York City will welcome Boston United to the LNER Community Stadium with hopes of ending a five-year hiatus from the fifth tier in the National League North playoff final on Saturday afternoon.

By Richard Scott

Lenell John-Lewis fires York City into the National League playoff final with a victory over Brackley Town - Credit: York City Football Club

York hoping to go massive with victory over outsiders Boston

After 42 tough games in the National League North season and eight gruelling playoff fixtures, one match remains to decide who will join Gateshead in earning promotion to the National League.

This season’s National League North playoff final is between York City and Boston United at York’s LNER Community Stadium.

York will host the final as a reward for finishing higher in the National League North table, with a close to capacity crowd expected at the LNER for Saturday's clash.

Crowd trouble in the quarter-final against Chorley meant the capacity for Saturday's final has been capped at 6,7000, with some York supporters having missed out on tickets for the clash.

That game against Chorley kick-started this season's playoff campaign for York, with John Askey's side running out 2-1 winners thanks to goals either side of half-time from Lenell John-Lewis and Mitch Hancox.

The win over the Magpies saw York progress to the Semi-Finals, where they faced the division's runners-up, Brackley Town.

As many people's favourites to win the playoffs, Brackley's departure came as somewhat of a surprise, with John-Lewis once again providing the clinical touch for promotion-chasing York.

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However, they must give massive thanks to goalkeeper Pete Jameson, who saved a second-half penalty from James Armson.

Meanwhile, Boston United have also been forced to do it the hard way so far, having progressed past both Kidderminster Harriers and AFC Fylde in the previous rounds.

Sneaking into the playoffs on the final day of the season after beating Farsley Celtic, the Pilgrims started their playoff campaign with a trip to Aggborough.

Danny Elliot bagged his 19th goal of the season just before the break, only for Ashley Hemmings to equalise just after the hour mark.

However, with Harriers pushing for a second goal, former Boston man Alex Penny headed the ball past his keeper to book the Pilgrims their place in the semi-final.

Expected to bow out in the last four, Boston faced a trip to one of the pre-season title favourites in AFC Fylde.

It looked like the game was heading to extra time before Elliott was at it once again, scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to crush the hosts' promotion hopes.

Saturday's final gives both sides a chance to climb the divisions, which is where the two sets of supporters will believe they should belong.

York were relegated out of the National League back in 2017 when they drew 2-2 with Forest Green Rovers on the final day of the season, on a day that saw mass protests outside the Minstermen's old home at Bootham Crescent.

Relegated from the Football League at the end of the 2006/07 campaign, Boston have now spent 16 years at Step 2 or below, with this current campaign the Pilgrim's fourth attempt at trying to earn promotion via the playoffs.

What is shaping up to be a tasty contest at the LNER this weekend, York will be confident of using home advantage to finish the campaign with promotion on Saturday afternoon.


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