YORK City, believe it or not, will equal a club record if they can beat Bristol Rovers this afternoon.

Nigel Worthington’s men will be targeting a fourth consecutive win since the start of 2014 and that would match the Minstermen’s best-ever beginning to a calendar year – an honour currently shared by sides from 1954 and 1995.

Only two other teams in the history of the club have emulated the current run of three consecutive wins from January 1 – those that kicked off 1965 and 1984 in red-and-white colours, meaning the present players are in exalted company.

Tom Lockie’s side of ’65 went on to clinch promotion from the old Fourth Division, while, 19 years on, Denis Smith’s title-winning record breakers became the first English team to rack up a century of points.

The current sequence represents a big transformation after 2013 witnessed the worst-ever end to a year in the Football League and Conference era following a run of 11 matches without a victory.

But, with Worthington keen to keep everybody grounded and focused on the first priority of staving off the threat of relegation, the example of the ’54 team also serves as a note of caution.

Despite boasting the likes of Gordon Brown, Ron Spence, Billy Hughes, Billy Fenton, Sid Storey and Alan Stewart, who would become ‘Happy Wanderers’ FA Cup semi-final legends the following season, City ended the campaign 22nd in Division Three North – their lowest Football League finish under that regionalised format – after managing only four more victories during the next 18 fixtures.

In 1995, meanwhile, Alan Little’s team started the year with wins at Oxford (2-0), Chester (4-0) and Plymouth (2-1), as well as a 2-0 home triumph over Birmingham City courtesy of Jon McCarthy and Tony Canham goals.

That City team would end the season ninth in what is now known as League One – a finishing position in the football pyramid higher than any other during the subsequent 19 years.

Should City beat Bristol Rovers today, the current winning sequence would, however, still be three short of Worthington’s best run as an international or club manager.

On the way to taking Norwich City into the Premier League, he enjoyed seven straight successes at the end of the 2003/04 season.


• City’s new defender, John McCombe, was pleased to see a familiar face when he reported for duty at Bootham Crescent this week – but he is relieved that he will not be moving in with former house-mate Michael Ingham.

The pair lived together while on Hereford United’s books during the 2007/08 season, but, even though Ingham has kept 111 clean sheets for City, McCombe cannot forget his messy habits.

“There were three of us who used to live together at Hereford and Inghy was a bit boring really,” McCombe laughed. “He didn’t do much housework either but, to be honest, none of us did and I think we ended up having to get a cleaner in.

“Seriously, though, it was great to see him again.

“We had some good times at Hereford and meeting up with an old friend helps you settle in at a new club.”


• YORK City youth team midfielder Cameron Murray has signed professional terms at Bootham Crescent. Murray, 18, who came on as a 75th-minute substitute during this season’s 3-0 home defeat to Rotherham in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, has agreed a one-and-a-half-year contract.


• SOUTHEND United, City’s League Two rivals, have signed former Bootham Crescent right-back Luke O’Neill on loan from Burnley.


• DAVID McGurk has moved level with Josh Carson at the top of The Press Player of the Year standings.

The 31-year-old defender – a two-time previous winner of the award – jumped to the top of the leaderboard after receiving two points towards the standings as our second-highest rated performer during last weekend’s 2-0 win at Northampton.

Debutant Russell Penn collected three points after taking The Press man-of-the-match accolade, while Michael Coulson picked up the remaining point on offer as our third-highest rated performer at Sixfields.

The two Player of the Month bonus points were shared between Penn and Ryan Bowman after the pair polled the same number of man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website and followers of the @daveflettpress Twitter account.

To be in with a chance of presenting the January Player of the Month with his prize – a framed photograph – before a match at Bootham Crescent, vote for your man of the match from today’s home game with Bristol Rovers or tweet @daveflettpress.

The Press Player of the Year latest standings: Carson 18 points, McGurk 18, Fletcher 17, Oyebanjo 15, O’Neill 14, Lowe 12, Brobbel 11, Montrose 11, Jarvis 9, Parslow 8, Ingham 7, Smith 7, Bowman 5, Chambers 5, Davies 5, Clay 4, Coulson 4, Penn 3, Pope 2, Puri 2, Whitehouse 2, Kettings 1.

The Press Player of the Month for January latest standings: Fletcher 5, Ingham 5, McGurk 4, Penn 4, Coulson 2, Montrose 2, Bowman 1, Jarvis 1.

Goals: Fletcher 11, Jarvis 9, Bowman 6, Brobbel 3, Carson 3, Coulson 1, McGurk 1, Montrose 1, O’Neill 1, Own goal 1.

Assists: O’Neill 5, Carson 4, Coulson 4, Bowman 3, Brobbel 3, Fletcher 3, Jarvis 3, Clay 2, McGurk 2, Smith 2, Cresswell 1, Davies 1, Fyfield 1, Ingham 1, Montrose 1, Oyebanjo 1.

Bad boys: Montrose nine yellow cards; Oyebanjo, Whitehouse both six yellow; O’Neill, Smith both four yellow; Bowman two red, one yellow; McGurk three yellow; Cresswell one red, one yellow; Carson, Davies, Fyfield, Jarvis, Lowe, Platt all two yellow; Chambers, Clay, Coulson, Parslow all one yellow.