York City trail at half-way stage of League Two play-off semi-final after 1-0 home defeat by Fleetwood Town

York City's Ryan Brobbel, Adam Reed and Calvin Andrew rue a missed chance against Fleetwood

Fleetwood goalscorer Matty Blair tangles with York City's Calvin Andrew

York City striker Calvin Andrew is thwarted by the Fleetwood defence

York City winger Will Hayhurst gets a cross into the Fleetwood box

York City skipper Russell Penn gets into the box against Fleetwood Town

York City striker Michael Coulson gives his Fleetwood Town marker the slip

First published in Sport
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

MATTY BLAIR’S early second half goal means York City must overturn a 1-0 deficit in Friday night’s Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final second leg at Fleetwood Town.

So many times the hero for the Minstermen, and the man who fired them into the Football League at Wembley two years ago, Blair bundled home at the far post from David Balls’s delivery in the 50th minute to give the Cod Army the advantage at the half-way point of the two-legged contest.

City boss Nigel Worthington fielded the same 11 that would have started Saturday’s postponed encounter but, despite playing with two wingers in Ryan Brobbel and Will Hayhurst, York retained a compact shape in a cagey opening.

It was tight and the first shot didn’t arrive until the quarter-hour mark – Calvin Andrew was found 12 yards out by a skewed Brobbel cross from the right. His side-footed effort was blocked.

Fleetwood grew into the game as the half wore on and Nick Pope had to be alert twice, the first occasion on 17 minutes when Sarcevic let fly from 25 yards.

Pope parried the effort behind at his near post.

Lanre Oyebanjo skied an effort on 25 minutes after embarking on a mazy run inside from the right but the best chance of a rather uneventful first period came ten minutes before the break.

David Ball’s shot from the left side of the box wasn’t going goalwards before it flicked off Minstermen centre-back John McCombe and diverted towards the net but, fortunately, it fell straight into Pope’s hands.

City were behind, though, within five minutes of the restart.

Just after Michael Coulson drilled a shot just wide of Chris Maxwell’s far-post after cutting in from the left, at the other end Sarcevic found Ball on the far side of the box.

He was held up, but flashed a ball across goal for the waiting Blair, who scored at the far post.

Fleetwood nearly doubled their advantage just two minutes later when Iain Hume played a slide-through ball to Ball. He couldn’t find the target as Pope surged out to narrow the angle.

Blair fired another shot wide just after the hour mark, after surging down the right, and that seemed to wake City up.

Ryan Bowman came on for Brobbel and he almost levelled the scores but his poorly connected shot, from Coulson’s cross, was saved by Maxwell.

Reed and Coulson both spurned opportunities but perhaps the biggest chance in the latter stages came for Fleetwood when, after Coulson slipped, Ball played in Hume, only for the Fleetwood player to shoot wide of the far post with only Pope to beat.

Comments (10)

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10:21pm Mon 12 May 14

Realistic ycfc says...

I jut hope city through everything at it on Friday, fleetwood are a tidy outfit that knock the ball about, not convinced they have much up top, thought blair and Hulme in particular looked poor, we had next to nothing up front and they have a decent back 4, I still don't think we put them under enough pressure when we got into their final 3rd, hayhurst final delivery was poor, would like to see bowman start on Friday and get Calvin to stop drifting wide, banjo was outstanding and penn also stood out for me in first half, still got to remember where we were 4 months ago and this is just a massive bonus, even if we do fall short this year, we have the basis of a very good squad and with a few additions next season I can't see why we wouldn't be challenging at the top, would be nice to beat this plastic club though, it's clubs like fleetwood that are killing the game , would rather follow a club that have players playing for the shirt rather than the thousands a week some of theirs are earning
I jut hope city through everything at it on Friday, fleetwood are a tidy outfit that knock the ball about, not convinced they have much up top, thought blair and Hulme in particular looked poor, we had next to nothing up front and they have a decent back 4, I still don't think we put them under enough pressure when we got into their final 3rd, hayhurst final delivery was poor, would like to see bowman start on Friday and get Calvin to stop drifting wide, banjo was outstanding and penn also stood out for me in first half, still got to remember where we were 4 months ago and this is just a massive bonus, even if we do fall short this year, we have the basis of a very good squad and with a few additions next season I can't see why we wouldn't be challenging at the top, would be nice to beat this plastic club though, it's clubs like fleetwood that are killing the game , would rather follow a club that have players playing for the shirt rather than the thousands a week some of theirs are earning Realistic ycfc
  • Score: 18

10:37pm Mon 12 May 14

himsworthsleftfoot says...

Definitely still all to play for - despite the limitations of our style of football we carved out some chances in the second half and a one goal deficit is nothing. Agree that Banjo was our stand out player. Can't wait for Friday!!
Definitely still all to play for - despite the limitations of our style of football we carved out some chances in the second half and a one goal deficit is nothing. Agree that Banjo was our stand out player. Can't wait for Friday!! himsworthsleftfoot
  • Score: 12

10:47pm Mon 12 May 14

wormfromearth says...

Fleetwood were the better side over 90mins aside from the short spell once we'd woken up a bit after conceding. We were a bit one dimensional tonight with the long balls, would rather have seen Montrose in the middle to try and break things up a bit to let Penn to help the forwards once Andrew has won the long ball (which he WILL!) if that's how we're going to set ourselves up to play.

Only 1-0 (my heart was in my mouth when they were in one on one late on) and still very much to play for. Let's take the game to Fleetwood on Friday and repeat the upset we gave them earlier in the season! COYR
Fleetwood were the better side over 90mins aside from the short spell once we'd woken up a bit after conceding. We were a bit one dimensional tonight with the long balls, would rather have seen Montrose in the middle to try and break things up a bit to let Penn to help the forwards once Andrew has won the long ball (which he WILL!) if that's how we're going to set ourselves up to play. Only 1-0 (my heart was in my mouth when they were in one on one late on) and still very much to play for. Let's take the game to Fleetwood on Friday and repeat the upset we gave them earlier in the season! COYR wormfromearth
  • Score: 6

11:03pm Mon 12 May 14

it must be Gary Ford says...

IMO we were the second best team tonight, however, we need to take everything in context. When we lost to Chesterfield we could have conceded a dozen goals and we created nothing, three months later we met another superior side and were not too far from nicking a draw. One thing Nigel has shown us in the last 14 months is that he is a very quick learner and I suspect that we'll see a far better performance Friday when we will pose many more questions of Fleetwood for 90 (and maybe even 120) minutes than tonight.. I'm not sure we'll do it but if we don't concede in the first 45 minutes and show the same commitment as we did tonight anything could be possible.

On an entirely different issue how can FTFC be nicknamed "Cod Army" when they have such a paltry support? There could be tumbleweed at one of end Wembley if they get through!
IMO we were the second best team tonight, however, we need to take everything in context. When we lost to Chesterfield we could have conceded a dozen goals and we created nothing, three months later we met another superior side and were not too far from nicking a draw. One thing Nigel has shown us in the last 14 months is that he is a very quick learner and I suspect that we'll see a far better performance Friday when we will pose many more questions of Fleetwood for 90 (and maybe even 120) minutes than tonight.. I'm not sure we'll do it but if we don't concede in the first 45 minutes and show the same commitment as we did tonight anything could be possible. On an entirely different issue how can FTFC be nicknamed "Cod Army" when they have such a paltry support? There could be tumbleweed at one of end Wembley if they get through! it must be Gary Ford
  • Score: 13

11:06pm Mon 12 May 14

dadster says...

No complaints about the result. Fleetwood were the better side and deserved to win. Not too disappointed with the result as we are still in the tie and have all to play for. I was more disappointed with the performance as we simply didn't do anything for the first 45 mins and we seemed to show Fleetwood far too much respect. If we play like that again we will lose again on Friday. Don't want to be too critical as the team had put together a fantastic run but I really wish we would try to play football on the ground. Once again tonight we were too one dimensional and main threat came when Banjo surged forward late on. Brobbel and Hayhurst were really poor and provided little threat.

I would start with Bowman as he looked a threat when he came on and maybe the rest has done him good. Credit to Penn as I thought he had to do the work of 2 men as Reed was poor IMO. For me he hasn't done enough to warrant a new deal for next season.

Overall just relieved we are still in the tie as Fleetwood had 2 really good chances to score a second but we live to fight another day. First goal will be crucial in Friday.
No complaints about the result. Fleetwood were the better side and deserved to win. Not too disappointed with the result as we are still in the tie and have all to play for. I was more disappointed with the performance as we simply didn't do anything for the first 45 mins and we seemed to show Fleetwood far too much respect. If we play like that again we will lose again on Friday. Don't want to be too critical as the team had put together a fantastic run but I really wish we would try to play football on the ground. Once again tonight we were too one dimensional and main threat came when Banjo surged forward late on. Brobbel and Hayhurst were really poor and provided little threat. I would start with Bowman as he looked a threat when he came on and maybe the rest has done him good. Credit to Penn as I thought he had to do the work of 2 men as Reed was poor IMO. For me he hasn't done enough to warrant a new deal for next season. Overall just relieved we are still in the tie as Fleetwood had 2 really good chances to score a second but we live to fight another day. First goal will be crucial in Friday. dadster
  • Score: 16

11:06pm Mon 12 May 14

OLD - HEAD says...

Fleetwood looked the more composed team going forward , they always looked to be the ones who were going to score. It just had to be Matty Blair didnt it?. I just wish that Brobbel and Hayhurst would put in half the effort that Lanre Oyebanjo does, we might be in with a chance in the second-leg if they did. But this tie is still alive if we can get that first goal at Fleetwood,. Its a mountain to climb, but we dont just want to accept defeat, lets give it a bloody good go!. Tremendous support from the fans tonight, and we will continue to be right behind the team in the second-leg.
Fleetwood looked the more composed team going forward , they always looked to be the ones who were going to score. It just had to be Matty Blair didnt it?. I just wish that Brobbel and Hayhurst would put in half the effort that Lanre Oyebanjo does, we might be in with a chance in the second-leg if they did. But this tie is still alive if we can get that first goal at Fleetwood,. Its a mountain to climb, but we dont just want to accept defeat, lets give it a bloody good go!. Tremendous support from the fans tonight, and we will continue to be right behind the team in the second-leg. OLD - HEAD
  • Score: 8

11:34pm Mon 12 May 14

Peppa07 says...

Yes, mostly it's been said already in only 6 comments! Plenty to play for but the wide players (Brobbel and Hayhurst) and Reed have got to produce more. Bowman made a big difference and only after he came on did we look a proper threat.
Still, all to play for. We're still in this tie.
I agree - the chequebook variety of football club stinks like dead fish. We owe it to the likes of Bristol Rovers and Torquay to beat this lot of upstarts.

On another point, how come the attendance was so low? Main Stand and Pop was pretty full apart from the bit of the latter we're not allowed to use. Shippo was as full as it has been all season yet only 5,100 - fewer than the Bury match? Who was counting? The support tonight was terrific.
Yes, mostly it's been said already in only 6 comments! Plenty to play for but the wide players (Brobbel and Hayhurst) and Reed have got to produce more. Bowman made a big difference and only after he came on did we look a proper threat. Still, all to play for. We're still in this tie. I agree - the chequebook variety of football club stinks like dead fish. We owe it to the likes of Bristol Rovers and Torquay to beat this lot of upstarts. On another point, how come the attendance was so low? Main Stand and Pop was pretty full apart from the bit of the latter we're not allowed to use. Shippo was as full as it has been all season yet only 5,100 - fewer than the Bury match? Who was counting? The support tonight was terrific. Peppa07
  • Score: 5

11:59pm Mon 12 May 14

dbrs88 says...

Just back from the game and disappoint with the result. Fair play to the lads for the effort but being realistic our final ball simply wasn't as good as there's. Still all to play for, there's nothing to loose now. Was evident there was a few nerves out there tonight but realistically this little trip into the playoffs is a bonus/ reward for the players hardwork, in what's been a successful campaign.

@Nottsexile I'm assuming your based in Nottingham where you watching the game Friday?
Just back from the game and disappoint with the result. Fair play to the lads for the effort but being realistic our final ball simply wasn't as good as there's. Still all to play for, there's nothing to loose now. Was evident there was a few nerves out there tonight but realistically this little trip into the playoffs is a bonus/ reward for the players hardwork, in what's been a successful campaign. @Nottsexile I'm assuming your based in Nottingham where you watching the game Friday? dbrs88
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Tue 13 May 14

uhtred says...

Sacrificed midfield by playing 2 widemen, leaving just Penn & Reed to play central, who were then overrun by Fleetwood's 3 middlemen.
We need that extra man in the middle and that can be achieved by including Montrose with Reed on the right and leaving out Brobbel or alternatively playing Coulson on the right, leaving out Brobbel and playing Jarvis alongside Andrew; personally I feel Jarvis is more of a poacher than Bowman and can feed off Andrew.
Sacrificed midfield by playing 2 widemen, leaving just Penn & Reed to play central, who were then overrun by Fleetwood's 3 middlemen. We need that extra man in the middle and that can be achieved by including Montrose with Reed on the right and leaving out Brobbel or alternatively playing Coulson on the right, leaving out Brobbel and playing Jarvis alongside Andrew; personally I feel Jarvis is more of a poacher than Bowman and can feed off Andrew. uhtred
  • Score: 2

4:17pm Tue 13 May 14

Tug job says...

Just caught up with last night's coverage - can't help feeling we wasted the first 60 minutes by playing hoofball, but at 0-1 we are still very much in this. I hope the manager starts the return fixture with the same 11 who ended last night's match, we looked much better when Bowman came on. I was surprised at how few Fleetwood fans made the relatively short journey to support their team. COYR
Just caught up with last night's coverage - can't help feeling we wasted the first 60 minutes by playing hoofball, but at 0-1 we are still very much in this. I hope the manager starts the return fixture with the same 11 who ended last night's match, we looked much better when Bowman came on. I was surprised at how few Fleetwood fans made the relatively short journey to support their team. COYR Tug job
  • Score: 3

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