City deliver a solid performance against The Gas
A battling performance from Nigel Worthington’s side ensure that York City go into Easter Monday’s game against Plymouth knowing that their bid to avoid relegation is very much alive. In a game that had the feeling of a pre-season encounter, it was York who had the best chances to win the game and on another day could have scored two or three goals.
Tom Platt was handed his full debut in central midfield after impressing as a substitute against Torquay, he was joined in midfield by fellow debutant, Adam Reed – a loan signing from Sunderland and Mr Utility - Daniel Parslow. Lanre Oyebanjo returned at right back with John McGrath dropping out of the squad completely. A front three of Josh Carson, Richard Cresswell and Ashley Chambers suggested that City would have an attacking threat. On the bench there was a welcome return for Michael Coulson after a 6 month injury layoff.
York saw a great opportunity go begging in the 7th minute, Jack O’Connell delivered a free kick into the Rovers penalty area and the home keeper Steve Mildenhall came rushing to collect the ball. He got nowhere near it and with only a covering defender on the line, Carson fired his shot wide of the left hand post. The home side showed they could create their own opportunities as Ryan Brunt headed straight at Michael Ingham and Eliot Richards had a shot deflected wide.
There was a great battle developing in midfield with Platt and Reed showing they would not be shirking any challenges whilst the skilful John-Joe O’Toole and composed Danny Woodards attempted to push forward Rovers. Down the left hand side, Lee Brown was seeing a lot of the ball and it was his cross that caused issues in the visitor’s penalty box as it found its way to Richards. Good keeping from Ingham forced the striker to rush his shot and blast the ball over the bar. It was Platt who had York’s best chance of the first half, after being released down the left hand side by Cresswell, but his powerful shot was too close to Mildenhall who pushed it away for a corner.
Home manager, John Ward made an early change in the second half with the introduction of Fabian Broghammer, his pace and willingness to take on the York defence woke up the Rovers crowd who had been in a deep slumber during the first half. Despite a series of corners, the Gas didn’t create a clear cut chance on goal and it was York who would see another guilt-edge chance go begging. After an O’Connell free kick was half-cleared, the ball was headed back into the box and captain Chris Smith ball-juggled, twisted and turned to find himself with just Mildenhall to beat. His shot was well saved by the Rovers keeper and the thoughts on the away terrace must have been if only it had been Cresswell.
The rest of the half rather petered out with little activity from either side. Michael Coulson was given 15 minutes by Worthington and looked lively in his role on the left-hand side. Infact, he almost had a dream return, as a dipping and curling effort from 25 yards looked to be heading into the top corner of the net before a flying Mildenhall managed to get a hand across to push the ball over the bar. Three minutes of injury time followed with no more chances and referee Dean Whitestone’s whistle signalled a valuable point for the Minstermen against League Two’s form side, however with those golden opportunities for Carson and Smith, it could have been so much more.
Monday’s home game against Plymouth Argyle is huge, with the Devon side having picked up three points against Exeter City to continue their revival under John Sheridan.