YORK City boss Terry Dolan finally got his man today - after a six-month delay.

Sunderland goalkeeper Michael Ingham, Dolan's number one target following the loss of Alan Fettis to Hull City, arrived at Bootham Crescent to sign a one-month loan deal.

Ingham, a Northern Ireland Under-21 international and full squad member, goes straight into the City side to face the Tigers - and possibly Fettis - at Hull's new Kingston Communications Stadium tomorrow.

Dolan was delighted to have finally secured Ingham's services after a week of careful negotiations with Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson.

The City boss revealed he almost signed Ingham last summer, when Fettis broke his finger in pre-season and his then understudy, Russell Howarth, was on trial at Wolves.

"Unfortunately, he had just had an operation then and just wasn't fit," said Dolan.

"But I am delighted he is finally here and he is a goalkeeper I admire.

"He has plenty of experience after loan spells at Carlisle, Stockport, Stoke and Darlington this season.

"In fact, his last game for Darlington was at Boothferry Park when they beat Hull 1-0, so hopefully that is a good omen. We have got an able replacement."

It will be the third time the 22-year-old Ingham will have faced Hull City this season.

Aside for playing for Darlington, Ingham also kept goal for Sunderland as the Black Cats took on Hull in a friendly match to mark the opening of the Tiger's new Kingston Communications Stadium. On that occasion, Hull were victorious 1-0.

The arrival of Ingham is rich reward for Dolan, who has had to accept the loss of Fettis to a rival club while showing great patience to finally land his chosen replacement.

With goalkeepers Thomas Myhre and Mart Poom injured, the only back up for first choice shot-stopper Thomas Sorensen at the Stadium of Light apart from Ingham was Jurgen Macho.

However, the Austrian international is believed to be disgruntled at losing his first team berth to Sorensen and Wilkinson, fearful of losing Macho during the transfer window to another club, was hesitant about letting Ingham go.

It has now emerged Poom's back and calf injuries are said to be easing with the former Derby 'keeper expected to return to first-team training next week.

Of the departure of Fettis Dolan added: "We will find out how big a loss it is over the next few months.

"But I am only concerned about people at YotkCity. I am not bothered about anybody who ha gone.

"If it had been up to me Alan Fettis would not have gone, but it's out of my hands. He has gone and I wish him well.

"It's fair to say as a club at this time we are not in the driving seat. in fact we are in the bott and it's locked."

Dolan was hoping of a fillip from the return of defender darren Edmondson, who has missed the last two games with a knee injury.

City were waiting on his reaction to his first return to full training today before making a decision.

Updated: 12:38 Friday, January 24, 2003