Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Town out but certainly not down after York defeat


TOWN crashed out of the North Riding Senior Cup at York on Tuesday evening but there was certainly no disgrace in the performance against a side who fielded 9 full time professionals.

This trip south was a welcome break from the rigours of the Ebac Northern League Division Two promotion race but it was a match manager Mark Fanning desperately wanted to win.

His starting XI showed two changes from the weekend's disappointing defeat at Brandon. Goalkeeper James Briggs returned from injury in place of Steve Craggs, while Marcus Laing came in for Jon Burton in midfield.

Meanwhile leading scorer Adam Emson, absent for the previous two matches, was back on the bench alongside Stu Dunn, Alex Caisley, Burton and goalkeeper Dean Hudson.

Despite being up against such an accomplished side, Town started well and for half an hour they gave as good as they got. Carl Chillingsworth might even had given them the boost of an early goal when he looked to have got on the end of a Gav Parkin corner, but defender Tom Allan just nicked the ball off his head at the crucial moment.
Pete Bulmer (right), takes on the York defence.
But it was the hosts who made the breakthrough after 34 minutes, although it was a goal gifted to them rather than one they created for themselves. Steve Banks' back-pass seemed to catch Briggs by surprise and he slipped under pressure from John McGready, leaving the former Darlington man with a simple tap in.

And it was 2-0 just before the break. Reece Kelly looked to be in an offside position when he ran onto Jamie Reed's through ball but the linesman kept his flag down and the speedy winger coolly slotted past Briggs from 18 yards.

With nothing to lose, Town came out for the second half looking to get more support to loan striker Chillingsworth and they should have found a way back into the tie five minutes after the restart. Hickman did well to head a Parkin free kick back across the goal but James Bowman put his header wide from 6 yards.

Undeterred, Town continued to take the game to their more illustrious opponents and Pete Bulmer saw an effort scrambled off the line by the impressive Allan following another set-piece delivery from Parkin.
Town manager Mark Fanning, right, looks on with pride as his side take on a strong York City side
Fanning introduced Emson for Bowman just past the hour-mark and the substitute almost made an immediate impression. Shrugging off the attention of York full back Ben Weir, Emson ran on before smashing the ball past experienced goalkeeper Paul Mussellwhite, but referee Iain Turner had already blown for a foul against the Town man.

And the brave stand was over five minutes later. Kelly, who had been lively down the left all evening, whipped in another dangerous cross and Laure Oyebanjo turned the ball into the path of McGready who stabbed home his second from close range.

Jon Challinor then brought the best out of Briggs after a thrilling solo run, before the same man then struck the inside of the post with a fierce drive from 20 yards, but 4-0 would have been harsh on a Town side who should take great pride from their performance.

"We were outstanding for the opening half an hour," said Fanning. "We knew that the longer we kept it at 0-0 the more frustrated they would get.

"It was disappointing to concede the opening goal in the manner in which we did, but I was delighted with how we responded.

"We worked hard and kept our shape against a very good side. The important thing now is to take this performance into Saturday."

Veteran striker Chillingsworth said: "It was a tough match, but you do not get the opportunity to play in a stadium like this very often so we were determined to enjoy it.

Carl Chillingsworth, left, battles for possession at Bootham Crescent last night
"Overall we gave a good account of ourselves but they were a very good side and deserved to win."

Town will come back down to Earth with a trip to the rather more modest setting of Esh Winning on Saturday before entertaining Whickham in the Brooks Mileson League Cup next Wednesday evening.

YORK CITY - Mussellwhite, Oyebanjo, Outerbridge, Bullock, Platt, Allan, McGready, Banks, Challinor, Reed, Kelly. Subs - Middleton(D), Archer, Weir, Moncur, Middleton(B).

TOWN - Briggs, Alderson, Banks, Shoulder, Hickman, Parkin, Smurthwaite, Laing, Bowman, Chillinsworth, Bulmer. Subs - Dunn, Hudson, Caisley, Burton, Emson.

REFEREE: I. Turner.


*pictures courtesy of Paul Gaythorpe at Pik4images. No unauthorised use allowed.

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