Boreham Wood v York City
Tuesday 8th November 2022, 7.45pm
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, National League
IN FOCUS: YORK CITY
Despite spending the bulk of their history in the Football League, York City have found themselves scrounging around in the non-league after being relegated to the fifth tier in 2004 for the first time since 1929. Despite a brief spell back in League Two between 2012 and 2016 , this preceded a fall from grace for the Minstermen with back-to-back relegations seeing them spend the last five seasons in the sixth tier of English football. The arrival of John Askey as manager has seen a turning point for the North-Yorkshire side though, with the former Macclesfield Town forward having a reputation of playing attractive, high-pressing football, something which helped them secure their return to the National League at the end of the 2021/22 campaign with wins over Chorley, Brackley Town and Boston United seeing them come out victorious in the National League North play-offs.
With a relatively experienced squad, the Minstermen have adapted well to the fifth tier and added a whole host of players to their ranks in the summer, with the likes of Ethan Ross, Luke James, Dan Pybus, Ryan Fallowfield, Manny Duku, Alex Whittle, Fraser Kerr, Gus Mafuta and Sam Sanders arriving at the LNER Community Stadium along with Mitch Hancox and Lenell John-Lewis making their loan moves permanent. The latter in particular has impressed this season as the club’s highest scorer with seven goals, helping them enjoy a comfortable start to the season with six wins, five draws and six defeats seeing them sit 11th.
LAST TIME OUT
Shrewsbury Town – York City
Saturday 5th November 2022
Emirates FA Cup First Round
Goals at either side of the first half saw League One side Shrewsbury Town overcome York City and end their FA Cup run at the FA Cup First Round stage.
It took just two minutes for the Shrews to take the lead as Jordan Shipley tapped home after Tom Bayliss’ square ball, but the visitors looked to produce an instant response with Shrews’ keeper Marko Marosi needing to be quick off his line to reach a Gus Mafuta through ball before Ryan Fallowfield. The hosts would then see a number of chances go begging on the quarter-hour mark, with City stopper Ethan Ross in fine form to keep the Minstermen in it. Rekeil Pyke saw a dangerous cross fail to be turned in by anyone before having an effort flash wide himself, moments after Christian Saydee had seen a fierce strike tipped wide. Alex Whittle saw a rare City chance fly off target before Ross was called into action once more to deny Saydee, but the hosts were awarded a golden opportunity when Manny Duku felled Shipley in the box on the stroke of half time, with Shrews’ skipper Luke Leahy stepping up to slot it home. There was one final twist though with Duku turning from villain to hero as he met Luke James’ cross to halve the deficit and go into the break just one behind
Ross would be the first keeper in action after the break, but an improved second half saw Fallowfield send in a cross towards Duku and Maziar Kouhyar before substitute Olly Dyson had a go from distance. Michael Duckworth would be involved late on with Duku heading over his cross, before cutting out a low cross from Rob Street at the other end which led to a goal line clearance to deny Leahy. There just enough time left for Marosi to claim a Fraser Kerr cross, with a goalless second half confirming an early exit from the FA Cup for York City.
Shrewsbury Town (A) L2-1
Southend United (H) L0-2
Chesterfield (H) D1-1
Aldershot Town (A) L2-1
Bury AFC (A) W1-2
Dagenham & Redbridge (H) D1-1
Despite a positive start to their first National League season since 2016/17, York City have suffered a dip in form in recent weeks and are currently without a league win in their last four outings. A draw with Dagenham & Redbridge came before the Minstermen switched their attention to the FA Cup, as goals at either end of the match from Olly Dyson and Mitch Hancox cancelled out a Lewis Gilboy strike to overcome North West Counties League Premier Division side Bury AFC. This would prove to be their latest victory though as John Askey’s men followed it up with three defeats in their next four games. A late Hancox goal secured a draw against promotion hopefuls Chesterfield to bounce back from defeat at Aldershot Town previously, but Southend United and Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup would condemn the Minstermen to another two defeats going into Tuesday night’s fixture.
IN THE DUGOUT: JOHN ASKEY
As a player, John Askey made over 500 appearances for Macclesfield Town with whom he took his first steps into management with, serving initially as reserve-team manager before working as an assistant to David Moss until his dismissal, which saw him chosen to replace Moss. He held the role until April 2004 with Askey demoted to assistant in favour of bringing in Brian Horton, remaining in the role until the arrival of Paul Ince with Askey going on to work as a youth team manager. He would take charge of the first team once again in 2013 and remained in the role for six years, reaching the FA Trophy final in 2016/17 before achieving his magnum opus a year later, guiding the club to the National League title in 2017/18 on a shoestring budget. Financial difficulties at the club influenced his decision to depart the Silkmen and stints at Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale followed, before joining York City ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, winning promotion to the National League via the play-offs in his first season.
ONE TO WATCH: LENELL JOHN-LEWIS
An experienced forward nicknamed ‘The Shop’, Lenell John-Lewis has racked up more than 250 Football League experiences prior to his move to York City. After beginning his career at Grantham Town, he would be picked up by Lincoln City where he began to establish himself as one of the most reliable forwards in the Football League, with further spells at Bury, Grimsby Town, Newport County and Shrewsbury Town seeing him notch 54 goals. A move to Shrewsbury’s local rivals Hereford saw him enjoy a brief spell in the non-league before a return to Grimsby, but would later be brought to York by manager John Askey, with whom he worked with at Shrewsbury. He would contribute 14 goals to the Minstermen’s promotion campaign, including the second goal in the play-off final victory over Boston United before making the move permanent in the summer. He is the club’s top scorer this season having already matched his entire league tally from last season, averaging two goals a game to notch seven in total.
LAST TIME WE MET
Boreham Wood 1-1 York City
Saturday 18th February 2017
Vanarama National League
A resurgent York City held the Wood to a draw as a scrappy game saw both teams fail to make their chances count.
The visitors saw the early chances go their way with Sean Newton having a shot deflected from a corner, before sending a shot over the bar moments later. The early pressure told as the Wood went a goal down after just seven minutes when Amari Morgan-Smith tucked the ball away after some good work from Jon Parkin. This sparked some life into the hosts though with Angelo Balanta and Morgan Ferrier causing problems, and the latter levelled the score just before the half-hour mark when an Anthony Jeffrey cross caused confusion between Kyle Letheren and his defence which allowed Ferrier to round Letheren and find the back of the net. The Wood seemed to be in control although chances continued to come for York, with Newton striking from outside the box before Vadaine Oliver and Simon Heslop both went close.
The game opened up in the second half with plenty of chances for both sides, the first of which falling to Parkin who volleyed wide of Grant Smith’s goal before some good pressure from the Wood saw Bruno Andrade and Jai Reason combine to set Ferrier away down the right, but a poor touch saw the move break down. The hosts began to grow into the game with Tom Hitchcock, Balanta and Jeffrey all having chances to take the lead, but they couldn’t take advantage while on the front foot. York finally got out of their own half again with Joe Devara needing to block Parkin’s effort, with the subsequent corner leading to an overhead kick from Hamza Bencherif which was superbly tipped over the crossbar by Smith. It was an exciting finale as both sides went out to find a winner, the closest of the chances falling to Shaun Rooney who produced a late scare when he ran past three players before the Wood were able to clear, securing a hard-earned point as the referee soon brought a close to proceedings.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? GUS MAFUTA
In need of a like-for-like replacement for the outgoing Akil Wright, York City opted to bring in Boreham Wood midfielder Gus Mafuta following his departure from the LV BET Stadium Meadow Park. A powerful midfielder, Mafuta had joined the Wood ahead of the 2020/21 campaign after a single season at Hartlepool United, and he quickly established himself in the Wood midfield with 44 appearances in his debut season in all competitions. The peak of that season came in the FA Cup with the Wood reaching the Third Round for the first team, and Mafuta played every minute in that cup run including the visit of Championship side Millwall, registering one assist in the winning Second Round at Canvey Island. Opportunities would find themselves less frequent in his second season but he still featured 31 times in all competitions, helping the club to an early title challenge before kicking off another impressive FA Cup run, and Mafuta once again featured in all three of the first three proper rounds against Eastleigh, St Albans City and AFC Wimbledon, playing 90 minutes in the first two. Having signed a two-year contract when he arrived in Hertfordshire, Mafuta left the club in the summer and joined newly promoted outfit York City, where he has played ten times in all competitions.
OUR CLUB. OUR TOWN. OUR COMMUNITY.