchester and Reading also coming a cropper.

That campaign represented the greatest number of upsets since the famous Happy Wanderers’ team overcame top-flight pair Blackpool and Spurs, as well as old second division outfit Notts County, on their way to semi-final defeat against Newcastle United.

Prior to that run, the Minstermen also claimed a hat-trick of scalps on their charge to the 1939 quarter-finals, defeating Coventry and old Division One duo West Brom and Middlesbrough before succumbing to Huddersfield Town after a replay.

In total, City have beaten 18 higher-division sides since first entering the FA Cup as Midland League members in 1923 with 13 being knocked out at Bootham Crescent.

Six top-flight teams have suffered at the hands of City during that time with Arsenal the last famous conquest in 1985 and Blackpool the only one to be beaten in front of their own supporters.

That sextet is completed by Birmingham City, who were seen off 3-0 in 1958 after goals from Arthur Bottom, Peter Wragg and Norman Wilkinson.

In modern times, the Minstermen have not reached the second round since December 2002.

It is a seven-year itch Martin Foyle’s men will be determined to scratch against their 1993 play-off final opponents Crewe next weekend.

Force is with strike ace Brodie

TOP scorer Richard Brodie has made it a four-way tie at the top of The Press Player of the Year standings.

Brodie’s point as our third-highest rated player during the 2-0 FA Cup victory over Bedworth United has seen him draw level with Andy Ferrell, Ben Purkiss and Djoumin Sangare at the summit.

Fellow striker Michael Rankine and goalkeeper Michael Igham are just two points further back.

Rankine’s man-of-the match show against Bedworth earned him three points towards the contest, while Ingham pocketed two as our second-highest rated player.

Brodie, meanwhile, polled the most man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website to collect the two bonus points on offer towards the Player of the Month award.

To be in with a chance of presenting the October Player of the Month with his prize on the pitch at a City home game, register your man-of-the-match vote by reading our online reports at thepress.co.uk The Press Player of the Year standings: Brodie 12 points, Ferrell 12, Purkiss 12, Sangare 12, Ingham 10, Rankine 10, Lawless 8, McGurk 7, Gash 6, Mackin 5, Barrett 4, Parslow 4, Smith 4, Nelthorpe 2.

The Press October Player of the Month standings: Lawless 9, Rankine 8, Brodie 7, Sangare 7, Barrett 4, Ingham 4, Ferrell 3, McGurk 3, Smith 2, Purkiss 1.

Goals: Brodie 11, Gash 5, Rankine 3, Sangare 2, Smith 2, Barrett 1, Ferrell 1, Pacquette 1.

Assists: Brodie 5, Ferrell 4, Meredith 3, Purkiss 3, Smith 3, Lawless 2, Sangare 2, Barrett 1, Nelthorpe 1, Parslow 1.

Bad boys: Ferrell 5 yellow cards; Brodie 4 yellow cards; Meredith 1 red card, 1 yellow; Barrett, Mackin, McGurk, Smith all 2 yellow cards; Pacquette 1 red card; Carruthers, Gash, Ingham, Lawless, Nelthorpe, Sangare all 1 yellow.

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