It’s been a miserable few years for York City fans and the long-suffering supporters have had very little to cheer, apart from a trip to Wembley. The Minstermen have fallen down the pyramid at an alarming rate but they appear to have finally steadied the ship and are very much in contention for promotion from the National League North.
36 goals in 2017 💪
Jon Parkin has smashed a York City record
— The Non-League Paper (@NonLeaguePaper) January 2, 2018
York City produced their best performance of the season when beating league leaders Salford 1-0 on February 10, with manager Martin Gray hailing his side’s display as “the best during the four months I have been here“. Aidan Connolly grabbed the only goal of the game as his side made it four successive games unbeaten at Bootham Crescent. The former Darlington boss has told his side they must find a way of replicating that kind of display week in, week out if they are to secure promotion this season with the Minstermen having suffered a frustratingly inconsistent 2018 in the National League North. They started the season as third-favourites for promotion but have kept brave backers on their toes this campaign.
The club have shown that they are perfectly capable of producing top-class performances with the memorable 2017 FA Trophy victory over Macclesfield still fresh in the minds of many supporters. They were huge underdogs in that tie but did beat Brackley, Nuneaton, Harlow and Lincoln City en route to the showpiece event at Wembley with the latter now battling at the top of League Two. Danny Cowley’s men were beaten 3-2 on aggregate but are now priced at 9/4 with Coral to make it successive promotions and reach the third tier. Anyone who fancies backing the Imps to continue their upward momentum can find out how to get a free £20 to use on the League Two betting markets on the Coral review page by Freebets.co.uk, with all new customers eligible for the bonus.
— The National League (@TheNationalLge) November 16, 2017
Whilst a large chunk of that side remain at the club, they haven’t been able to dominate the division this season although they do find themselves well-placed for a late-run. Near-neighbours Harrogate occupy the coveted second position whilst the ultra-consistent Kidderminster and Brackley have only lost nine times between them so far this season.
York have suffered from a number of setbacks this season including a recent 2-0 defeat at the hands of Stockport and should have been out of sight against mid-table Tamworth, a side that have failed to win any of their last five matches. They have been a largely streaky side this term especially when embarking on a run of three wins from four in November and five straight league victories between Boxing Day and the middle of January but potentially damaging defeats have arrived on either side of those sequences. Martin Gray will be hoping his side’s success over Salford can be the catalyst for yet another unbeaten run.
They are a club who deserve to be competing at a much higher level but general mismanagement has been the cause of their recent downfall and very few neutrals would begrudge them success this season. Martin Gray still has plenty of work to do but there is significant experience amongst the squad and the recent addition of Marcus Williams adds further know-how to the side. The 31-year old has plied his trade at a much higher level and has joined on loan from fellow Yorkshire outfit Guiseley.
The Minstermen need to continue their recent form if they wish to return to the National League at the first time of asking and must stop dropping points against mid-table sides if they hope to achieve that goal. With Salford twelve points clear of them, York’s hopes of automatic promotion look stark but a play-off semi-final position remains a realistic possibility.