YORK City fans, almost 650 of you, let me salute you – well, let’s say let me heartily acknowledge nearly every one of you.

The attendance for what turned out to be an historic FA Trophy third round replay against Kidderminster Harriers at KitKat Crescent totalled 683.

Of that there were 34 hardy, some might say foolhardy, souls in avid support of the Harriers, who eventually bowed out 13-12 on penalties after more than four hours spanning two games, extra time and the initial spot-kick shoot-out. Four hours plus – jeez, in some places you’d get time off from such a sentence, or at least a parole hearing.

That’s why a warm salute has to be extended to the majority of that faithful assembly who trudged through the Crescent turnstiles on an unfamiliar eve – City’s normal midweek fixture night is a Tuesday – in conditions that would have made an emperor penguin think twice about venturing out of its bolt-hole, and at the same time when live international games straddled terrestrial and non-satellite television channels, including England in Spain and the prospect of a record cap for some tattooed stroller from Leytonstone.

All those distractions and climate considerations apart, the near-650 home crowd made the not inconsiderable effort of hauling themselves down to the Crescent.

City’s home base has hardly been a fortress of dreams, or even resilience, these past few years – yet this battalion of City-lovers dragged themselves away from inviting hearths and comfy sofas to watch their favourites in cup-tie action. Perhaps it was justice that those far from crammed or jammed into City’s arena were witness to history.

The staggering penalty-shoot-out not only ended with City advancing to the last eight of the FA Trophy, but it was the epitome of 12-yard accuracy. FA sources revealed that no two teams had previously converted the first 25 penalties in a cup-tie in this country.

It’s quite staggering that 210 minutes of normal and extra time over two matches produced a mere two goals apiece, yet when it came to the crucial test of bottle out there on the spot, both City and Kidderminster contrived to produce a near flawless exercise in rippling the onion bag.

For all those who witnessed the spot-kick spectacle first hand, they can genuinely revel in the knowledge of being there up close and personal. They probably still have the chilblains and frostbite to prove it. No doubt over the next few years, the folklore that may spring from the tie will somehow produce claims that, if believed, would have meant the Crescent was bulging at the seams with a 9,000-plus capacity crowd.

However, it is the very stark contrast of the actual crowd figure of 683 – 649 of City persuasion – why not everyone gets a TKO pat on the back.

Vouchsafing that I was not there – I was back at The Press office waiting at Walmgate HQ to deal with the pearl-like words from City reporter Dave Flett and snappy images from photographer Nigel Holland – I have to go on what I heard in that some of City’s performers were subject to barracking from the home division.

Two of the red and blue-clad players to get it in the earhole were young colts Adam Boyes and Andy McWilliams. Due to the fact the crowd was so low, the rants of disapproval were heard even more clearly.

Nothing can be as dispiriting to a footballer, especially those younger prospects who have just broken into the first team, to be singled out by the boo boys. I recall a certain former York City chairman was not averse to dispatching the odd crackling outburst of advice.

As a fan who has bawled out the odd criticism or two – Gary Ablett was one product of the Anfield academy who sometimes failed to escape a howl of protest – I have no grouse with fans letting rip, especially when they have paid good money. But in a crowd of 50,000-plus such yells are a mere squeak on the decibel-meter.

Not so at a near-empty, frost-cracked KitKat Crescent, where a bawl game can echo around the terraces like a scream in a churchyard at midnight. I’m not saying there’s no grounds for complaint, but just remember there’s no escape for the recipient when the ground is barely occupied and, for those still trying to make their way in the game, why not just lay off?