Convery return heralds a valiant victory for Minstermen

Martyn Woolford (centre) celebrates his winning goal in front of the David Longhurst Stand with team-mate Steve Bowey and club mascot Yorkie the Lion

Martyn Woolford (centre) celebrates his winning goal in front of the David Longhurst Stand with team-mate Steve Bowey and club mascot Yorkie the Lion

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

YORK City boss Billy McEwan revealed he had an overnight change of mind before deciding to give midfielder Mark Convery a shock recall in a crucial 2-1 home win over Northwich Victoria.

Convery, 25, had not played a first-team game, or even appeared on the bench, since breaking his foot in mid-October before last night's Conference clash.

But he was thrust straight back into action and, during the 67 minutes he was on the pitch, was an influential figure in an improved City display.

McEwan revealed afterwards, though, that Convery had only returned after he had a tactical change of heart.

The City boss said: "We looked at a different shape in training on Monday. I then went home, analysed and digested it and changed things slightly to what we had out.

"Mark was surprised to be picked as all the players were as they thought we would go with the side that we looked at in training. But Mark's been as bright as a button for the last few weeks.

"He's worked hard and lost a bit of weight but he's had to wait because the rest of the lads have been doing well.

"We know he brings creativity and gives us a bit of class and a cutting edge so we've missed him, although it shows you how well the other players have done because we have still got to third in the league without him so we can't have missed him that much."

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McEwan went on to dish out additional praise to Craig Farrell, who was also recalled to the starting line-up and forced visiting defender Kieran Charnock into a sliced own goal that saw City equalise early in the second half, as well as Martyn Woolford, who came on for Convery and grabbed the winner two minutes later.

Convery had earlier lost possession 30 yards from goal to begin the move that led to Northwich taking a 40th-minute lead with an Andrew Smart thunderbolt completely against the run of play.

But McEwan absolved the former Darlington midfielder of any blame, saying: "There are areas where you should not put the ball in from throw-ins and it should not have gone there because that invites trouble."

The City boss also praised his side for their second-half comeback despite boos from certain sections of the 2,132 home crowd at the interval.

He said: "Some of the natives were moaning and groaning as usual but the majority of our supporters were fantastic. I thought we were very unfortunate in the first half.

"We played some great football and created a lot of chances but the ball wouldn't go in. They had so many escapes and then their lad hit a rocket with their first shot of the game which was like an arrow through my heart.

"It was a killer blow but, at half-time, I told the players that if they didn't panic, maintained their discipline, kept playing football and kept the tempo high, we would make the breakthrough, which we did and then went on to take maximum points.

"That speaks volumes for the players' fitness and determination not to be beaten."

City reserves host Scunthorpe tonight at KitKat Crescent, kick off 7pm.

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