Date: 14th September 2017 at 3:29pm
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Trawling back almost ninety years for the previous occasion that York City were involved in the FA Cup second qualifying round against Normanby Magnestie in October 1928.

Trawling back almost ninety years for the previous occasion that York City were involved in the FA Cup second qualifying round against Normanby Magnestie in October 1928.

Then in the Midland League, York had appointed John ‘Jock’ Collier as their first official manager just three months earlier. The Scot had already been a combative right-half with Hull City and Queen’s Park Rangers, until arriving as City’s player-manager in July – although a broken ankle was to unfortunately end his playing days after just a couple of games.

Five years after making a first-ever appearance in the competition, York had opened their latest FA Cup challenge by hosting Stockton at their then Fulfordgate home. At the time City possessed an extraordinarily prolific centre-forward, a Scot named Jimmy Cowie, who was recruited in August 1928 when manager Collier returned to another of his former clubs, Raith Rovers.

And it was the 24-year-old goal-grabber typically leading the way while magnificently scoring six times in a 7-1 victory against the north-east side. Cowie actually twice struck six goals in a single game that season – and also had a personal five-goal haul and two of four while eventually finishing with an incredible 56 goals in 56 games. During one particular spell he netted seventeen times in just seven appearances.

Also on the scoresheet in that opening game, which attracted a bumper attendance of 3,370, was inside-left Samuel Ranby – and both were to make the starting line-up for the arrival of Normanby Magnestie in the second qualifying round a fortnight later. Once more York were to prevail, although this time only by a 2-1 margin courtesy of goals from outside-right George Forrest and centre-half Sam Charnley.

City were again rewarded with home advantage in their third qualifying round tie against Bridlington, when two goals from right-half Johnny Duthie and a third from Ranby had them celebrating a 3-0 success.

But it was about to get much tougher for them at the next stage of the competition, with a scoreless draw at Jarrow being followed by the two sides then sharing four goals in an extra-time replay. Dickie Merritt and Cowie were the marksmen that ensured York another chance, this time at Newcastle United’s famous St James’ Park stadium, where Joe Roberts, Merritt and Tom Fenoughty struck in a narrow 3-2 victory in front of a big 6,843 attendance.

That advanced them into the first round proper of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history. But their dream was about to end for another year as Third Division Barrow, who in the process became the first-ever Football League club to be hosted in a competitive fixture, sneaked a rather fortuitous 1-0 win as 6,957 spectators took in all the action.

However, at the end of that season York, who eventually finished ninth in the table, were finally successful in gaining entry into the Football League following a trio of rejected earlier applications. Owning their own ground and with a spectator capacity of 17,000 (and capable of being extended to much nearer to 40,000) their claims were this time considered as far too strong to ignore as they replaced Ashington in Third Division North.

York City: David Robertson, Thomas Brown, Lester Marshall, Johnny Duthie, Sam Charnley, Jack Middlemiss, George Forrest, Tom Fenoughty, Jimmy Cowie, Samuel Ranby, Joe Roberts

Goals: Forrest, Charnley