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York secure promotion back to the National League

By Bradley Saxton | 21st May 2022
Match Result
York City Logo
York City
Boston United Logo
Boston United
LNER Community Stadium
Saturday 21st May - 15:00

York City secured promotion back to the National League with a 2-0 win over Boston United in the National League North playoff final.

Goals from Lenell John-Lewis and Maziar Kouhyar were enough to secure promotion for John Askey’s side in front of a sell-out crowd at the LNER Community Stadium.

York came into this playoff final off the back of a seven-game unbeaten run and they were full of confidence heading into the game as they looked to utilise home advantage.

Since securing their place in the playoffs, Askey’s side had carried their run of momentum established into the playoffs as wins over Chorley and Brackley Town had ensured that the Minstermen qualified for the final as the highest-ranked side.

Askey made no changes ahead of kick off from the side that featured against Brackley Town last time out, as John-Lewis shook off a thigh injury sustained last weekend to ensure he started up top for the Minstermen.

Boston came into this game hoping that they could go one better and secure promotion after they were defeated in the playoff final two years ago against Altrincham, as they travelled up to North Yorkshire also full of confidence after only suffering one defeat in their previous nine games.

Paul Cox’s side secured their place in the playoffs on the final day of the season and wins over Kidderminster Harriers and AFC Fylde ensured they would feature in their second successive playoff final.

Cox named only one change from the side that secured a 2-0 win over AFC Fylde on Sunday afternoon. Former York striker Jake Wright Jnr was brought into the starting eleven to feature up front alongside top-scorer Danny Elliott, as loanee Ntumba Massanka dropped onto the bench.

The Minstermen couldn’t have made a better start at the LNER Community Stadium as they took the lead after only five minutes. A long-throw into the penalty area by Scott Barrow from the left-hand side was controlled excellently inside the penalty area by John-Lewis, he turned and let the ball drop to his feet before unleashing a powerful effort across goal into the bottom-right corner to score his sixth goal in his last seven appearances.

Boston captain Luke Shiels went close for the visitors moments later with an acrobatic effort but his strike flew well over the bar, before City skipper Paddy McLaughlin turned inside onto his left foot from the right-hand side to unleash a curling effort towards goal for City, but it also curled well over the bar as the Minstermen looked to double their lead early on.

Elliott was unable to steer an effort towards goal as he shot narrowly wide of the target after the home side had failed to deal with a long-throw into the area by Femi Seriki, before McLaughlin fired over the bar again for the Minstermen moments later, this time from distance.

Clayton Donaldson was inches away from doubling the Minstermen’s lead seven minutes before half-time as he controlled the ball superbly on the right-hand side, he cut inside onto his left-foot and curled the ball towards goal, but he was denied by the crossbar as the ball flew out of play for a goal kick.  

John-Lewis also went close again for City as the clock approached half-time, but his strike went well high and wide of goal as the Minstermen ensured they lead heading into the break.

Boston started the second half brightly and had the second period’s first chance on goal. A corner from the left-hand side was played into the area and towards the back post towards the head of Shiels, but he was unable to capitalise as he headed well over the bar.

The visitors looked very much on top in the early exchanges of the second half and they had appeals for a penalty turned away by referee Matt Corlett just after the hour mark after midfielder Paul Green fell to ground inside of the York penalty area, before Elliott went close a minute later as he had a curling effort towards goal deflected wide for a corner by a red shirt.

With fifteen minutes to go, substitute Matty Brown was unable to divert his header goal-bound as he rose high to meet a free-kick into the area from Maziar Kouhyar, before Peter Jameson produced a brilliant low save to deny Shane Byrne from levelling the game for Boston as he tipped a low free-kick away for a corner.

The game was put to bed by the Minstermen with five minutes to go as they doubled their advantage. Kouhyar won the ball on the right-hand side of play, he drove forward into the penalty area and produced an effort on goal, which beat Boston keeper Marcus Dewhurst at his near post. 

City held on for victory, which sees them secure promotion back to the National League for the first time since suffering relegation to the sixth tier in 2017.


York City: Jameson (GK), Dyson, Kouogun, Sanders, Barrow (Brown 71’), Wright, Hancox, McLaughlin (C), Kouhyar, John-Lewis, Donaldson

Unused Subs: Whitley, Woods, Willoughby, McKay

Goals: John-Lewis (5’), Kouhyar (85’)

Yellow Cards: Kouogun 


Boston United: Dewhurst (GK), Seriki, Shiels (C), Garner, Ferguson, Byrne, Abbott (Massanka 60’), Green, Dimaio (F.Preston 83’), Wright Jnr (Hanson 75’), Elliott

Unused Subs: Duxbury, Wright Snr

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Abbott


Attendance:  7,448

Referee: Matt Corlett

Waitrose & Partners Man of the Match: Akil Wright


Match Statistics

Shots on Target: York City:  3  | Boston United:  4

Shots off Target: York City:  6  | Boston United:  4

Corners: York City:  4  | Boston United:  8

Offsides: York City:  3  | Boston United:  1

Fouls: York City:  14  | Boston United:  14

Yellow Cards: York City:  1  | Boston United:  1

Red Cards: York City:  0  | Boston United:  0

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