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Goalscorer Adam Smith stakes a claim for a York City striking role
YORK City manager Martin Foyle believes winger Adam Smith can challenge for a starting place in attack after his goalscoring substitute appearance against Forest Green.
Smith grabbed City’s second goal in Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Bootham Crescent just two minutes after coming off the bench to play as an out-and-out striker alongside fellow replacement Richard Brodie.
The former Chesterfield wide man also went close to claiming a second goal in stoppage time and, while the 24-year-old’s previous City appearances have been on the flanks, Foyle feels he can compete with the likes of Michael Rankine, Michael Gash, Brodie and Richard Pacquette for a more central role.
Foyle said: “Adam has played up front before in his career and don’t be surprised if he ends up playing there rather than out wide. He can certainly go up there and give us pace.”
Former Rushden forward Rankine had earlier broken the deadlock with a 74th-minute penalty and Foyle praised the 6ft 1in target man for assuming spot kick responsibility after he was adjudged to have been tripped in the box by Ross Stearn.
Brodie, who was on the pitch at the time, has previously taken on that role but Foyle added that he is happy for his players to decide between themselves who carries out the 12-yard duty rather than nominating somebody beforehand.
He said: “I thought Michael showed great confidence to take it and that’s what you want. You need a penalty taker to be happy with the way they are playing because they will not be afraid to go and take it then.
“I didn’t think it was a penalty actually, but we should have had a blatant one when Neil Barrett was fouled earlier.”
Foyle made one change to the side that started Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with Rushden, replacing last season’s leading scorer Brodie with £55,000 summer signing Michael Gash.
Explaining that decision, he said: “Richard is a tremendous lad. He just needs to work on his hold-up play, which let us down, as a team, in the last game.
“The ball stuck a bit more against Forest Green and that allowed the midfielders to join in more.
“I was pleased with Michael Gash. There was some really good stuff from him even though he’s catching up on fitness.”
Despite suggesting prior to the game that he might hand either Smith or Craig Nelthorpe a start on the wing against Forest Green, Foyle kept faith with the midfield four of Alex Lawless, Levi Mackin, Barrett and Andy Ferrell until just past the hour.
Nelthorpe was then introduced and set up Smith’s goal during a lively half-hour outing, but he may still need to settle for a place on the bench at Wrexham tomorrow.
The City boss added: “You don’t always need to have wingers and it should not be such a big deal just because somebody plays ten yards further inside.
“If I was a striker at this club I would be loving it because I thought we put in some tremendous crosses in the first half and there were about ten or 12 decent deliveries into the box during the game.
“Nelly’s first two or three were a bit wild but after that he settled and put in some fantastic crosses. He did well but we will have to look at how Wrexham are likely to line up before we think about who starts tomorrow night.”