Decisions, Decisions!!. What to do at the weekend? Attend the Leeds Festival and watch Guns N'Roses with 100,000 people in a field, OR York City v Altrincham in The Blue Square Premier League at Kit Kat Crescent.
York was very busy on a bank holiday weekend as I made my way through the narrow Shambles and bought a super sandwich at the £1 Sandwich Shop, then past the Guy Fawkes Inn, now a hotel, but the former home of local boy who was hung, drawn and quartered in London in 1666 following the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament. Then past York Minster and Old Petergate and the York Registary Office. A badly dressed guy hussled his woman inside for a quick wedding ceremony. She looked to be having contractions already! Then through The Bootham Bar (Gate) , part of the wall surrounding the inner city. It's on top of a 1700 year old Roman fortress Parta Principatia Doche.
Bootham is from the old West Scandinavian word 'Buthum' from 1150 AD 'at the booths' or district of humble dwellings, on the road out of the city to the north. I walked down Bootham Crescent and nearby was St. Peters School on the River Ouse, founded in 627 AD, that's pretty old !, where Guy Fawkes went to school and probably studied chemistry!!!
Kit Kat Crescent is no more! York City accepted £10,000 a few years ago to change the name of their stadium to that of the locally made chocolate bar. The fans didn't like that and changed it back to Bootham Crescent last season. Its a squeeze in the tiny press box with my friend Brian Flynn, the Altrincham PR chief, almost like a confessional pew, and City don't provide programmes for the press, or even a cup of tea!
Alty won the toss, and THAT WAS ABOUT ALL THEY WON, all afternoon! You don't see it often, but both goalkeepers, Michael Ingham of York and Stuart Coburn of Alty were the team captains. It was an uneventful first half with the two clubs near the bottom of the league. The Minstermen were favourites for promotion back into the Football League last season, but it didn't happen, and their planned move to a new stadium is behind schedule too.
Fortunes changed when City manager Martin Foyle brought on Michael Rankine, who shot hard and low from a Michael Gash pass to open the scoring. Richard Brodie doubled the score from the penalty spot after he was brought down near the corner by Marc Joseph. Brodie is from Gateshead near the Angel of the North Statue next to the A1 and he celebrated with his arms extended, his usual trademark.
I thought that referee R. Clark of Morpeth was outstanding, despite the stick he received from fans. He was fair, and kept the game flowing. Also nice to see the immaculately dressed York secretary Nick Bassett as busy as a bee.
Michael Rankine scored his team's third for a 3-0 victory which left Altrincham rock bottom.