York City’s six match unbeaten run came to a disappointing end at The Pirelli Stadium last night, as The Minstermen went 3-1 down to a physically strong Burton Albion.
After a fortunate double ricochet, Patrick McLaughlin put the visitors ahead on nine minutes, but a deflected shot from Lee Bell, rebounding off Clarke Carlisle levelled the game and two goals in the second half, firstly from Calvin Zola and a late lob from Matt Paterson secured all three points for The Brewers.
Both teams were level pegging going into the fixture, each knocking up a tally of nine points from their first six games and even sharing the same goal difference, but the defeat now leaves The Minstermen a position lower than where they were before kick-off and Burton take a huge leap to sixth, leaving the league wide open in the early stages of the season.
As both teams were enjoying a good run in form, Burton came into the fixture from the back of an excellent run, demolishing Oxford United 4-0 at the weekend, but it was York that looked the most persistent early on. City was positively knocking the ball around in Burton’s half, as they were enjoying a predominant share of possession.
Despite the dominance, Burton’s, Matt Paterson looked the likely to score first, but Michael Ingham parried away from 10 yards to pull off a smart save. From the near scare, York made their possession count and was rewarded with a goal from a huge stroke of luck. Midfielder, McLaughlin managed to find the ball after the ball fell kindly to the Irishman, after ricocheting twice off two defenders for him to drive the ball under Stuart Tomlinson’s arms, from a tight angle to double his goal count for the season.
Burton were restricted to shooting from distance, which proved beneficial in their last match against Oxford and Patterson tried his luck again, after Carlisle’s mistake made way for a shot, but Ingham scurried across his goal to insure it went wide.
After a brief spell of pressure from York, Burton was back in the game after looking likely to draw level on a couple of occasions prior to the strike. Lee Bell’s wickedly deflected shot from 25 yards, eased past Ingham’s bottom hand corner to level the score on 23 minutes, at the expense of defender, Clarke Carlisle.
York managed to conjure up a couple of chances before the break, to try and regain the lead, the best coming from neat play from Ashley Chambers and Jason Walker, finding its way to Lanre Oyebanjo, as he overlapped to whip the ball in first time to Jonathon Smith, but he couldn’t keep his effort down and it blazed over the bar.
The Minstermen found themselves under the cosh during early spells of the second half, as Burton barraged long high balls up field to their physically strong forwards, in the likes of Jacques Maghoma and Calvin Zola and the pressure soon paid off. Maghoma made use of the generous amount of space he was given to roam forward and Robbie Weir’s strike on goal, which was at first saved by Ingham, but the keeper couldn’t do anything to stop Calvin Zola knocking in the rebound to put the home side in front, on 65 minutes.
Soon after it was nearly dead and buried, Calvin Zola again in the thick of it as his header, under pressure in the 6 yard box was parried away from danger by Ingham, has he kept York above ground.
Substitute, Matty Blair was amongst most of York’s attack, after coming on to replace goal scorer McLaughlin, as Mill’s adopted a more attacking 4-4-2 formation to accommodate the attacking forces of Walker, Coulson, Chambers and Blair, with attacking wingers. His most noticeable involvement was assisting Michael Coulson’s right footed dipping effort, which narrowly skimmed past the post.
As time was against City, York were pushing further up field, causing the game to open up, but riskily leaving gaps in defence, which Burton capitalised on in injury time. Matt Paterson, whom had been dangerous all night, out muscled Danny Parslow and lobbed the ball over Ingham, as he was left stranded and inflicted York’s first away league defeat of the season.