York City was narrowly beaten by table topping Fleetwood in yesterday’s game at Bootham Crescent.
After a tight contest, one goal was enough to separate the two sides. Ex-Minstermen striker Richard Brodie settled the match after putting away his effort in the second half.
City were without Jason Walker, who remained sidelined as well as Chris Smith whom has yet to recover from his illness. The absentees made way for Norwegian Erik Tonne and Eugen Bopp, who made his home debut.
On form Fleetwood went into yesterday’s game two points away from a century, undefeated in their last 26 games and with a healthy 98 league goals to their name already this season. York City ready for the challenge, looked eager to put Tuesday’s dismal performance behind them and claim some points.
Both sides started out evenly matched, as they enjoyed a share of the possession, but it was the visitors that tried their luck first. After a couple of wayward shots over the bar, Jamie Vardy took advantage of James Meredith’s nervy error and whipped in a deadly cross at the back post, but to the relief of Ingham it was safely put out of potential danger by Ben Gibson. York also ventured forward and had a malicious ball played in from Jamie Reed, palmed away out of trouble, by Scott Davies.
The home side were enjoying a string of quick closely knitted passes, but couldn’t effectively move forward and make their build up play count, so it was Fleetwood that came the closest, moments later. Matty Blair was booked for a lunge just outside the area, subsequently Fleetwood were awarded a free-kick in which Lee Fowler struck and the ball deflected off the head of James Meredith and dipped just off Ingham’s cross bar.
York City looked relatively comfortable, but took extra precaution, sometimes retreating all eleven players behind the ball, at frightful stages, to try and cut out the luring Fleetwood attack. Magno Viera looked the most threatening, as he skipped his way into the area, upholding challenges from York to try and find a route forward, but was blocked off at the final hurdle, by City’s resistant defence.
York produced a couple of efforts themselves, before half time in response to Fleetwood’s building pressure. The best from Matty Blair’s cross, which bounced about in the area, before making its way to Ben Gibson, whom took a swipe with his left foot from just outside the box that went a drift of Davies’ right post.
The early stages of the second half witnessed the return of Richard Brodie and as expected received a hostile reception from the crowd, as he replaced another ex-York player, Peter Till.
Despite Fleetwood’s dangerous corner by Alan Goodall, forcing Michael Ingham to spill and Lanre Oyebanjo to clear up by hoofing the ball out, it was the home side that dominated proceedings and looked the most likely to score.
Ashley Chambers delivered a deep ball in the area, which was missed by the outstretched, Patrick McLaughlin to fall kindly to James Meredith, allowing him self to tee up a shot that flew over the bar, at the far post. McLaughlin and Meredith were in the thick of it once again, the Irishman threaded a through ball to Meredith, as he drilled the ball from a similar position he was in minutes earlier. This time it was on target, but Davies did well to get down low and pull off a decent save.
As York looked the most persistent side, they were dealt a cruel and undeserving blow on 72 minutes. Former City man, Richard Brodie all too easily skipped past a couple of challenges to merge in to the box on his favourable left foot and bury the ball in to Ingham’s bottom right corner, to put the seasider’s in front.
City was determined not to let the goal extinguish their hopes, and was almost instantly rewarded with an equaliser. Matty Blair’s deflected shot fell to Adriano Moke inside the box, but he could only direct his attempt wide of the advancing keeper and past the post.
The Minstermen continued pouring forward in pursuit of a goal and towards the approaching full time whistle; York will dwell on two chances that almost looked certain to claim some deserving and honourable points. Meredith’s goal bound header was cleared off the line by Lee Fowler, which was City’s best chance of the game, until Chambers in the 87 minute, retrieved a loose ball in the area to lay off to James Meredith, in turn placed a pin-point ball to Matty Blair for a free glancing header that somehow failed to go in and ricocheted off the inside post and into the arms of the relieved, Scott Davies.
Narrowly missed opportunities summed up York’s afternoon. Despite City’s best efforts, they unluckily came away without any points and were handed their second defeat in a row.