Lambs work hard to get a vital win
16 April 2011
Pre-match notes from the league's most uncomfortable press box... a symptom of the bygone days when all reporters needed was a pad and pen and laptops were not even thought of! (For this reason, the full match report may be late uploading at HT and FT)
And so, caretaker boss Dale Belford took charge of his first game of The Lambs facing a daunting task.
With four games left to play and every point a definite must it would be a tough ask with his first opponents being Gary Mills' Bootham Cresent side, themselves vying for a play-off place.
Belford made changes to the previous eleven, selected by his predecessor Des Lyttle, opting for an apparent 3-5-2 formation with no place for Michael Wylde while handing Kyle Perry a starting place and Scott Barrow returned at the expense of Jason Bradley who took a place on the bench.
So with the live league results and table in one corner of the screen allowing me to keep an eye on Forest Green, Altrincham, Southport and the like, York kicked the game off.
After a prematch huddle, and with Perry and Sheridan up front a foul on Thomas on left saw Barrow launch the ball into the box which Ingham caught.
A run by Lake-gaskin down the left saw the ball just run away from him as he got into the front of the box.
Chambers then made a run and Wilkinson denied him with a well timed challenge, as Southport fell a goal behind and a man down to Crawley.
Hayes and Yeading put themselves one up as Mitchell made a good stop from Reed.
Sheridan was then booked for a late challenge on Darville and Wilkinson denied Rankine twice in the area as he looked to shoot for goal and the ball was scrambled clear with tackles going in strongly.
Parslow headed well wide from a Chambers cross on 14 while Barrow continued to collapse at Newport and a ball for Perry was just too high from Thomas.
Christian Smith hit a sweet left footed shot at goal from some distance and with Ingham in full flight just missed the target. Meanwhile, champions Crawley helped The Lambs with a second goal against Southport.
Lake-Gaskin made a long run and crossed forcing a fumble by Ingham on 25, then a minute later a long ball forwad was flicked down for Wilkinson who got past his marker and directed the ball into the right corner of the goal from the left of the box to give Tamworth the lead (0-1, 26 mins)
York tried to get back into the game before the break with Jonathon Smith, Reed and Till all forcing Mitchell into good saves, the latter of which he made with his feet.
Marhsall fouled Rankine on the edge of the area with five minutes of the first half to go and Gary Mills obviously thought it was a penalty, but the referee was correct in awarding a freekick outside the area and the Lambs defence did their jobs to clear the danger.
Till sliced a shot way off target past the far post shortly before the interval as Tamworth played keep ball until the whistle blew.
With Fleetwood recovering from an early penalty miss by Altrincham to take a 2-0 lead at home, and long before The Lambs got the second half underway FGR equalised against Cambridge as an early ball into the box brought Ingham into the game.
The first real chance of the second half came on 50 when Thomas was released on the left but he lifted his shot over the bar from 15 yards.
Wilkinson did well to deny Rankine again shortly after and Meredith crossed onto the head of Rankine on 54 but his effort went high over the bar into the Lambs fans behind the goal.
Tait crossed for Thomas on 56 who chested it to Perry on the edge of the area but he snapshot was wayward and struck the top of the stand behind the goal.
York continued to come forward and Mitchell was forced to make a stop after a shot from 18 yards by Chambers.
Then the same player brought the best out of Mitchell with a right footed curling effort on the hour to win a right sided corner and Mitchell denied Jon Smith's header at the near post, while Crawley put pressure on FGR with a third goal.
Tait blocked a Till cross for a City flag kick on 64 which was easy for Mitchell to collect at height and Till struck wildly off target a minute later although his run around the edge of the box was a little worrying, before Mills took off leading goalscorer Rankine.
Tait and Jon Smith tussled for the ball earning the York man a booking, and immediate substitution, and Thomas was unable to continue bringing Wylde into the game.
There were half hearted penalty appeals when Kerr went over in the box on 71 and after a period where the home side kept possession but were unable to do anything with it, Barrow nipped in to clear the danger. York came forward again in the next move and it took all but one Lambs man in the box to get the ball away until it was floated back in for ex-Lambs Chris Smith to head wide of the mark under pressure.
A long goal kick found its way past the York defence on 74 and Perry was on hand to slam the ball past Ingham to make it 2-0, and having done his job he came off straight away for Jason Bradley!
A fine run by Sheridan down the left past his marker and into the box was only let down by a tame shot at Ingham on 82 then on 93 Chambers saw his curling shot tipped onto the bar by the fingertips of Mitchell and despite everyone being in the box, sub Boucaud found a way through with a shot from 25 yards, but Mitchell was on hand again to push the low effort away.
Inside the final five minutes, the shouts from Dale Belford in the dugout, urging the players on to the final whistle could be heard around the ground, which was silent apart from some tongue in cheek mickey taking from the Lambs fans directed at the York dugout.
York did get the ball into the back of the net on 89 when Constantine headed home from close range after a swirling corner was punched out by Mitchell then headed back towards goal (1-2, 89 mins) to set up a tense finish as five minute added time was shown.
Constantine got the ball in the area shortly after but his low shot rolled to Mitchell.
Wylde nipped the ball off the toes of Chambers as he advanced into the box from the left and when it came to Kerr he screwed his effort into the terracing.
A substitution in the final minutes which saw Barrow limp off with cramp, after Chris Smith headed high over the bar from Till's right wing ball, halted play and extended it.
Sheridan stuck a boot out for prevent a cross box ball and conceded a corner on the right as keeper Ingham raced into the opposition box.
Courtney was then booked for time wasting and after half a minute with the whistle in his hand full time was eventually blown and The Lambs 96 fans and team celebrated at the away end ahead of the next big test with Forest Green next weekend.
Mitchell L, Tait, Marshall, Courtney, Perry (Bradley J 75), Thomas (Wylde 69), Lake-Gaskin, Sheridan, Smith C, Barrow (Farrell 90+), Wilkinson
Subs: Mitchell, Connor
Yellow Cards: Sheridan 11, Barrow 52, Courtney 90+
York City Team:
Ingham, Darville, Meredith, Smith J (Constantine 69), Parslow, Reed (Carruthers 84), Till, Rankine (Boucaud 65), Chambers, Kerr, Smith C
Subs: Fyfield, Mackin
Yellow Cards: Smith J 67
Referee: Mr C. Harwood