YORK City's Bootham Crescent is to taste the international high-life again when it plays host to two England matches in the coming months.

England Under-19s will take on their counterparts from Iceland in a friendly match at City on Monday, October 1, kick-off 7.45pm.

It will be the first time England have competed at this newly created age range and marks a major coup for City in the midst of such fanfare surrounding the senior national team.

Bootham Crescent will also be the venue when England take on Georgia in a vital UEFA European Championship qualifier on Wednesday, November 7, (ko 7.30pm). The match against Georgia will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Admission for both games will cost £3 for adults and £1 for children under 16, or free when accompanied by an adult.

Organised school parties will be admitted free of charge by contacting the City ticket office.

The match with Georgia forms part of a qualifying mini-tournament with England also taking on Hungary four days later at a venue still to be announced.

Success against the Eastern Europeans will see England qualify for an intermediary round in April next year with the Championship finals to be staged next summer.

Unfortunately, City goalkeeper Russ Howarth is not likely to feature despite playing for England Under-18s last season.

The England set-up has now been altered so that Howarth and the majority of his former Under-18 team-mates are not eligible for the Under-19s.

Instead, members of the England Under-16 team that reached the semi-finals of the European Championships staged in England earlier this year are expected to form the backbone of the squad, managed by Martin Hunter.

Bootham Crescent is no stranger to hosting international football having staged three matches during those Under-16 championships.

Last year, City also hosted an under-16 triangular tournament involving England, Thailand and Brazil.

"We are obviously delighted to be hosting England again," said City's communications manager James Richardson.

"It obviously reflects well on the facilities we have at Bootham Crescent."

Meanwhile, City have been boosted by the news Alex Mathie returned to full training yesterday for the first time since injuring his hamstring in pre-season.

Former Ipswich and Newcastle United striker Mathie could now feature on the bench for City reserves at Darlington tomorrow.

His return to fitness would be a major boon for manager Terry Dolan, who saw young striker Scott Emmerson ruled out of the trip to Hull with a shin injury.

Emmerson's injury is not serious, but otherwise Dolan only has Michael Proctor and Lee Nogan fit to lead the City attack.

Tickets have now gone on sale for the Main Stand, Enclosure and Family Stand for Leeds United's reserve match with Manchester United at Bootham Crescent on Thursday, September 20, (kof 7pm).

Tickets are £4 for adults and £2 concessions and are available during normal office hours from the ticket office at Bootham Crescent, or by telephoning 01904 624447 extension two. Last season's fixture drew a crowd of more than 4,000 to the Crescent.

Updated: 11:42 Tuesday, September 11, 2001