York City make it six wins in a row with Torquay triumph in Sky Bet League Two
YORK City have now won six successive games at Football League level for the first time in 30 years.
Not since Denis Smith’s 1983/84 record breakers have the Minstermen enjoyed such a sequence of victories, outside of the Conference era, with Will Hayhurst’s deflected tenth-minute strike proving enough to defeat bottom-of-the-table Torquay.
It also helped consolidate the Minstermen’s place in the Sky Bet League Two play-off places with seven games of the season left.
With Josh Carson and Wes Fletcher both crocked, Ryan Jarvis was recalled for his first start since New Year’s Day and new striker Calvin Andrew was named on the bench.
Torquay created the earliest opportunities with right-winger Niall Thompson drilling a deflected effort into the sidenetting from an acute angle and Krystian Pearce heading over from an inswinging Kevin Nicholson free kick.
But the bottom-of-the-table visitors fell behind in unfortunate circumstances following City’s first attempt of the night.
From Lanre Oyebanjo’s throw-in, Hayhurst drove for goal from 20 yards and the ball deflected into a helpless Martin Rice’s bottom left-hand corner after centre-back Aaron Downes had stretched out a leg.
Moments later, Adam Reed fired narrowly over from the edge of the box after a positive right-wing raid by Oyebanjo and Ryan Bowman dragged a chance wide from a similar distance after strong play by Michael Coulson.
Keith Lowe also stabbed wide at the far post following a corner by Hayhurst, who went on to have a curling shot from distance caught by Rice.
At the other end, Ben Harding rose highest at the near post to meet a Billy Bodin flag kick but comfortably cleared the crossbar.
Towering striker Enoch Showunmi went much closer, though, on 38 minutes, heading inches over from another Bodin corner and Nick Pope was then called on to make a fine save low down to his right to keep out Lee Mansell’s free kick after Reed had fouled Elliott Benyon just outside the penalty box.
City were back in the ascendancy at the start of the second half with Coulson shooting wide of Rice’s near post following a Davies throw-in.
Coulson and Jarvis also combined to send Reed clear through the left channel but his rising drive was kept out at the near post by Rice.
Shortly afterwards, Penn headed off target from Reed’s corner before Hayhurst shot wastefully over with his weaker right foot after finding himself with only Rice to beat following a Nicholson error.
Just before the hour, Hayhurst shot wide with a 15-yard half-volley and Oyebanjo drove narrowly over with his left foot after a strong diagonal run to the edge of the box.
Torquay refused to surrender, however, with a firm 25-yard drive by Bodin well gathered by Pope, who was also equal to a curling Nicholson free kick.
The on-loan Charlton keeper later needed to be alert to palm over an Anthony O’Connor striker before catching Downes’ header from a Bodin free kick.
Torquay’s last chance then saw Bodin volley wide from the edge of the box in the third minute of stoppage time before the final whistle was greeted with rapturous applause from a relieved home crowd.
York City 1 (Hayhurst 10), Torquay 0
Nick Pope 8
Lanre Oyebanjo (Star man) 8
Keith Lowe 7
John McCombe 7
Ben Davies 8
Ryan Jarvis 7
Russell Penn 8
Adam Reed 8
Will Hayhurst 7
Michael Coulson 7
Ryan Bowman 7
Subs: Calvin Andrew for Jarvis 80, Tom Platt for Hayhurst 90. Subs not used: David McGurk, Lewis Montrose, Michael Ingham, Chris Dickinson, Sander Puri.
Martin Rice, Anthony O’Connor, Krystian Pearce, Aaron Downes, Kevin Nicholson, Niall Thompson, Lee Mansell, Ben Harding, Billy Bodin, Enoch Showumni (Jayden Stockley 70), Elliot Benyon (Ashley Yeoman 65). Subs not used: Michael Poke, Dale Tonge, Damon Lathrope, Karl Hawley, Nathan Craig.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tynemouth).
Booked: Downes 19, Davies 62. Sent off: None.
Attendance: 3,416 (119 Gulls fans).
Shots on target: City 3, Gulls 5.
Shots off target: City 9, Gulls 6.
Corners: City 5, Gulls 9.
Fouls conceded: City 8, Gulls 11.
Offsides: City 1, Gulls 1.
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