TEN-MAN York City's thrilling comeback against Carlisle last weekend was understandably hailed as a victory for the team spirit manager Russ Wilcox has instilled at Bootham Crescent.

But it also begged an obvious and topical question - would it have been possible without the rousing support from City fans as their team attacked the deafening David Longhurst Stand?

As this story is being written, a petition, instigated by City supporter Sean Eames and aimed at persuading the Football Stadia Improvement Fund to relax its regulations on only providing financial assistance to all-seater projects, is less than one hundred signatures short of its 1,000 target.

Minstermen players - past and present - have always spoken about the magic of kicking towards and scoring in front of the terraced home end but, as the date for building work at Monks Cross draws nearer and nearer, the realisation is dawning that such an integral feature of the matchday experience at the club's home for the last 83 years might not be carried forward.

Ground-sharing partners York City Knights also have a tradition of celebrating their club's most-important tries on their feet behind the posts and followers of both teams have been united on-line in their belief that spectators of each sport should have the right to sit or stand at matches.

City received a £2million loan from the FSIF in 2004 to help stump up the substantial seven-figure sum former chairman Douglas Craig demanded in return for relinquishing ownership of the ground that he had transferred into his name and that of fellow directors Barry Swallow and Colin Webb under the guise of Bootham Crescent Holdings.

According to the terms of that unprecedented arrangement, an agreement was made that the loan would be converted into a grant to help fund the building of a new stadium.

If, as planned, the project is to use that money, rather than repay the loan given the cash generated from enabling developments John Lewis and Marks & Spencer as well as the sale of Bootham Crescent, then it will be beholden to FSIF stipulations that the arena must be constructed on an all-seater basis.

Prominent York Minstermen committee member Frank Ormston, who has stood behind the goal at City games since his first match at the age of 11 in 1970, is one of the 900-plus fans to back Eames' petition on the Change.org website and, outlining his reasons, he said: "It's still my own choice to stand at games and I want to be able to do that at the new stadium.

"I also feel everybody should have that option. It should not be forced upon you whether you sit or stand and the situation you get in a lot of all-seater stadia is that people stand up anyway, blocking the view of people who want to sit down and then have no choice but to stand up, which leads to frustration all round.

"That also makes a nonsense of the theory that all-seater stadia are safer. They are probably more dangerous if people stand up in them because there are no barriers in the event of a crowd surge."

Ormston is also a firm believer that the kind of noise generated by City supporters to help secure the unlikely point against an overwhelmed Carlisle would be difficult to replicate at a venue without standing sections.

"Other clubs have complained about the affect moving to an all-seater stadium has had on the atmosphere at games and there's no reason to think that wouldn't be the same with us," he reasoned. "You need the people who want to sing and shout together rather than being dotted all around and it's easier to do that on a terrace.

"I think standing is more social as well because you're not stuck between the same two people all season. You can move around and interact with a lot more fans and it would be a shame to lose that."

There is also a genuine threat that, following the insufferable delays that have dogged the community stadium project, the timing of its construction could now come just ahead of a time when a groundswell for a renewed challenge to the Taylor Report, whose legacy was the introduction of all-seated stadia in light of the Hillsborough Disaster, is gathering pace.

"It would be absolutely ludicrous for York City to have an all-seater stadium when bigger clubs seem to be moving the other way," Ormston explained. "Celtic are putting in safe-standing areas and Aston Villa are having a look at it too, so we could end up with a situation in this country where Premier League clubs have standing areas and grounds like ours, with 4,000 people in it, don't.

"People need to realise this is a regulation that the FSIF have insisted upon and has nothing to do with the law of the land. The Taylor Report applied to clubs in the top two divisions, which York City haven't been for 40 years now."

Having headed the fund-raising drive to erect a roof over the Shipton Street End, which was subsequently renamed the after the club's ex-striker Longhurst - the 25th anniversary of whose tragic death on the pitch was commemorated before last weekend's game - Ormston is now hoping his memory will also be honoured when the club relocate, adding: "I still call it the Shipton Street End but there are a generation of supporters that have grown up who have only known it as the Longhurst.

"I think we would all like to see the name carried forward to the new stadium - those of us old enough to have seen the tragedy and those fans who were not born then, but have never known the home end as anything else."

BACK on the pitch, Luke Summerfield has jumped to the top of The Press Player of the Year and Player of the Month leaderboards.

The in-form midfielder picked up three points towards both contests as our man of the match during last weekend's 2-2 home draw with Carlisle.

He also collected the two Player of the Month bonus points on offer after topping our on-line, man-of-the-match poll.

Summerfield is now joint-top of the yearly competition with fellow midfielder James Berrett.

He also heads utility man Eddie Nolan by four points in the September standings.

Nolan (two points) and Femi Ilesanmi (one) were also recognised as our second and third-highest rated players against the Cumbrians.

To be in with a chance of presenting The Press Player of the Month award for September on the pitch at Bootham Crescent, please register your man-of-the-match choice from today’s game at Notts County via the @daveflettpress Twitter account or by emailing dave.flett@thepress.co.uk

The Press Player of the Year standings: Berrett 10, Summerfield 10, Ilesanmi 8, Winfield 8, Flinders 6, Thompson 5, Nolan 4, Oliver 3, Penn 2, Tutonda 2, Hyde 1, McCoy 1.

The Press Player of the Month for September standings: Summerfield 8, Nolan 4, Berrett 3, Flinders 3, Thompson 2, Winfield 2, Ilesanmi 1, Lowe 1.

Goals: Berrett 3, Summerfield 3, Thompson 3, Carson 1, Nolan 1, Oliver 1.

Assists: Summerfield 5, Berrett 1, McCoy 1, Nolan 1, Penn 1, Sinclair 1, Thompson 1, Tutonda 1.

Bad boys: Winfield four yellow cards; Oliver one red card, two yellow; Berrett three yellow; Summerfield two yellow; McCoy, Penn both one yellow.