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’Keeper Michael Ingham cleans slate from Wembley 2010
MICHAEL INGHAM laid a few Wembley demons to rest as York City triumphed in the FA Trophy.
The Minstermen goalkeeper, who twice before has experienced defeat under the arch for the club, was understandably thrilled to make it third time lucky as his side prevailed 2-0 over Newport.
Ingham produced a crucial early first-half save from Romone Rose, preventing the Exiles’ forward from opening the scoring after getting the better of a one-on-one.
Having suffered some criticism following York’s play-off final defeat to Oxford United two years ago, the 31-year-old said he was delighted to now have a Wembley clean sheet on his CV.
“It felt like sprinting up three steps this time. Before it felt like climbing up a mountain,” he said of the difference between Saturday’s victory and his previous Wembley experiences when going up the steps to the Royal Box.
“I didn’t have any nerves or worries before the game. It just felt like another game to me. We have a new squad and people were asking me questions and I was trying to put them at ease at the same time as putting myself at ease.”
The Northern Irishman added: “I had to make two saves in the first ten minutes. The first one, I had to cover because if I left it, it might have hit a post and gone in.
“The second one, I am happy with. I stood big and made it difficult in his mind. I stand as big as possible – I’m 6ft 4in and, if he beats me, he beats me. Luckily enough, I did well. I thought I handled well and I am happy with my performance.”
Ingham continued: “It is well documented about my mistake last time here (against Oxford) and I got a bit of stick for it, but I have put a lot of demons to bed. I’ve kept a clean sheet at Wembley in my career now and I have won my first trophy in my career and you can’t beat it.
“We probably started the game a little bit badly and we’ve come out second-half and played but that has been the story of our season.
“We will now approach the (Luton) game (in Sunday’s play-off final) in the same way. The preparation is the same. We will do the exact same things. I am not saying this in an arrogant way but we have got nothing to fear. On our day, I believe we can beat anyone in the league.”
Ingham has been playing through the pain barrier having suffered a shin and ankle injury that kept him out of three games before he returned for the play-off semi-final first leg against Mansfield.
He said: “It is getting better day by day and I am lucky that it is the end of the season. The bone bruising is dying down a little bit but the ligament is starting to come to the fore now. But it is fine and I will get through it.
“This day was different class. I thought the fans out-sang Newport, they enjoyed it and they stayed behind. I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did and now we are one game away from promotion.”