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Match report: York City 1, Mansfield Town 2
CHALK and cheese, but the result remained the same for York City.
If the Minstermen got what they deserved from their insipid display against AFC Wimbledon a week ago, they didn’t receive their just deserts in a far improved display against Mansfield.
Ollie Palmer’s deflected goal on 76 minutes, cannoning off a leg from a Sam Clucas shot and into Michael Ingham’s left-hand corner, meant Nigel Worthington’s men slipped into the Sky Bet League Two bottom two.
But if his side continue to show the same threat and commitment as they did against the Stags for long periods, and particularly during the first half, then it is surely only a matter of time before they start to rise up the table.
Worthington couldn’t be pressed in midweek when asked if he would make changes following the dreadful defeat to the Dons but he took an axe to that dysfunctional side.
Out went skipper Chris Smith, Daniel Parslow not only coming into the centre-half position but taking the armband with him. Tom Platt, George Taft, Craig Clay and Ashley Chambers also found themselves on the sidelines.
Neither Parslow, the returning David McGurk, nor goalkeeper Michael Ingham, were at fault for either Mansfield goals – the first of which came midway through the first half with a Clucas penalty after Lanre Oyebanjo carelessly brought down James Jennings.
Even if the result did not go City’s way, though, there were still positives to take from the performance and none more so than the home side’s start.
Worthington had demanded a response and York provided it by getting on the scoresheet with less than a minute on the clock.
Lewis Montrose’s quick tap from a free-kick set Oyebanjo away and his shot was controlled by Wes Fletcher just inside the area.
The forward cushioned the ball and laid it left to Ryan Jarvis, who dispatched a first time, curling shot towards goal.
It smacked off a post but Brobbel was on the spot to head home from six yards and give the much-altered Minstermen the lead.
The Stags could have hit back soon after – a flowing move down the right ending with Ben Hutchinson floating a wonderful cross to the far post, where Calvin Andrew should have done better than head straight at Ingham.
At the other end, Ben Davies found enough space to fire a strike from just outside the area and Andy Marriott, in the Mansfield net, was grateful to grab it at the second time of asking.
The young defender then teed up Montrose, whose shot was deflected behind, before, on 21 minutes, Oyebanjo had his moment of madness.
Second best in an initial challenge with Clucas, he rose only to bring down Jennings and referee Jeremy Simpson pointed straight at the spot. Clucas fired the penalty high into Ingham’s goal.
It took the Minstermen a while to get over that disappointment and Ingham produced a smart, stretching save to keep out Clucas’ shot from the left side of the area.
Regaining their composure, though, both McGurk and Parslow had headers blocked from corners and Whitehouse shot wide with a number of his team-mates queuing up to have a crack.
Hutchinson’s looping header was easily dealt with by Ingham, meanwhile, and, when Montrose’s shot from an acute angle was blocked and John Dempster was sprawling in a bid to clear a dangerous Davies cross from the bye-line, it was York who looked the more dangerous at the break.
But Mansfield boss Paul Cox brought on Lindon Meikle and Palmer and each were a thorn in City’s side, the former threatening on 68 minutes after Oyebanjo lost the ball in an attacking position.
Meikle swept forward on the counter and laid the ball on a plate for Clucas, only for Ingham to parry his shot away.
The visitors took the lead seven minutes later, though.
Meikle found Clucas in the centre of the pitch, unmarked about 20 yards out, and the forward let fly – watching his shot clip Palmer and move away from Ingham’s despairing hand and into the net.
York worked hard to try to fight their way back and Josh Carson, in particular, was willing to take on defenders and get a shot away.
City’s task was complicated when Richard Cresswell, back from an eye injury and only on the pitch for five minutes, tangled with Martin Riley in the box with 11 minutes remaining. Both were shown red cards.
George Taft came on and made a nuisance of himself but, in stoppage time, it was Carson who had the final chance to grab City a share of the spoils.
After cutting in from the right and making some room, he fired narrowly wide of the right-hand post with Marriott scrambling to cover the shot.
York City 1 (Brobbel 1), Mansfield Town 2 (Clucas 21 pen, Palmer 76)
Michael Ingham 7
Made several smart saves and could do nothing about either goal.
Lanre Oyebanjo 6
Naive to give away the penalty but a threat going forward.
Daniel Parslow 7
Assumed the armband and gave a composed and efficient performance.
David McGurk 7
A little rusty in the early stages following his return from injury but soon into stride.
Ben Davies 6
Some nervy clearances and caught in possession on a couple of occasions but delivered some penetrative set-pieces.
Ryan Brobbel 7
In the right place for the goal and particularly strong during the first half down the flank.
Lewis Montrose 8
STAR MAN – strong defensively and an impressive link-man as the Minstermen went forward.
Elliott Whitehouse 7
An energetic debut from the Sheffield United youngster who was never afraid to get stuck in to the action.
Sander Puri 6
Quiet early on but grew into the game and complemented Brobbel on the other wing as City looked to attack the full-backs.
Wes Fletcher 7
Involved in the build-up for the first goal and a threat to the Mansfield defence until his substitution.
Ryan Jarvis 7
Unlucky not to score the opener and put his head in where it hurt.
Subs: Josh Carson 7 – lively (for Puri, 62), Richard Cresswell (for Fletcher, 74), George Taft (for Brobbel, 82). Not used: Chris Kettings, Chris Smith, Ashley Chambers, Tom Platt.
Alan Marriott, Lee Beevers, Ritchie Sutton, John Dempster, Martin Riley, James Jennings (Ollie Palmer, 46), Chris Clements (Anthony Howell, 43), Jamie McGuire, Ben Hutchinson (Lindon Meikle, 46), Sam Clucas, Calvin Andrew. Subs not used: Lee Stevenson, Jake Speight, Colin Daniel, Liam Mitchell. Star man: Clucas – always a threat.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Carnforth).
Rating: 3/10 – utterly inconsistent, successive decisions became ever more of a mystery.
Booked: Montrose 12, Jarvis 22, Dempster 34, Andrew 60, Maguire 64, Oyebanjo 69.
Sent off: Cresswell, Riley, 79.
Attendance: 3,513 (897 away supporters).
Shots on target: City 6, Stags 4.
Shots off target: City 5, Stags 2.
Corners: City 9, Stags 7.
Fouls conceded: City 11, Stags 13.
Offsides: City 0, Stags 1.
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