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Gary Mills laments loss of York City strike ace Ashley Chambers
YORK City manager Gary Mills admitted his team were missing crocked striker Ashley Chambers following Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Aldershot.
The Minstermen have now failed to score in three of the six matches Chambers has sat out since suffering a stomach injury during the 4-1 home victory over Bristol Rovers in which he bagged a brace.
Two of the other games, meanwhile, have seen City score only once and, with the eight-goal joint-top scorer likely to be ruled out for another month, Mills will continue his search for attacking reinforcements this week.
The Bootham Crescent chief said: “It would be nice to get Ash back because we are missing him. He’s a big player for us and we lost him at a time when he was doing well.
“We are lacking wide strikers and that has affected us over the last few weeks. We’re missing Ash and Michael Coulson, and Oli Johnson hasn’t played a lot either.
“Alex Rodman also went down a couple of weeks ago and wasn’t available against Aldershot so we’re missing important players but still picking up points. I’m still trying to strengthen in that area and looking at a couple of options so, hopefully, we can do something.”
Mills described the Aldershot match as a “horrible” spectacle but praised his side for emerging from it with another point, following last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Cheltenham.
He added: “When it’s a horrible game, you have to make sure you don’t lose. We’ve said that a couple of times this season after we’ve ended up with nothing but we got ourselves a point.
“We needed a bit more quality on the ball and were a bit direct at times, which made it easy for their back four. But they made it hard by pressing us high and not giving us the opportunity to play from the back as much as we like to do.
“If you keep a clean sheet, though, the worst you get is a draw so it’s another valuable point and we have to keep picking them up.
“They were the division’s form team and you can’t be naive enough to think that you can just turn up and win.
“I feel both teams would agree a draw was a fair result. The last two matches haven’t been classics, but we’ve rolled our sleeves up and got a point out of both of them.
“We’re not easy to beat and kept our discipline and shape (against Aldershot). I know the crowd were getting frustrated, but you can’t allow that to get to you as professional footballers. You have to stick to your jobs.”
Mills also gave new striker Ben Everson his Football League debut as a 71st-minute substitute following his move from the Icelandic premier division.
On the 25-year-old forward’s first outing, Mills added: “He’s a good player and had a couple of good touches.
“He maybe had a good chance at the near post as well, but I could not really tell from where I was.”
Mills went on to praise the fans who volunteered to help ensure Saturday’s game went ahead despite the freezing weather.
Snow was cleared off the covers that were protecting the playing surface, as well as off the terraces, while a snow plough and gritter were donated by St Peter’s School to make the car park safe.
“The pitch was excellent and the only problem was the bit the linesman runs up and down,” Mills said. “I’d like to thank everybody who came down and helped myself and Des (Lyttle).
“Their efforts were appreciated and we’ve done really well to get a game on. Sometimes it’s all too easy to call a game off, but everybody got through a lot of hard work to make sure it went ahead.”
City are now hoping the playing surface will be capable of staging a reserve team friendly against Scunthorpe tomorrow afternoon.
Fit-again Johnson is expected to feature in the match.
Only two other games beat the big freeze in League Two.
Northampton took advantage of the inaction of other teams around them to climb into the play-off places with a 1-0 victory over Burton Albion.
Adebayo Akinfenwa headed the only goal of the game in the 69th minute to move the Cobblers to within three points of the automatic promotion places.
Wycombe continued their good form under player-manager Gareth Ainsworth and are up to 16th after a 1-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge at Adams Park, Sam Wood netting in the 32nd minute.