Current holders and twice-winners York City begin their FA Trophy defence against Evo-Stik Premier Division Coalville Town at Bootham Crescent this weekend.
Despite the competition perhaps unsurprisingly not exactly being particularly high on the agenda of many supporters, it has still allowed the club two of the best days of its entire history while recording national cup final victories at Wembley.
Both triumphs were achieved under former manager Gary Mills; firstly when the ‘Wembley-twice’ heroes of 2012 accounted for Newport County [and famously Luton Town in the play-off final just eight days later], and then again just six months ago following a dramatically late victory against Macclesfield Town.
However, having also been disastrously relegated the previous month, York are this time required to enter the competition one round earlier, and therefore the tradition of opening attendances being decidedly sparse is guaranteed to continue as interest really only begins to significantly generate during the very late stages.
Last season’s opener against Worcester City (1,033), for example, managed to attract less that a thousand home supporters to Bootham Crescent, which was a figure that was at least narrowly surpassed when starting off against Solihull Moors (1,116) some five years earlier; although those that subsequently witnessed their beloved football club triumphant at the national stadium just a few months later were to receive joyful memories they would never ever forget.
“We’ve done work on what we’re going to do this weekend,” manager Martin Gray told BBC Radio York. “We’ve worked so much on Coalville this week, about what their strengths and weaknesses are. We have a game-plan and hopefully it all comes together.
“We’ve worked very hard on how to approach this game, mentally and how we know we have to come out of the blocks flying and put in a strong, solid performance again,” he added. “I’ll pick the team that I feel will win us the game, like any manager – what I think is the strongest to start against the opposition we have.”
York City Team News:
Manager Martin Gray was expected to make changes with Amari Morgan-Smith, David Ferguson and James Gray all maybe being recalled, while youngster Tyler Walton could also make an appearance.
York City (from): Bartlett, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Whittle, Rowe, Moke, Newton, Connolly, Martin, Parkin, Morgan-Smith, Ferguson, Gray, Walton, Simpson
Player to watch: Hamza Bencherif
Former FC Halifax Town defender incredibly seeking a third consecutive FA Trophy winners’ medal.
Coalville Town Team News:
One-time Inverness Caledonian Thistle midfielder Lee Cox missed the latest 4-2 defeat at Lancaster City along with Jermain Hollis, Reuben Desrosiers, Alex Dean and Nathan Dixon.
Player to watch: Nathan Watson
Leading scorer with already fifteen goals for the visitors so far this season.
Match Facts & Stats
It’s a first-ever meeting between the clubs.
York – Boston (A); Coalville – Nantwich (A)