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Match preview: Mansfield Town v York City - play-off semi-final, second leg
STRONG minds and no fear will ensure York City get the right result against Mansfield Town at a hostile Field Mill on Monday, believes defender Jon Challinor.
The 31-year-old knows Field Mill better than most – he was a Stag for six months in 2010 – and he believes the passionate home support will make the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off semi-final second leg as “tough as any game is going to be” for the Minstermen.
But he is convinced York have “nothing to fear” following Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw at Bootham Crescent in the first-leg and says if the team play as well as they can they will book another trip to Wembley for the final on May 20.
“We can go there confident,” he said. “It’s going to be an interesting game at their place and, hopefully, we can come through it.
“To play against Mansfield is kind of special. I was there for about half a season. It’s a good club. Both clubs are League clubs. They want to get back in the League and for one team not to make it is going to be heartbreaking. As long as it is us, though, I don’t care.”
Challinor continued: “They (fans) are going to make it as tough as any game is going to be. There’s a lot at stake but we have got nothing to fear – regardless of the crowd. We have got to put that to the back of our minds, regardless of what they are going to be like.
“They are going to try to disrupt us and put us off our game but I think we are a strong-minded team and we can do the job.”
Challinor played a key role in City’s first-leg equaliser, supplying a tricky cross from the right which Mansfield’s Exodus Geohaghon put past his own ’keeper, Alan Marriott. It gave the Minstermen some revenge after the centre-back hurled in a deadly long-throw which striker Ross Dyer flicked into the net to give the visitors the lead.
“I don’t know if it was credited as an own goal but I am trying to claim it,” he joked. “It is getting in those areas, putting the ball in where the ’keeper can’t come. You get confusion and, luckily, the defender has touched it past Marriott.
“For their first goal, we should have dealt with it. They look to play it long and work off the second balls but if we play the way we can and pass the ball there’s no problem.”
Challinor added: “It’s difficult because it’s a flat throw and all the forward needs to do is get a little touch on it, which he got, and it takes everyone out of the game.
“But, from then on, we dealt with it. Hopefully, we won’t have any of those situations in the return leg.
“We’ve seen what they have got. It is going to be tough, going away from home, but we are confident in our own ability as a team and, if we play how we can, I don’t see any reason why we can’t get the result.”
IN their four Conference trips to Field Mill, City have won once and drawn once.
The victory was in 2009/10 when Courtney Pitt scored in a 1-0 success and earlier this season Liam Henderson netted the equaliser in a 1-1 scoreline.
The line-up on Boxing Day was: Ingham, Oyebanjo, McGurk, Parslow, Smith, Meredith, Kerr, McLaughlin, Fyfield, (Chambers), Henderson (Reed), Blair.
It happened on May 7
1977: City were relegated to Division Four along with their opponents Reading following a 1-1 draw at Bootham Crescent watched by 1,748. City’s scorer was George Hope.
1979: Gordon Staniforth hit a hat-trick in a 4-0 home win over Port Vale. Ian McDonald was the other marksman and the crowd was 2,344. City finished the campaign tenth in the Fourth Division.
1982: A 4-0 win over Halifax Town at Bootham Crescent in front of 2,423 with Keith Walwyn, John Byrne, Derek Hood and an opponent on target. City’s final position in Division Four was 17th.
1983: Hereford United were beaten 5-1 at Bootham Crescent thanks to goals from Brian Pollard (2), Derek Hood, John MacPhail and an own goal watched by 2,106. City finished seventh in the Fourth Division.
1984: A Bootham Crescent attendance of 8,026 saw Fourth Division champions City beat Bury 3-0 to take their points total to 101 and create a then new Football League record.
1988: City finished the season with a 2-1 win at Brentford which lifted them off the bottom of Division Three (League One). Gordon Staniforth scored in his last game for the club.
Compiled by David Batters