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Fans defiant as City suffer play-off agony
7:48pm Sunday 16th May 2010 in York City v Oxford United - Wembley play-off final By Mark Stead , email@example.com
DEFIANT York City fans left Wembley heartbroken as their side's bid to return to league football ended in failure, but they vowed: "We'll do it next year".
The Minstermen suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Oxford United in the Blue Square Premier play-off final at Wembley today, dashing their hopes of ending their six-year exile in non-league football.
It meant about 9,000 fans set off the long journey back to York tonight by road and rail wondering what might have been, but despite the disappointment, they said they were proud of what Martin Foyle's men have achieved this season.
"We got what we deserved today because when it came to the crunch, we froze," said Matt Bowsen, 31, from Dringhouses.
"But while it's a massive, massive blow because I really did think we'd do it today, it shouldn't take the gloss off all the good things which have happened this year.
"We were a team on our knees a couple of years ago and all we were concerned about was actually avoiding relegation from the Blue Square Premier, so to have turned it around to the point where we were so close to getting promotion says a lot.
"The key thing now is to hang onto our key players and Martin Foyle so we can come back in August and try to win automatic promotion, because while it's great to see City at Wembley, it's the worst place to be when you lose.
"I've had some great moments following City this season, so although it's ended on a downer, you've got to look at the bigger picture."
And Chris Scaithes, 29, from Acomb, said: "The club is moving forward and nothing that's happened today changes that.
"We didn't perform as we can do today, end of story. I feel absolutely shattered about it because getting back into the league seems a long way away at the moment, but there's no reason why we can't do it next year.
"And the fans deserve a lot of credit as well. They've shown this year the part they can play in getting behind the team and they've been immense, especially today when we were really outnumbered by the Oxford fans.
"It's going to take a bit of time to get over what's happened today, but you've got to look at it as a beginning and a way to better things."
* Don't miss The Press on Monday for more reaction and pictures from City's play-off crunch.