Season review: York City’s class of 2011/12

It has been an outstanding season for play-off final and FA Trophy winners York City. Here DAVE FLETT assesses the Minstermen’s squad.

Moses Ashikodi
Never lived up to Gary Mills’ expectations following his November arrival. Lacked sharpness throughout the season and, when given a chance to impress, displayed suspect temperament and ill discipline. Needs to act quickly to resurrect a once promising career.
Appearances: 3 (8); Goals: 1. Rating: 5/10.

Matty Blair
Phenomenal season for the one-time Racing Club Warwick winger, who got the vital goals to send City to Wembley twice before opening the scoring in the FA Trophy final and getting the winning strike in the play-off final. Hard to recall a player with his stamina levels at the club in recent times and also finished the campaign as the team’s leading marksman with 20 goals. His individual display during January’s 3-2 home victory against Ebbsfleet was the best of the season, single-handedly compensating for his side’s numerical disadvantage following Scott Brown’s 15th-minute red card by doing the running of more than two men.
Appearances: 47 (5); Goals: 20; Rating: 9/10

Matthew Blinkhorn
Left the League of Ireland behind to score on his debut in City’s 6-2 FA Trophy win at Salisbury in January. A decent attacking option in the penalty box at set-pieces with his movement and aerial ability. But the former Blackpool forward struggled to make an impact when he started games.
Appearances: 4 (15); Goals: 2; Rating: 6/10

Eugen Bopp
Struck down by a dislocated shoulder in his only start for the Minstermen at home to Fleetwood. That ended his season before it had really begun but he made an impressive cameo appearance as a substitute in March’s league victory at Luton.
Appearances: 1 (1); Goals: 0; Rating: 6/10

Andre Boucaud
Sold to Luton for £25,000 in January but his contribution during the club’s impressive start to the season should not be forgotten. Displayed skills and mastery of a football rarely seen at Blue Square Bet Premier level and proved himself an excellent retainer of possession. A record of just one goal and no assists, however, illustrates the Trinidad & Tobago international does not always apply his talent where it matters most – in the final third of the pitch.
Appearances: 24 (1); Goals: 1; Rating: 8/10

Scott Brown
Brought in as a replacement for Boucaud but never came close to filling that void. Did not look match fit on his arrival and struggled to play at the tempo demanded by Gary Mills. Was also guilty of a couple of reckless challenges – one leading to a first-half red card against Ebbsfleet – but did contribute as a substitute in the big Trophy semi-final and play-off final contests against Luton.
Appearances: 7 (3); Goals: 0; Rating: 5/10

Jon Challinor
A 31-year-old boasting one of the biggest success stories of the season. Snapped up from Kettering, where he was on non-contract terms and struggling to resurrect a career that had seen him ply his trade as a midfielder at eight different Conference clubs. Quickly converted into a right back by Gary Mills and displayed great composure, as well as an ability to start off attacking moves from that position.
Appearances: 45 (6); Goals: 3; Rating: 8/10

Ashley Chambers
Having struggled for consistency in spells during the season, found his best form on the biggest stage at Wembley, where he was City’s best attacking option in both matches. He topped the assists table at the end of the campaign and made his mark at important times. When he is positive and runs at teams, he frightens anybody in this league and, if he can add a more ruthless streak to his game, the former England youth international will also enjoy a greater goal haul next term.
Appearances: 39 (12); Goals: 10; Rating: 8/10

Chris Doig
A very solid performer at the back after joining the club in February. Brought assurance and positional sense to the City defence. Only question mark regarded his fitness levels, causing him to come in and out of the side with injury niggles.
Appearances: 15; Goals: 0; Rating: 8/10

Jamal Fyfield
Did really well to break into the team as a centre back at the start of the campaign considering the competition for that role. Also gave some memorable displays at left-back, most notably when he charged three-quarters the length of the field to score a terrific last-gasp winning goal at Grimsby and also when he delivered the perfect cross for Matty Blair’s header that ensured an equally as dramatic finish to the FA Trophy semi-final against Luton. Performed excellently in certain matches, but not so well in others and must get rid of the odd stinker.
Appearances: 30 (10); Goals: 3; Rating: 7/10

Ben Gibson
Proved himself a very mature defender for a teenager. Not as strong going forward as other left-backs at the club like James Meredith and Jamal Fyfield but rarely caught out of position or beaten for pace. Only briefly used in his more recognised centre-back role for City but looked a natural when employed there.
Appearances: 11; Goals: 0; Rating: 8/10

Liam Henderson
The biggest disappointment of all Gary Mills’ summer signings. Managed just one goal in between loan spells at Forest Green. Struggled to come close to Jason Walker’s standards as a lone central striker and will need to do better if he is going to figure more prominently during the second year of his City contract.
Appearances: 3 (4); Goals: 1; Rating: 5/10

Michael Ingham
Hard to remember many occasions when the former Northern Ireland international let his team down throughout the season. Any errors were few and far between, which shows impressive consistency at this level of the game. His handling and decision making was almost flawless and, when called upon, he made several vital saves.
Appearances: 55; Goals: 0; Rating: 9/10

Reece Kelly
First-year apprentice who was given a run-out as a second-half substitute in the dead rubber match against Forest Green on the final day of the regular season. Did not seem daunted on the right wing and delivered a couple of decent crosses. Will hopefully develop physically during the next season of his scholarship.
Appearances: 0 (1); Goals: 0; Rating: 6/10

Scott Kerr
Inspirational anchorman in the middle of the park who deserved to end a great season with two Wembley appearances. That opportunity was denied him when he suffered knee ligament damage following a Keith Keane challenge in the FA Trophy semi-final, second leg clash at Luton. Ended a 121-game long wait for a goal with his winning header in the quarter-final triumph at Grimsby but, what he lacks in potency, he more than makes up for with his willingness to receive the ball and drive his team forward.
Appearances: 41 (1); Goals: 1; Rating: 9/10

David McGurk
A succession of injuries saw the long-serving defender play no part after January. It is a testament to his team-mates that the back four did not
suffer in his absence. Will hope for better fortunes next term.
Appearances: 21 (1); Goals: 1; Rating: 6/10

Paddy McLaughlin
Impressive first full season in professional football for the former Newcastle United reserve. Only James Meredith started more games from City’s outfield players and a return of 13 goals, as well as 14 assists, points to an impressive contribution from midfield. Cultured and a specialist with free-kicks and long-range shots, his supposed weaker right foot also got stronger as the season wore on.
Appearances: 52 (3); Goals: 13; Rating: 8/10

James Meredith
Recovered from an underwhelming start to the season to hit previous heights at left back, before making an unexpected transition into midfield during the last three months of the season. Composed on the ball in that area of the pitch, he also never shied away from travelling forward in possession and closed down opponents quickly. Could arguably have a bright future in both positions.
Appearances: 55; Goals: 2; Rating: 8/10

Adriano Moké
Extremely exciting find by Gary Mills last summer. The Glenn Hoddle Academy graduate frightens teams on the ball with his pace, directness and skills. Better when employed on the wings rather than as a third midfielder, his starts were limited but nearly always contributed something in an attacking sense.
Appearances: 12 (22); Goals: 3; Rating: 8/10

Paul Musselwhite
Was the epitome of calmness when many were panicking as Michael Ingham suffered a shin injury with three games left to secure a play-off place. The 43-year-old shot stopper, who had hung up his professional gloves six years earlier, went on to mark the start to his City playing career with three consecutive clean sheets – a club record. Not the most agile these days but his experience was there for all to see and can also claim a role in Ingham’s exemplary campaign as Bootham Crescent’s goalkeeping coach.
Appearances: 3 (0); Goals: 0; Rating: 7/10

Lanre Oyebanjo
Another player whose season was interrupted by injury. Used in midfield towards the end of the season, where he gives the team energy when fit. Probably still best employed as a rampaging right back, though, with the ability to deliver a great cross or pop up unexpectedly in the six-yard box to find the net and his brave far-post interceptions in the play-off final against Luton will live long in the memory.
Appearances: 23 (2); Goals: 3; Rating: 8/10

Dan Parslow
Such were the quality of his contributions in defence and midfield during the run-in to the end of the season that it is hard to imagine he only started two league games before Christmas. Continually under-rated by sections of supporters and managers alike at Bootham Crescent despite six years of sterling service to the club. His performance in midfield at Alfreton confirmed his unheralded ability on the ball is almost a match for the endeavour and commitment that is always a given with him.
Appearances: 26 (12); Goals: 0; Rating: 9/10

Danny Pilkington
The finest crosser of the ball in the squad on his day, as his high assists per games played ratio proves. At other times. though, was really lacklustre and his deliveries also suffered on those occasions. Needs to be more
consistent if he is to kick on in his career next season.
Appearances: 12 (10); Goals: 2; Rating: 7/10

Michael Potts
Had to be patient for his chances in the side but came to the fore in the latter stages of the season. Comfortable on the ball and possesses a wide range of passes. Just needs to grow in confidence and work on his composure and power when in shooting positions.
Appearances: 3 (10); Goals: 0; Rating: 7/10

Jamie Reed
Not the second season many would have hoped for considering his goalscoring exploits during the latter half of the previous campaign. Probably suffers most from Gary Mills’ preference for a 4-3-3 formation and rarely looks comfortable in the lone central striker or on the flanks. Sometimes struggled with the quick tempo that Mills insists upon too, but always liable to grab a goal, especially from the bench.
Appearances: 21 (21); Goals: 12; Rating: 7/10

Chris Smith
Made a mistake-strewn and cumbersome start to the season, culminating in the concession of two penalties at old club Tamworth. Became a towering presence after the turn of the year though and rarely put a foot wrong. Answered any questions in the process concerning his place in the team and standing as skipper.
Appearances: 40; Goals: 4; Rating: 9/10

Ben Swallow
Looked bright in his fleeting appearances for City. Concerns that previous clubs have held over his attitude, though, resurfaced off the pitch and he was told by Mills to stay away from the club for the final two months of the season. Needs to mature quickly if he is to fulfill his potential.
Appearances: 1 (2); Goals: 0; Rating: 6/10

Erik Tonne
Blessed with strong technical ability but looked a little laidback at times and, like his Sheffield United parent club, City struggled to pinpoint what his best position might be. Did not really come to terms with swapping life in the Bramall Lane reserves for the intensity of a Blue Square Bet Premier play-off push but played his part by getting the goal at Braintree that secured a play-off place.
Appearances: 3 (1); Goals: 1; Rating: 6/10

Jason Walker
Talk of seven-figure transfer fees were justified during a sensational first two months of the season. Reached ten goals by October 1 – the earliest any player has managed that landmark in City colours – but equally as impressive was his hold-up play, awareness and ability to outjump much bigger adversaries in the lone central striker role. Injury then halted his progress throughout the winter but he he returned in April to claim crucial goals against Newport and Cambridge – a real class act.
Appearances: 38 (1); Goals: 18; Rating: 9/10

City season stats

• Since the introduction of three points for a win in 1981, York City’s tally of 83 this season has only once been bettered in the club’s history and that was in the Fourth Division championship campaign of 1983/84 when they notched 101. Under two points for a victory, their best season was 62 points in 1964/65.

• 23 wins has only been bettered on three occasions – 31 in 1983/84, 28 in 1964/65 and 24 in 1954/55.

• Just three away defeats and 21 goals conceded on their travels is the best in the club’s history and only twice have they exceeded the 38 goals scored – 49 in 1954/55 and 41 in 1955/56.

• For the third time in the last six seasons, City have a better away record than home. Previous to that, the club had only done that once before, in 1946/47.

• City completed nine league doubles, only beaten by the 1983/84 side, which achieved 11.

• For the first time ever, City have not lost by a margin of more than one goal.

• The average league crowd of 3,097 is the highest since the club dropped out of the Football League in 2004.

• City’s 2011/12 home and away record:
Home: W 11, D 6, L 6, F 43, A 24, Pts 39
Away: W 12, D 8, L 3, F 38, A 21, Pts 44
Total: W 23, D 14, L 9, F 81, A 45, Pts 83

• During their time in the Conference, City played 56 different clubs. Their playing record was: home – P 179, W 81, D 50, L 48, F 261, A 178, Pts 293; away – P 179, W 62, D 53, L 64, F 222, A 236, Pts 239; total – P 358, W 143, D 103, L 112, F 483, A 414, Pts 532.

Compiled by David Batters

Comments (12)

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1:10pm Fri 25 May 12

alimount says...

We need the Complete History re-editing now Dave. Looking forward to seeing the rise again. Had some good times since the last edition.
We need the Complete History re-editing now Dave. Looking forward to seeing the rise again. Had some good times since the last edition. alimount
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Fri 25 May 12

nicko75 says...

Most of those ratings are pretty much on the money other than: To give Ashikodi a 5 is generous. He has contributed precisely nothing and then busted his way to the front of most celebration photographs (including one with his headphones on whilst walking up from Bootham with the FA Trophy). 3/10 at best.... Whilst I don't think we ever saw the best of Brown, he probably deserves a 6/10 for turning up and doing a job in two massive games.. And I'd have been tempted to give Blair a 10!!
Most of those ratings are pretty much on the money other than: To give Ashikodi a 5 is generous. He has contributed precisely nothing and then busted his way to the front of most celebration photographs (including one with his headphones on whilst walking up from Bootham with the FA Trophy). 3/10 at best.... Whilst I don't think we ever saw the best of Brown, he probably deserves a 6/10 for turning up and doing a job in two massive games.. And I'd have been tempted to give Blair a 10!! nicko75
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Fri 25 May 12

nicko75 says...

Most of those ratings are pretty much on the money other than: To give Ashikodi a 5 is generous. He has contributed precisely nothing and then busted his way to the front of most celebration photographs (including one with his headphones on whilst walking up from Bootham with the FA Trophy). 3/10 at best.... Whilst I don't think we ever saw the best of Brown, he probably deserves a 6/10 for turning up and doing a job in two massive games.. And I'd have been tempted to give Blair a 10!!
Most of those ratings are pretty much on the money other than: To give Ashikodi a 5 is generous. He has contributed precisely nothing and then busted his way to the front of most celebration photographs (including one with his headphones on whilst walking up from Bootham with the FA Trophy). 3/10 at best.... Whilst I don't think we ever saw the best of Brown, he probably deserves a 6/10 for turning up and doing a job in two massive games.. And I'd have been tempted to give Blair a 10!! nicko75
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Fri 25 May 12

Stracqualursi says...

When Ashikodi is 70 I hope he doesn't look back and think what could have been. In the team at 15.....went to Rangers but threw it all away as he was a bit of a knob
When Ashikodi is 70 I hope he doesn't look back and think what could have been. In the team at 15.....went to Rangers but threw it all away as he was a bit of a knob Stracqualursi
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Fri 25 May 12

SamYCFC says...

Parslow played very well in the run in, but was weak and at fault alot this season prior. 9/10 and Meredith 8/10 is very questionable. But it is just your opinion.

I'll rate your season’s performance.
6.5/10
Parslow played very well in the run in, but was weak and at fault alot this season prior. 9/10 and Meredith 8/10 is very questionable. But it is just your opinion. I'll rate your season’s performance. 6.5/10 SamYCFC
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Fri 25 May 12

OLD - HEAD says...

Just looking through Dave Fletts ratings of City players, I would not really disagree with many of them. I was absolutely astounded to see Scott Brown (5/10) on the bench at Wembley for the BSP Play-off Final. But despite looking two stone overweight, he managed to do a job for us. It will be very interesting to see Gary Mills retained list, which will be due out shortly.
Just looking through Dave Fletts ratings of City players, I would not really disagree with many of them. I was absolutely astounded to see Scott Brown (5/10) on the bench at Wembley for the BSP Play-off Final. But despite looking two stone overweight, he managed to do a job for us. It will be very interesting to see Gary Mills retained list, which will be due out shortly. OLD - HEAD
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Fri 25 May 12

Tug job says...

Too generous for Asikodi and Brown, maybe another mark for Paddy, otherwise, spot on.
Too generous for Asikodi and Brown, maybe another mark for Paddy, otherwise, spot on. Tug job
  • Score: 0

7:22am Sat 26 May 12

YoRkIe59 says...

I think in time we will come to look upon this seasons team as ranking pretty high even taking into account the fact that it was conference football we were playing,so many positives .
I think in time we will come to look upon this seasons team as ranking pretty high even taking into account the fact that it was conference football we were playing,so many positives . YoRkIe59
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Sat 26 May 12

1968expat says...

I think this team as great potential if we can hang onto them with a blend of youth and experience
I think this team as great potential if we can hang onto them with a blend of youth and experience 1968expat
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Sat 26 May 12

Even AndyD says...

Would agree with most of those rankings except maybe swap Paddy's and Parslow's around. Both had good seasons, but PM has been incredible when you consider this is his first full season for any team, plus his assists and goals.
Would agree with most of those rankings except maybe swap Paddy's and Parslow's around. Both had good seasons, but PM has been incredible when you consider this is his first full season for any team, plus his assists and goals. Even AndyD
  • Score: 0

9:59pm Sat 26 May 12

HPFC2012 says...

Fantastic season, but it’s a real shame that we haven’t seen any home grown players come through the ranks and form an integral part of the team. It must be soul destroying for the current crop of youngsters knowing they have no realistic chance of breaking into the squad never mind the starting eleven! I’m certainly hoping we can use some of the money from promotion to strengthen the centre of excellence!
Fantastic season, but it’s a real shame that we haven’t seen any home grown players come through the ranks and form an integral part of the team. It must be soul destroying for the current crop of youngsters knowing they have no realistic chance of breaking into the squad never mind the starting eleven! I’m certainly hoping we can use some of the money from promotion to strengthen the centre of excellence! HPFC2012
  • Score: 0

10:27pm Sat 26 May 12

Stracqualursi says...

If they are good enough they will break through...if not they won't. Simple as that
If they are good enough they will break through...if not they won't. Simple as that Stracqualursi
  • Score: 0

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