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Johnstone paint trophy gloss for York City’s season
YORK City ended a dreadful nine-match losing streak in the Football League Trophy with this week’s first round victory at Rotherham United.
Prior to Tuesday night, the Minstermen had not won a tie in the competition since January 1997, when Gary Himsworth’s goal secured a 1-0 home victory over Preston.
Alan Little’s team subsequently bowed out 2-0 to Carlisle at the next stage, triggering the long run of miserable results.
During the following season, City lost 10-9 in a penalty shoot-out at Blackpool with then goalkeeper Andy Warrington’s soaring spot kick threatening to bring down the nearby tower.
Further defeats to Halifax, Hull, Darlington, Notts County, Lincoln, Halifax again and Blackpool again then ensured City were knocked out at the first time of asking for eight successive seasons.
In fact, even allowing for City’s recent seven-year absence from the competition, their record remains poor.
The Minstermen’s best run saw them reach the northern area semi-finals in 1995/96 when Nick Peverell’s goal was the only consolation in a 4-1 drubbing at Rotherham.
In comparison, from the 46 participants in this season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, eight are previous winners, another eight have been runners-up in the past and ten more have contested area finals. In fact, only Coventry, Fleetwood and Portsmouth – who are all playing in the tournament for the first time this season – along with Oxford and recently-promoted quartet AFC Wimbledon, Crawley, Stevenage and Burton have failed to go as far as City in the competition.
Unsurprisingly, City chief Gary Mills intends to change all of that and is already issuing reminders of how last season’s victorious FA Trophy run helped breed confidence that also assisted the team’s push for promotion.
Unlike other managers – Rotherham’s Steve Evans for one – Mills normally opts to field his strongest team in all tournaments and is again targeting success on more than one front, saying: “The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy is a tournament that I would love to get to the final in.
“I felt that way last season before the FA Trophy started. We wanted to win that and, in order to do that, your mindset has to be right, particularly in the early rounds.
“Nobody can question what the competition means to us if they went to the Rotherham game and doing well in a cup can complement your progress in the League. Some people see it as an opportunity to rest a few players but we didn’t apart from one that was enforced on us and we got our first clean sheet of the season.
“That’s a big boost going into the next League game and I will always pick what I believe is the right team to win a game at any given time.”
City will learn who they face in the second round this morning when the draw is made live on Sky Sports’ Soccer AM programme.
Mills’ team will be paired against one of their fellow north-east region clubs, which includes League One quintet Coventry, Doncaster, Hartlepool, Notts County and Sheffield United, as well as Bradford and Chesterfield.
Second round games will be played during the week starting October 8 and, thereafter, the north-east and north-west sections will merge into one northern group of eight teams.
Future games will then be played on the weeks of December 3 (area quarter-final), January 7 (area semi-final), February 4 (area final first leg), February 18 (area final second leg) and April 7 (final).
Mills, who has only been handed three home draws in 12 cup ties as City chief, is hoping for a second round contest at Bootham Crescent.
While City continue to enjoy more exposure on Sky, Mills also received some recognition on the channel’s Fantasy Football programme when he was nominated in rock band Kasabian’s favourite all-time Leicester City XI at right-back.
The City boss was in good company alongside the likes of Gary Lineker, Peter Shilton, Neil Lennon and Muzzy Izzet.
Quick work on a Coul finish...
MICHAEL Coulson’s lighting fast opening goal last weekend against Oxford, timed at 16 seconds, has been confirmed as City’s third-quickest ever at Bootham Crescent.
The late Paul Aimson still holds the record, having netted after 9.5 seconds in October 1971 during a 3-1 win against Torquay.
Albert Johann-eson also took only 13 seconds to hit the target against Southend during a 3-0 home victory in November 1970, but City’s fastest-ever goal was scored by John Byrne after nine seconds at Swansea in a 3-1 win on September 1, 1984 – exactly 28 years to the day before the effort from Coulson.
Minstermen ’keeper Ingham is spot on to lead September standings
MICHAEL Ingham jokingly tweeted ‘that’s my one for the season’ following his excellent penalty save against Oxford last weekend – and further inspection of his spot kick record in between the sticks for City reveals an element of truth in his words.
Since starting his second spell at Bootham Crescent in 2008, Ingham has averaged one penalty save a season including the current campaign From the 41 on-target spot kicks that he has faced – both in normal time and penalty shoot-outs – the former Northern Ireland international has saved five, resulting in a success rate of just over 12 per cent rate.
Oxford’s Deane Smalley was the latest to be thwarted by Ingham from 12 yards following Ben Swallow last season for Bath before he later joined City, Bedworth’s Jason Moore in an FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie and shoot-out fall guys Justin Richards and Alex Jeannin for Kidderminster and Mansfield respectively.
Ingham, meanwhile, is the early leader of The Press Player of the Month standings for September.
As our man-of-the-match for a starring display in Tuesday night’s 1-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory at Rotherham, Ingham picked up three points towards the contest.
He also collected the two Player of the Month bonus points on offer to the player who polled most man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website.
Those rewards followed on from the two points Ingham received as The Press’ second-highest rated player in last weekend’s 3-1 triumph over Oxford United.
In that match, our man-of-the-match Ashley Chambers (three points) and third-highest rated player Paddy McLaughlin (one) were recognised for their efforts as well, while debutant Clarke Carlisle picked up the bonus points.
At Rotherham, Charlie Taylor (two) and Matty Blair (one) were awarded the other points behind Ingham.
To be in with a chance of presenting the September Player of the Month with his prize – a framed photograph – on the pitch before a City home game, register your man-of-the-match votes from today’s Bootham Crescent clash against Chesterfield.
Alternatively, you can also tweet your selections to @daveflettpress
The Press Player of the Year latest standings (not including Player of the Month bonus points):
Parslow 8, Chambers 6, Ingham 6, C Smith 5, J Smith 3, Blanchett 2, Taylor 2, Blair 1, Challinor 1, Coulson 1, McLaughlin 1.
The Press Player of the Month standings: Ingham 7, Chambers 3, Carlisle 2, Taylor 2, Blair 1, McLaughlin 1.
Goals: Chambers 3, Coulson 3, Blair 1, McLaughlin 1, Parslow 1, C Smith 1, Walker 1.
Assists: J Smith 3, Chambers 2, Parslow 2, Walker 2, Coulson 1, McLaughlin 1.
Bad boys: Chambers 1 yellow card; Doig 1 yellow; Ingham 1 yellow; C Smith 1 yellow, J Smith 1 yellow.
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