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Match report: Gateshead 0, York City 2
JAMIE REED and trialist Dominic Knowles displayed the striking options available to York City boss Gary Mills after both scored in a 2-0 win at Gateshead.
With Jason Walker , Michael Coulson and Matty Blair watching on as substitutes in the first half, Reed produced a sublime finish to give the Minstermen the lead, while Knowles pounced on a poor backpass to double the advantage shortly afterwards.
The latter, a trialist at Bootham Crescent following his release from Championship outfit Burnley, certainly advanced his claims for a contract – not just with his finish but with his general hold-up play.
Reed’s goal also served as a reminder of the former Bangor forward’s clinical ability to find the net.
The returning Jonathan Smith slotted straight into the centre of midfield as Mills made five changes from the side which lost 2-0 against Oldham Athletic.
Lee Bullock, John McReady and Jamal Fyfield were not in the squad, while striker Oli Johnson returned from injury to claim a spot on the bench.
Mills played the same back four that toiled against Oldham, and they were made to look slightly ordinary once again after six minutes when Gateshead should have taken the lead.
Yemi Odubade flew down the right before Glen Wilson’s flat ball across the box evaded the Minstermen defenders and fell straight to Liam Hatch. But Michael Ingham got down smartly to repel his firm strike.
From there, though, City took over.
They opened the scoring on 17 minutes with a fantastically crafted goal.
Chris Doig released Smith in the middle and his slide-rule pass was perfect to set Reed away.
The striker still had plenty to do — and he did it magnificently – turning the defender before dinking an exquisite finish over goalkeeper Adam Bartlett.
Four minutes later City doubled their lead.
Paddy Boyle’s attempted back-pass was horrible and left Knowles clear on goal. His finish was emphatic – lashed past Bartlett as the trialist took full advantage after being given the chance to impress with a starting berth following his lively cameo against the Latics.
York could have scored more. Reed’s ball across the middle found Chambers lurking on the left on 23 minutes, but he was wasteful when ballooning his shot over the crossbar after cutting inside.
And Smith cracked an effort just wide of the right-hand post from 25 yards soon after.
Gateshead were not entirely dispirited, Phil Turnbull dragged a shot wide on 39 minutes and Odubade’s shot was deflected just before the break, but they were completely outplayed.
Knowles was unlucky not to grab a second ten minutes after the restart, when his curling shot just went wide of Bartlett’s left-hand post from 22 yards.
Johnson was introduced shortly after the hour mark, part of a triple substitution that also saw Coulson and Tom Platt enter the fray.
They were soon followed by Walker and Blair as Mills searched to reignite his side, who looked happy to settle for their first-half spoils.
Gateshead certainly had more of the game and Carl Magnay somehow managed to head a flick-on over the bar from barely five yards after 66 minutes.
The Heed failed to hit the target in a goalbound melée five minutes later, following error-strewn finishing, while Hatch cut a frustrated figure after firing wide from a good position on the left side of the box with eight minutes remaining on the clock.
But the Minstermen, having already done the damage, were still relatively comfortable and happy to wind the game down.
York City: Ingham, Challinor, Smith, Doig, Blanchett, J Smith (Platt 61), McLaughlin (Coulson 61), Parslow, Chambers (Johnson 61), Knowles (Walker 67), Reed (Blair 67).