It was the obvious finale to the Terry Dolan era Part I.

The curtain came down on York City's season in probably expected fashion - another sending-off, another clean-sheet, another blank return in front of goal and therefore another scoreless draw.

Not that the huge City following at Brisbane Road was complaining at a fourth scoreless stalemate in seven.

With the Maine Road drama of last year still haunting the memory but any chance of a repeat firmly banished by Dolan and his revamped Minstermen, they were determined to have a good time.

But while the weather was glorious and the City faithful vocal, the football was dull and nothing to shout about. The heat was suffocating, the play stifling.

Ashley Bayes was the busier of the two goalkeepers, saving comfortably a Barry Conlon 25-yard free-kick as early as the fourth minute and then racing off his line sharply to deny James Turley as he raced on to a Conlon flicked header.

But with little at stake it was perhaps not surprising there was little in the way of genuine action.

Well-oiled offside traps of both sides were dominant, but did little to aid the stop-start rhythm of the match

City were the more adventurous but Orient, possessing the sharpest threat in the lively Iyseden Christie, were the more threatening and came closest to scoring after 20 minutes of a largely cheerless first-half.

Martin Reed challenged for a header on the halfway line and clearly thought that he had been impeded.

However, referee Lee Cable chose to give the free kick Orient's way and while Reed argued his case Christie raced away down the left to pick up the quickly taken free kick.

Alan Fettis looked to have his low cross covered at the near post but the ball evaded the lunge of the City goalkeeper and hit an unsuspecting Billy Beall before rebounding off an even more unsuspecting Mark Bower on the line.

The ball rolled back to Beall just six yards out, but the pocket battleship took an age to bite the cherry for a second time and was crowded out before getting a shot in.

City suddenly looked rattled.

Marc Thompson sliced his clearance from deep in the corner high and mighty..

Carl Griffiths cushioned the ball into the path of Beall, who this time wasted no opportunity in smashing it goalwards but straight into the arms of Fettis.

Bower was caught flat-footed from Bayes' long punt to put Christie in the clear.

The livewire edged ominously into the area but Fettis, as sharp as a new tack, raced off his line to smother superbly at the striker's feet.

Almost immediately, City produced their best moment of the half and possibly the match.

Steve Agnew played in Conlon and the Irishman almost caught Bayes unawares with his smart shot on the turn but the 'keeper dived low to his left to produce an excellent one-handed save.

The match was coming to the boil nicely as was the temperature but then came half-time.

With nothing but pride to play for and the sweltering heat and blazing sun keeping the pace of the game in check there was every chance of a second-half of good football.

But the players visibly wilted after the break as once again the kicking of the goalkeepers' and the flags of the linesmen dominated proceedings.

And even when the thorn in City's side, Christie, received his marching orders on the hour mark for a needless, ugly, high and late tackle on Darren Edmondson, the Minstermen, a season of toil behind them, looked too heavy-legged to take advantage.

Still, Agnew was just a lick of paint from bagging his first goal of the season with a rising drive that breezed past the Orient bar while Dolan revealed his desire for a victory by withdrawing Reed for Mark Sertori, wearing his striker's cap, and electing to play the final stages of the season with three up front.

In reality, however, rather than a punishment the red card served as a spur to Tommy Taylor's ten men.

Carl Griffiths finally emerged from Christie's shadow to spin-off Matt Hocking, a half-time substitute for Peter Swan, and fire in a low drive too close for comfort to the City upright.

Bower made a vital clearance with an outstretched boot to nick the ball off the foot of the Griffiths again before Fettis clutched a crashing drive off Kwame Ampadu at the near post.

Young Kieran Darlow had been summoned off the bench and told to hug the left touchline as City sought to make advantage of their extra man but rarely saw sight of the ball.

On the one occasion Darlow was unleashed he raced into the box at full pelt but with a distinct lack of green shirts in the box seemed reluctant to pull the trigger allowing the Os' defence enough time to recover and snuff out the danger.

The teams could have carried on playing and they probably still wouldn't have scored by the time next season kicked-off but, thankfully, the referee had seen enough and brought the proceedings to a rapid conclusion.

Unperturbed by the non-events on the pitch, the City faithful continued to sing and sing and sing to outshine even the sun as the day's star performer.

Nationwide Division Three Saturday, May 6, 2000

Leyton Orient 0, York City 0

YORK CITY: Alan Fettis 8, Darren Edmondson 7, Martin Reed 7 (Mark Sertori 52mins), Mark Bower 7, Peter Swan 7 (Matt Hocking 46mins), Peter Hawkins 6 (Kieran Darlow 64mins), Scott Jordan 7, Steve Agnew 8, Marc Thompson 6, James Turley 6, Barry Conlon 6

Subs not used: Russ Howarth, Leigh Wood

Goals: None

Bookings: Bower, foul 26min

Sent-off: None

Evening Press Unique Pub Man of the match

Steve Agnew: Worked tirelessly and was often involved in City's best moments with his passing.

LEYTON ORIENT: Ashley Bayes, Matthew Joseph, Matthew Lockwood, Dean Smith, David McGhee, Nicky Shorey (Ahmet Brkovic, 38mins), Billy Beall (Wim Walschaerts 66mins), Kwame Ampadu, David Parsons (Ronnie Gould 66mins), Carl Griffiths, Iyesden Christie

Subs, not used: Niam Uka, Ronnie Gould, Chris Dorrian

Goals: None

Bookings: McGhee, foul, 50min; Lockwood, foul, 79min

Sent-off: Christie, violent conduct, 59min.

Attendance: 4,594.

Referee: Lee Cable (Woking)

York City Orient

Half-time 0 0

Corners 4 4

Shots on target 2 3

Fouls committed 6 6