Seething Terry Dolan is threatening to read the riot act and wield the axe after York City tumbled humiliatingly out of LDV Vans Trophy in front of one of Bootham Crescent's lowest ever crowds.

The City manager cut short his post-match inquest with his players after last night's sorry 4-0 defeat to Darlington in front of just 1,095 spectators - the third lowest in City's history.

But he had ordered his squad in for training this morning - more often than not a day-off for the City squad - with Dolan indicating he will be venting his fury.

"You can do all the talking you want in the world before a game to get players in the right frame of mind but once they go over that line they have got to do it for themselves," said the City manager.

"It was nowhere near good enough and we will start sorting it out at 9.30am in the morning."

The only player set to escape his wrath was goalkeeper Russ Howarth, who made a rare starting appearance as Alan Fettis was rested to the bench.

"I felt sorry for just one person out there and that was Russ Howarth - he was let down by everyone else around him," said Dolan.

"He had no protection whatsoever. His kicking was excellent and he did everything else he had to do without a problem but people will look in the paper and will see 'York City 0 Darlington 4' and will wonder what has happened.

"Well I'll tell you what happened - ten outfield players weren't good enough full stop."

Last night's performance was particularly disappointing given City's battling display against Premiership Leicester City in the FA Cup on Saturday.

It was similar tale last month when City followed their 3-1 win at Reading in the FA Cup with a sorry 2-0 home defeat to Blackpool.

"Certainly the Blackpool performance and this one were not good enough. I will have to do something about that won't I?" said Dolan ominously.

Including 140 Darlington fans, last night's attendance just pipped the second lowest of 1,005 when City lost 1-0 to Hull in the same competition last season.

Coming just days after City had around 3,000 fans cheering them on against Leicester at Filbert Street, last night's attendance surpassed the lowest crowd in City's history by less than 150.

That came in October 1991 when the Minstermen drew 1-1 with Carlisle in front of 957 fans in the same competition, then called the Autoglass Trophy.

Last night's low attendance is in keeping with similar crowds that York have endured in the past for this competition.

However, last season's match with Hull coincided with a fans' boycott and last night's match had seen admission prices reduced by £3.

York City's five lowest crowds:

957 v Carlisle (October 22, 1991, Autoglass Trophy)

1,005 v Hull City (December 7, 1999, Auto Windscreens Shield)

1,095 v Darlington (January 9, 2001 LDV Vans Trophy)

1,167 v Northampton (May 5 , 1981, Div 4)

1,284 v Torquay (December 3, 1977, Div 4)

Updated: 09:28 Wednesday, January 10, 2001