OPPOSITION Q&A – York City by Ryan Brookes


Ryan discusses York City


I’ve been a City fan since about the age of 10 or 11, which I know wasn’t an honourable part of the club’s history, and I’ve been attached ever since. Around a year ago, a volunteer role covering York City evolved at Jorvik Radio, a local radio station, and it fitted me perfectly, having already been writing reports for an online newspaper a couple of months in advance. It was a huge step for myself, and I now contribute with match reports, previews, live tweet updates, graphics, and just anything media-related, which I thoroughly love doing.


The promotion achieved last season was unforeseen, but much-needed for the club and its fans, after so many years at an all-time low. I think most people would have been happy to see a bottom half to mid-table finish come the end of the current campaign, though looking at the impressive start we have had on our return to the NL, the aim is now a play-off spot. Obviously we can’t set our expectations too high just yet, given that we are only 12 games in and everything could change, however things are already looking very promising for the near future.


An opening day win against Woking set the benchmark for City, and despite recording two losses in the first nine games, an unbeaten run that lasted for just over a month saw The Minstermen grow stronger throughout, and maintain a decent away form. Form of late has been quite unpredictable though – it wasn’t a huge shock that promotion contenders Notts County took all three points at the LNER, but the result that followed was simply tremendous. Barnet’s vulnerability was exposed by City, who put a magnificent five past them, on the road.  Halifax, who ranked bottom of the league coming into Tuesday’s game, didn’t stand much of a chance on paper, but dominated a poor York side, and claimed a deserved 1-0 win, that sets up Saturday’s game to go either way, depending on who turns up.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Brookes


Lenell John-Lewis has been in outstanding form so far, however each of his six goals have come on the road, and is still looking for his first home goal. There’s just not enough to be said about the silky Afghan, Maz Kouhyar, who is of Football League quality and has six assists to his name already, the second best in the division. Defending isn’t a problem for City either – Maxim Kouogun is secure at the back and Ethan Ross isn’t to be underestimated between the sticks.


John Askey took over the helm last October, and fans weren’t too keen to begin with, but a winning streak soon got them on his side, leading York to promotion. Askey preferred a 4-3-3 last season, but so far in the National League, a 5-4-1 formation has been reverted to, with the two wingers in Kouhyar and Alex Hurst providing constant threat, and John-Lewis up front as a solo striker.


Askey’s comments about expectations when wearing a York City shirt suggest there are changes to be made following defeat to Halifax, though he’s not got a huge deal to choose from. Some fans had complaints about Fraser Kerr in the heart of the defence, so I’m anticipating a surprise change with Gus Mafuta coming back in at centre-half. The surplus should be unchanged, although Ryan Fallowfield did pick up an early knock in the previous game, and might miss this one. In the case that he does, Olly Dyson will switch to right-back with Mitch Hancox potentially making up the midfield. Ross, Dyson, Kouogun, Mafuta, Sanders, Whittle, Hancox, Pybus, Hurst, Kouhyar, John-Lewis.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Brookes


Macaulay Langstaff. The striker, dubbed the ‘non-league Haaland’ has readapted very well to the National League, and with such an astounding goalscoring record of 15 goals in 12 games, there’s no reason why a move to the Football League isn’t looming now. Would you believe it, a young Langstaff was here at York just over two years ago, and it is a completely different and evolved Langstaff that takes his place in the Notts County line-up to this very day. One side that has really impressed me is newly promoted Dorking Wanderers. Marc White is literally a one-man band, and is going even further forward than firstly anticipated when the club was founded back in 1999. They’ve overcome some of the bigger fish like Notts and Dagenham, and also have the league’s second top scorer, James McShane. I feel they are really onto something here.


If you’re looking for somewhere within close proximity to the ground, there’s a Nando’s across the road, and I’ve heard Hollywood Bowl and Puttstars, which are part of the leisure centre, provide some great pre-match food as well. Pub-wise, Pear Tree Farm is situated within walking distance of the stadium, and does a great carvery too!


When they turn up and play Askey’s style of attractive football, this York side have a few strong areas. As proven in the Barnet game, set-pieces can be a real threat against the opposition, unlike last season. During the 5-0 win, three of the goals were created from set pieces, just to give an example. City are also a good defensive side, averaging 0.92 goals conceded each game, which isn’t bad at all for a promoted team. Looking at the weaknesses, there aren’t actually a great deal, not to be biased. When on the break, The Minstermen occasionally give the ball away too easily, leaving them vulnerable to counter-attacks. Another annoyance to the City faithful is the idea of hoofing the ball forward, in an attempt to find target man John-Lewis, which isn’t always effective.


A score-line we’ve not seen go towards us yet this season: 3-1 City.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Brookes







Posted by

I simply live and breathe Football and have supported Torquay United since 1989. I am a season ticket holder on Bristows and a Trust member. I set up TorquayTalk in 2017 to give true supporters a voice and honest opinions on their club.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.