Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Match report: York City 0, Fleetwood 2
THE clocks might have gone back on Saturday night but the hours are now ticking by since York City last scored against Fleetwood Town.
A 2-0 victory for the Cod Army, secured by a goal in each half from Gareth Evans and Jamille Matt, means the Minstermen have now gone five matches without finding the net in contests with Saturday’s visitors to Bootham Crescent.
The defeat also represented a third consecutive home loss for City against the 2012 Conference champions following previous 2-0 and 1-0 reverses which, coupled with 0-0 draws at Highbury between the two clubs, has resulted in more than eight hours of football – longer than an average day’s work for most people – having elapsed since Jamie Reed struck during a 1-0 triumph back in February 2011.
In the quintet of ensuing fixtures, a total of 37 outfield players have failed to make the scoresheet for City and this latest meeting possibly provided the most toothless display yet with only skipper Dan Parslow and substitute Ryan Bowman forcing goalkeeper Scott Davies into saves which could be best described as routine.
Any concerns about such shot-shy statistics, though, should be placed in context with the current disparities between the two clubs’ wage bills.
In the summer, City were outbid handsomely by the coastal club for the services of ex-Southend defender Ryan Cresswell and he underlined why both teams were so keen to secure his services with a commanding display that saw Ryan Jarvis, League Two’s leading marksman prior to kick-off, completely shackled prior to his 68th-minute withdrawal.
On the bench, meanwhile, the likes of former Stevenage skipper Mark Roberts and dangerous winger Junior Brown, not to mention returning City old boys Jon Parkin and Matty Blair, illustrated the advantage that owning the biggest cheque book in this division undeniably presents.
With that in mind, perhaps, City boss Nigel Worthington decided to retain the 4-1-4-1 formation that he had employed to earn a 2-2 draw at long-time leaders Chesterfield in his side’s previous match.
But, with Cresswell and central-defensive partner Nathan Pond proving uncompromising adversaries for Jarvis, the latter was rarely able to hold on to the ball long enough for wing pair Josh Carson and Ryan Brobbel and forward-thinking midfielder Elliott Whitehouse to join in attacks.
Too many stray passes, easily intercepted by the visitors, also blunted the Minstermen’s effectiveness in the final third.
Brobbel did prove a useful outlet on the left flank but it was only when substitutes Ryan Bowman and Wes Fletcher were united for the last 25 minutes that City seemed to carry any threat through the central areas. Earlier, an Ingham free-kick, launched into Fleetwood’s penalty box from inside the home half, was headed tamely at Davies by Parslow in the seventh minute.
Luke O’Neill also drove against the top of the David Longhurst Stand after exchanging passes with Lanre Oyebanjo before Evans’ downward volley bounced up off the turf and was pushed away by Ingham.
It was former Rotherham winger Evans, however, who headed Fleetwood in front on 23 minutes.
He found an unguarded net from three yards after Ingham had kept out Matt’s header from an inswinging left-wing cross by Steven Schumacher.
It was a goal that was greeted by the letting off of flares and a celebratory conga by the exuberant travelling fans.
City, meanwhile, mustered little in response before the interval with Lewis Montrose hoisting a 30-yard attempt out of the stadium and, moments later, David McGurk limped out of the action after executing a perfectly-timed tackle on Antoni Sarcevic.
After the break, Ingham dived low to his right to keep out a firm Evans drive with Parslow then mopping up the danger and Pond also headed over from a Schumacher corner.
On the hour, Ingham gathered a long-range Evans effort after initially fumbling and he also stopped Jeff Hughes’s 15-yard shot at his near post.
It only seemed a matter of time before Graham Alexander’s side doubled their lead but the second goal was still conceded in frustrating fashion by the hosts.
First, O’Neill needlessly conceded a free-kick on the touchline when he barged into Hughes trying too hastily to win possession.
Schumacher’s inswinging free-kick was subsequently allowed to bounce in the home penalty box and carried right through to Ingham, who could only parry the ball tamely towards Matt three yards from goal.
The former Kidderminster striker gleefully went on to smash the ball into the roof of the net.
At the other end, a promising move saw Bowman tee up a chance in the inside right position for Carson but his miscued shot did not even go out for a throw-in, let alone test Davies.
Fletcher also flashed a shot wide of Davies’ near post after Bowman had intelligently stepped over a Brobbel ball into the box.
In stoppage time, Brobbel went on to try his luck with a free-kick that deflected wide for a series of corners won late in the game.
Fleetwood largely dealt with Carson’s dangerous deliveries comfortably but Bowman did get a shot away that was charged down by Davies.
The home fans’ largest cheer of the afternoon, though, was probably reserved for the 92nd-minute introduction of City’s 2012 Wembley hero Blair for the away team.
Within seconds, Matt was denied a seemingly certain penalty when he outmuscled last man Parslow and then appeared to be felled by the City skipper.
A potential red card would have compounded City’s central-defensive problems following McGurk’s injury and confusion over Chris Smith’s availability but referee Kevin Wright surprisingly decided to take no action at all.
York City 0, Fleetwood 2 (Evans 24, Matt 66)
Michael Ingham 7
Only beaten after saving initial efforts although might have palmed out some shots into safer positions.
Lanre Oyebanjo 7
Did little wrong prior to his half-time withdrawal as manager made a tactical switch and preferred O’Neill at right-back.
David McGurk 7
Looked strong before limping off the pitch after winning a typically well-timed tackle.
Daniel Parslow 6
Given a tough time by Matt and, despite showing usual determination, his touch let him down on occasions.
Ben Davies 7
Battled valiantly against a tough opponent in Evans and joined in attacks with Brobbel when appropriate.
Lewis Montrose 7
Used the ball sensibly and reliable in possession even when surrounded by Fleetwood players.
Josh Carson 6
Lacked some of the energy of his recent performances but still a threat from his dead-ball deliveries.
Elliott Whitehouse 6
Struggled to influence the game from the middle of the park despite normal work-rate standards.
Luke O’Neill 6
Looked uncomfortable in midfield and responsible for the free-kick that led to Fleetwood’s second goal.
Ryan Brobbel 8
STAR MAN – always willing to carry the ball at his right-back and unsettled Fleetwood with his positive runs.
Ryan Jarvis 6
Endured a frustrating afternoon and comfortably contained by the visitors’ competitive back-line.
Subs: Tom Allan 6 – steady (for McGurk, 38), Wes Fletcher 7 – eager (for Oyebanjo, 46), Ryan Bowman 7 – threatening (for Jarvis, 68). Subs not used: Chris Kettings, Richard Cresswell, Tom Platt, Sander Puri.
Scott Davies, Liam Hogan (Conor McLaughlin, 78), Nathan Pond, Ryan Cresswell, Charlie Taylor, Jeff Hughes, Steven Schumacher (Junior Brown, 86), Stewart Murdoch, Antoni Sarcevic (Matty Blair, 90), Gareth Evans, Jamille Matt. Subs not used: Mark Roberts, Jon Parkin, David Ball, David Lucas. Star man: Cresswell – showed why he was wanted by City in the summer.
Referee: Kevin Wright (Peterborough).
Rating: 6/10 – generally on top of things but odd aberration, most notably the failure to award Fleetwood a penalty.
Booked: Taylor 45, Sarcevic 72.
Attendance: 3,523 (312 from Fleetwood).
Shots on target: City 2, Fleetwood 9.
Shots off target: City 7, Fleetwood 2.
Corners: City 9, Fleetwood 4.
Fouls conceded: City 16, Fleetwood 15.
Offsides: City 0, Fleetwood 2.
Comments are closed on this article.