Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Match report: Bury 2, York City 1 - Sky Bet League Two
NOT since 1923 have York City finished a calendar year on such a long run without a victory.
A 2-1 defeat at fellow Sky Bet League Two strugglers Bury meant Nigel Worthington’s men signed off for 2013 having failed to win for an 11th consecutive match.
That represents the poorest finale to a year since the club’s Midland League days when the likes of Castleford Town, Mexborough and Grimsby Town reserves were providing the opposition and the old Wembley stadium had just staged its first FA Cup final.
Solace has previously been taken from the number of draws included in the current sequence but Bury, who started yesterday’s game second bottom, provided firm evidence that every team in this division is capable of picking up victories, including those that will find themselves embroiled in a relegation dogfight during the coming months.
In on-loan pair Danny Nardiello and Anton Forrester, the hosts boasted strikers that caused David McGurk and Keith Lowe more problems than any other duo have done since the two centre-backs were pitched together at the heart of City’s defence.
Shakers substitute Ashley Grimes also gave the hosts a creative spark in the middle of the park that has been missing from the Minstermen’s play in recent times.
The attacking contributions of City’s first-choice midfield pairing Elliott Whitehouse (no goals, no assists) and Lewis Montrose (one goal, one assist) during the first half of the current campaign is certainly cause for concern.
With Josh Carson suffering an off day, it was mainly left to Lanre Oyebanjo – a right-back pushed into wing duty – to provide an attacking outlet for the visitors, as well as support for service-starved front men Wes Fletcher and Ryan Bowman.
Michael Coulson did add a little positivity following his half-time introduction and ended his personal 15-month wait for a goal.
But that proved insufficient as the visitors tried to recover from an abject first-half performance in which a goal was conceded after only 38 seconds before on-loan Wolves ’keeper Aaron McCarey made an awful mistake to gift Bury a second.
Nardiello ghosted around the back of McGurk in the very first minute before delivering a low cross that saw Forrester find the net from three yards.
The visitors could have responded almost immediately but Carson miscued wide from eight yards and, following a hopeful long-distance Whitehouse effort, David Flitcroft’s men doubled their lead on 18 minutes.
There seemed to be little danger when McCarey fell on to a powder-puff header from Nardiello following Chris Sedgwick’s right-wing cross but the Republic of Ireland under-21 international somehow allowed the ball to slip out of his grasp, leaving centre-back Nathan Cameron with the formality of finding an empty net from two yards.
Montrose then drilled over from 25 yards for City but the visitors should have fallen further behind on 27 minutes when Nardiello missed the target from seven yards after Forrester had raided through the right channel.
After Carson blazed wildly over from a 30-yard free-kick, Danny Mayor then shot wide after running at a back-pedalling Lowe before Oyebanjo called Brian Jensen into his first save of the afternoon on 39 minutes and then went on to find the sidenetting from an unfavourable angle.
Seven minutes into the second half, Richard Hinds headed narrowly wide from a Mayor cross.
Coulson’s firm shot, after Fletcher attacked the byline, was then directed straight down Jensen’s throat while Forrester was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Luke O’Neill before also finding the sidenetting and firing over.
On 70 minutes, a purposeful run by Oyebanjo ended when the former Histon full-back crashed over in the penalty box following a clumsy lunge by Dean Howell but referee Scott Mathieson punished the City player for simulation when most observers expected him to point to the spot.
Within three minutes, Coulson had reduced the deficit, however, staying alert to squeeze a shot inside Jensen’s right-hand upright after fellow substitute Ryan Jarvis’ mishit following good work by Fletcher.
City could not, however, force the equaliser that would have secured a club record-equalling sixth successive draw with O’Neill’s stoppage-time corner that failed to clear the first man, after McCarey had been sent forward, summing up the visitors’ afternoon.
Instead, it was the home side that came closest to another goal with Shaun Harrad prodding wide after Grimes’ through ball had caught out a flat-footed Lowe.
Bury 2 (Forrester 1; Cameron 19), York City 1 (Coulson 73)
Aaron McCarey 5
Made an elementary mistake for Bury’s second goal that proved crucial to the final outcome.
Luke O’Neill 6
Dived into the odd challenge but provided the best crosses on a day when too many final balls were disappointing.
Keith Lowe 5
Unsettled by the lively Bury frontmen and given his uneasiest afternoon in a City shirt.
David McGurk 5
Given some problems by the movement of dangerous pair Nardiello and Forrester.
Ben Davies 6
Stuck to his task although will be disappointed that both goals emanated from raids down City’s left.
Lanre Oyebanjo 7
STAR MAN – not a natural on the right wing but tried to carry the game to the opposition at every opportunity.
Lewis Montrose 5
Cautioned for a reckless challenge and withdrawn at half-time due to potential likelihood of a second yellow card.
Elliott Whitehouse 6
Struggled to offer attacking inspiration from midfield in the first half but anchored sensibly in the second.
Josh Carson 5
Nothing came off for him either in general play or from the dead-ball situations he usually excels in.
Ryan Bowman 5
Largely forced to feed off scraps but game passed him by prior to being substituted midway through second period.
Wes Fletcher 7
Did not give up and gave home defence cause for concern with his persistence.
Subs: Michael Coulson 7 – positive (for Carson, 46), Tom Platt 6 – busy (for Montrose, 46), Ryan Jarvis 6 – strong (for Bowman, 67). Not used: Chambers, Puri, Fyfield, Ingham.
Brian Jensen, Richard Hinds, Nathan Cameron, Dean Howell, Chris Sedgwick, Andy Procter, Tommy Miller, Danny Mayor (Ashley Grimes, 55), Gareth Roberts (Scott Harrison, 74), Danny Nardiello, Anton Forrester (Shaun Harrad, 87). Subs not used: Euan Holden, Reice Charles-Cook, Regan Walker.
Star man: Nardiello – always looked a threat with ball at his feet.
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire).
Rating: 6/10 – cautions mostly right although, if Oyebanjo one was a mistake, it was a costly one for City.
Booked: Montrose 20, Miller 36, Whitehouse 43, Oyebanjo 70, O’Neill 78, Platt 82.
Sent off: None.
Attendance: 3,706 (925 from City).
Shots on target: Bury 3, City 4.
Shots off target: Bury 8, City 7.
Corners: Bury 3, City 3.
Fouls conceded: Bury 11, City 19.
Offsides: Bury 4, City 1.
Comments are closed on this article.