York City slipped against a hard though Newport County side, as both sides cancelled each other out to end the match in a 1-1 draw, at Bootham Crescent.
The match was very much a game of two halves. A goal a piece from Newport’s Nat Jarvis in the first half and City’s Jason Walker in the second, handed both teams a fair share of the points.
Gary Mills opted for an unchanged starting line up from Monday’s victory at Alfreton, but there was alteration on the bench. The major change being Jason Walker, as he was deemed fit enough again, after his niggling injury.
The Exiles didn’t wait long to get their noses in front, on 4 minutes, a Sam Foley cross was greeted by the head of unmarked Nat Jarvis, to place the ball out of reach into Michael Ingham’s top left corner. This was the second time City have allowed Jarvis a header at close range, leading to a goal, as they went a goal down the same way in their 2-1 defeat at Spytty Park, earlier this month.
However, the lead didn’t give County the confidence to push on and moments later, Matty Blair drifted past a couple of challenges to shoot low at Karl Darlow, just out side the box, failing to hold on to the strike, he rewarded Jamie Reed with a free shot, but he was flagged offside before he could convert the clear opportunity.
On 16 minutes, Michael Ingham and defender Chris Smith were involved in a collision just inside the area. Smith carelessly played a short ball to Ingham, which was chased upon by Jake Reid, as well as Smith looking to amend his error, resulting in a clash with the alerted keeper as they both combined trying to smother out the threat.
Following on from the sloppy incident, The Minstermen mustered up a few chances themselves. Adriano Moke’s twist and turn managed to outsmart Andrew Hughes and create a gap to unleash a viscous shot straight at the keeper. Darlow was called in to action shortly after; Danny Pilkington’s poor corner was cleared back to him for a second attempt, this time his left footed effort was tipped over the bar, by the retreating keeper at the back post. Matty Blair had just enough time before the half time break to test the keeper again, but Darlow got the better of him, as he palmed his shot over and helped Newport hold on to the lead.
Despite York having more shots on target, they were loosing the ball all too easily and at times looked second best, so before the second half commenced Gary Mills made a double substitution. Jason Walker and Jon Challinor replaced Jamie Reed and Danny Pilkington, using up all of Mill’s options on the bench, as Ashley Chambers replaced Adriano Moke late in the first half.
Jason Walker nearly rewarded Mill’s faith in himself and the rest of the team to pull off a result, when his half volley rebounded off the top right corner of the post. As York plugged at the Newport defence, Walker made no mistake second time round. The striker flicked an accurate pass over the defence to Ashley Chambers, as he sneaked around the back, returning the favour to Walker, now across the box to smash the ball into an unguarded goal and level things up on 59 minutes.
Looking for the full three points, York carried on attacking the opposing goal. Ashley Chambers, again slipped around the back, this time on the reverse side, skipping past David Pipe and threading an intended ball through to Lanre Oyebanjo, which was scrappily dealt with by a Newport defensive duo, firstly deflecting off Andrew Hughes and helped behind the goal by Lee Baker, before Oyebanjo could pounce on the loose ball.
As the second half progressed, York came closer still. Jon Challinor back healed the ball to Oyebanjo, as the full back galloped forward again, drilling a compelling ball across the goal, just past Darlow’s far post. As time was growing gradually against the home side, Patrick McLaughlin teed himself up for one last ditch effort on the 88 minute, a half volley that dipped wide of the right post, never troubling the keeper. Despite City’s best efforts and the four additional minutes, York couldn’t get the winning goal and the game finished all square.
York City are away to eleventh placed Cambridge United in their next Blue Square Premier fixture on Tuesday, an important game in contention with the play-offs, as the season draws nearer to a end, with just three games remaining.