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Match report: Accrington Stanley 0, York City 1
YORK City left it late but extended their club record run of scoring in consecutive away matches to a 25th game with Jason Walker’s 83rd-minute match-winning strike.
Walker’s fourth goal of the season means the Minstermen have still not been kept off the scoresheet on their travels since a 0-0 draw at Telford last December and last night’s 1-0 win was fully deserved.
Equally merited was home ’keeper Ian Dunbavin’s man-of-the-match award with the former Shrewsbury shot-stopper responsible for keeping his team in the game until the latter stages with a string of fine saves.
The Minstermen kept faith with the same starting line up and substitutes from Saturday’s 3-2 home victory over Dagenham & Redbridge, while Accrington recalled former on-loan City midfielder Will Hatfield to their first XI.
The opening stages were played at a frenetic pace but the quality was compromised with chances at a premium.
In the first minute, Michael Coulson’s header from a long Michael Ingham free-kick was comfortably gathered by Dunbavin.
At the other end, Clarke Carlisle made a timely interception in his own six-yard box to clear Padraig Amond’s dangerous low cross and Ingham was forced to punch clear another threatening delivery from the opposite flank by Lee Molyneux.
Hatfield also fired wide from 15 yards after Jamal Fyfield’s headed clearance from Dean Winnard’s log throw had fallen to his feet.
For City, Matty Blair drove wide from the edge of the box following Ashley Chambers’ lay off and Carlisle saw a close-range scrambled and deflected effort from Danny Kearns’ corner grabbed by Dunbavin before it crossed the goal line.
On 32 minutes, Amond rose unchallenged to head off target from eight yards and, moments later, Ingham made his first save of the night with Hatfield’s ambitious overhead kick lacking the power to trouble his former Bootham Crescent team-mate.
Blair then called Dunbavin into a decent save from his firmly-struck, twice-deflected 20-yard drive and Carlisle headed over from a Chambers cross despite Stanley supporters screaming for the visitors to kick the ball out of play with right-back Winnard laid out in the penalty box.
City finished the half strongly and, in the second minute of stoppage time, Walker expertly created a shooting opportunity for himself by lifting the ball over Rob Atkinson’s head.
Dunbavin then took the sting out of his angled shot and Winnard swept up to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
There was also still time before the interval for Chambers to blast a 20-yard effort out of the ground.
A slow start to the second period saw Chambers have the first shot on 58 minutes but his goalbound strike, following a quick burst forward by Blair, was blocked by Atkinson.
Just past the hour, home midfielder George Miller fired wide from 25 yards and Amond also volleyed over from a left-wing Michael Liddle cross.
But Danny Kearns spurned a 15-yard opportunity to break the deadlock moments later, dragging wide after Carlisle’s lay off.
The visitors then lost Coulson after he was stretchered off on 78 minutes with Paddy McLaughlin hailed from the bench.
Shortly afterwards, Miller slid in at the far post to meet Molyneux’s free-kick but could only find the sidenetting.
But it was Walker who made the breakthrough on 83 minutes following a lightning break by Chambers down the left flank.
Kearns then tried to tiptoe his way through a crowded penalty box before being stopped in his tracks, but Walker pounced on the loose ball to lift it over an advancing Dunbavin from eight yards in front of a delirious away end.
The visitors responded with an Amond effort wide of Ingham’s near post but Dunbavin had to make a smart save with his feet to deny Chambers after he had sprinted on to a McLaughlin through ball.
Accrington Stanley 0, York City 1 (Walker 83)
York City: Michael Ingham 7, Dan Parslow 7, Chris Smith 8, Clarke Carlisle 8, Jamal Fyfield 7, Scott Kerr 7, Danny Kearns 8, Matty Blair 8, Michael Coulson 6, Jason Walker 8, Ashley Chambers 8.
Substitutes: Paddy McLaughlin (for Coulson, 78), Jonathan Smith (for Kearns, 90), Jon Challinor (for Kerr, 90). Not used: Musselwhite, Blanchett, McGurk, Reed.
Star man: Chris Smith – never missed a tackle or a header all night.
Accrington Stanley: Ian Dunbavin, Dean Winnard (Aristote Nsiala, 90), Rob Atkinson, Peter Murphy, Michael Liddle (Aiden Chippendale, 87), Luke Joyce, George Miller, Will Hatfield (Jack Sampson, 87), Rommy Boco, Lee Molyneux, Padraig Amond.
Subs (not used): Andrew Dawber, Bohan Dixon, Matty Whichelow, Piero Mingoia.
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).
Referee rating: 7/10.
Booked: Parslow 5, Miller 71.
Sent off: None.
Attendance: 1,506 (378 away fans).
Shots on target: Stanley 1, City 7.
Shots off target: Stanley 6, City 3.
Corners: Stanley 1, City 6.
Fouls conceded: Stanley 15, City 13.
Offsides: Stanley 1, City 2.