Fine display brings a deserved goalless point
06 March 2012
After Saturday's 3-0 reversal at the hands of title chasing Fleetwood, Marcus Law brought his squad to Bootham Crescent to face Gary Mills' play off hopefully York City. Although The Minstermen had lost just once since the Christmas period, recent results against The Lambs did not bode well for the home side although ex-player Chris Smith, who conceded two penalties in the tie at The Lamb earlier in the season was ruled out for Mills, while Law made five changes to the side that faced the Cod Army at the weekend.
Wearing white shirts and black shorts and socks, against the red blue and white of the home side, Tamworth started the game off attacking the goal at the end opposite to the away terracing which held three dozen hardy Lambs fans, complete with obligatory flags.
2: Reece and Taylor combined down the right and York were forced to head the danger away before breaking to the other end down the left, ending in a curled shot from Chambers which went out just past the far post.
6: York break quickly from a freekick inside their own half and Blair chases the ball down into the area only to see his effort deflected out past the left hand upright for a corner which The Lambs eventually clear and Taylor gets into the opposition box, but his fall under pressure is waved away by the referee when shouts for a penalty go up.
8: St. Aimie manages to get around the back of the City defence into the right of the area but lifts his lob over the bar as well as Ingham.
9: Nix then finds space in the centre but fires wide of the right hand post with a low drive before play is stopped for an injury to York's Walker, who cannot continue as is replaced after a minute or two playing with ten men.
15: City enjoy a spell of pressure without threatening too much and Hedge misses his punch as Challinor goes up for the header from a right sided cross, but the angle is not good enough to send it goalwards.
17: The Lambs are unable to keep York out of their half as moves forward by the home side are denied twice by the offside flag in quick succession allowing Tamworth to regroup each time.
18: A cross on the right from Reece is headed behind with some purpose by the City defence and then cleared to the half way line with a hefty boot from the flag kick.
22: A close range flicked header from Chambers is cleared and then Tait slips and allows Blair to cross from the left but Chambers is unable to finish the chance. A similar move at the near post is cut out with a few seconds and a corner is the result which Habergham heads clear.
25: York push on and pepper the Lambs defence with snap shots from the edge of the area and the ball is eventually cleared to St. Aimie on the half way line, but he is unable to keep possession and City start again, winning a corner when Meredith is tackled by Tait. The ball is ultimately hoofed up field by Reece and goes back to Ingham, and despite the best efforts of Thomas and Taylor, the home defence clear their lines.
28: Taylor tries a hopeful shot from 20 yards, but finds his aim off and clears the goal by some distance.
29: St. Aimie feeds Taylor with a low ball to feet and his cut back forces Ingham to hook the ball away with his legs at his near post as the former bears down on the covering defender.
31: It's Tamworth's turn to keep the ball in the opposition half, but it doens;t last ling following a right wing cross looking for St. Aimie and Green puts his weight behind a clearance from Oyebanjo's deep ball from the right wing.
32: A spell of close passing ends disappointingly with Habergham's high left wing cross straight into Ingham's expectant grasp.
36: The Minstermen win another corner on the left and although Challinor heads the ball back in it is cleared away, however, York a very quick to regain possession and turn up the heat forcing The Lambs to work hard to keep them out of the final third of the pitch.
39: The crowd shout for handball against St. Aimie but nothing is given, and then when the same play goes to ground a few seconds later a freekick is awarded allowing a wry smile to spread around Bootham Crescent. Nix strikes the freekick from the right corner of the area just over the corner of bar and post and Ingham is happy to watch it go over.
42: A foul is given as no advantage presents itself when Blair is caught going down the left but Habergham is first to it and powerfully heads away, causing City's assistant manager Darron Gee to shout ‘it's not good enough' earning a ripple of applause in agreement from the partisan main stand.
45: A run into the area by Meredith is strong and he tumbles under a challenge but the referee waves the penalty claims away as one minute added time is shown.
York got the second half underway and Hedge was called into action following a deep left sided cross from their first foray upfield.
48: Blair looked for a team mate in the box with a right wing cross but Hedge was there again as Chambers came in at the near post, while at the other end Francis found himself looking for a header from corner he forced.
50: The flag kick went short and did find Francis but the York back line cleared.
52: A long ball from Reece over the last man found Thomas on the opposite side but he over hit his return ball to the far post and a good chance evapourated.
53: York forced a corner which was cleared quickly, and then another when Francis blocked Blair's attempted cut back but Thomas was first to the header away.
55: There were shouts from the home fans for handball against Green as he defended a ball into the box, and then Challinor flicked a header over the bar from a long throw.
57: Challinor then picked up a booking for a foul on Habergham which left The Lambs defender needing treatment.
59: The lack of progress by the home side was starting to frustrate some of the home fans in the main stand, as Mills looked to make his second change of personnel the evening.
62: With less than a third of the game remaining, York continued their quest for a goal and won another corner which went close via Kerr's shot, but not close enough.
63: Pilkington fired a right sided freekick into the box and it flashed off the head of at least one York forward near the back of the box, but didn't have enough to send it goalwards or trouble Hedge as Barrow warmed up for The Lambs and replaced the frustrated Habergham in a like for like swap at left back.
68: Pilkington tried his luck from 20 yards with a right footed half volley but it went wide, and came after the home side tried everything to get a clean ball into the box or a clean shot away but repeatedly found the Lambs defence unforgiving in their application of the required task.
70: With the minutes ticking down it was still anyone's game and although the possession stats more than likely favoured the home side, York were forced to hit long range shots at Hedge, with Oyebanjoy firing straight into the keeper's arms on 72.
73: As an immediate example, St. Aimie fired low into the box looking for Thomas but the ball was booted away and then Reece won a corner on the same side, although Ingham gathered it easily and found Reed with a long clearance before the chance fizzled out.
75: Pilkington found himself in a rare area of space in the box after Francis' header screwed sideways, but he let himself down with a poor shot on the half volley which failed to go anywhere near the target.
76: Oyebanjo then lifted a cross over the bar much to the frustration of both him and his manager and the minutes continued to slowly tick away.
78: The same player fed Chambers down the right and his dangerous cross to the near post was headed away by Green as Patterson replaced St. Aimie.
81: Taylor beat himself by straying just offside as he looked to dart past Oyebanjo and would have had a clear run at the box had it not been for the flag, which at the back Green urged his fellow defenders to keep on working.
83: Reed flashed the ball across the box and Reece was adjudged to have brought down Pilkington just outside the opposite side of the area setting up a freekick on the corner of the box which just needed a touch as it flew towards the far post, but didn't get one and floated past.
84: A deep freekick from Fyfield was watched by Tait and booted clear and then Blinkhorn powered a header at goal only to find Hedge perfectly placed to catch at head height.
85: Francis cleared his lines in spectacular fashion - by putting the ball out of the ground over the Jack Scaife stand and Green did something similar on the opposite side of the pitch in the next move.
From the throw in Hedge prevented a goal with a close range stop with his feet from Reeds goalbound shot from 8 yards.
88: Hedge was booked for time wasting but eventually launched it long and as the rain continued to drizzle down The Lambs kept possession in the left hand corner of the field.
89: Hedge was then forced to punch a bouncing ball into the box clear with Reed bearing down on him and three minutes added time was shown.
With Law calling for his players to work, Hedge pulled off a fantastic one handed save from Chambers driven shot, tipping it over the bar from his 25 yard shot, and when the ball came in from the resulting corner Challinor could only lift the ball over the target with his header.
Hedge then performed another miracle batting away Kerr's right footed drive for a corner which was cleared and the final whistle blew on The Lambs first 0-0 for almost 3 years / 100 games...
Hedge, Tait, Habergham (Barrow 65), Francis, Reece, Taylor, St. Aimie (Patterson 79), Thomas, Nix, Green, McKoy
Subs: Marna, McDonald, Isaac
Yellow Cards: Hedge 88
York City Team:
Ingham, Oyebanjo, Meredith, Parslow, Kerr, Walker (Blinkhorn 11), Chambers, Fyfield, Blair (Pilkington 60), Challinor, McLaughlin (Reed 67)
Subs: Potts, Moke
Yellow Cards: Challinor 51
Referee: Mr. P. Bankes