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York City manager Gary Mills 'gutted' at first-day loss to Wycombe
MANAGER Gary Mills admitted he was “gutted” that Bootham Crescent’s biggest opening day crowd in 19 years could not witness a win on York City’s return to the Football League.
The Minstermen lost 3-1 to Wycombe Wanderers in front of 4,591 fans – the largest attendance for a campaign curtain-raiser at home since 1993/94 when, on the back of the club’s first-ever Wembley appearance, Alan Little’s League Two play-off winners attracted a gate against Swansea City just five higher than Saturday’s turn out.
Little’s team won 2-1 on that occasion and it hurt Mills that his class of 2012/13 could not emulate them.
The City chief said: “It was always going to be a fantastic day for everybody and it was terrific to get a crowd like that. It was our first game back in the Football League and I’m just gutted we couldn’t deliver a win for them.
“I won’t be making any promises about the future. I don’t do that but we’ve just got to look forward to the next match now, because that’s football and everybody – players, management and supporters – have to take it on the chin.”
First-half goals by Matt Bloomfield and Sam Wood put Wycombe in the ascendancy at the interval.
Stuart Beavon then extended the visitors’ lead early in the second period and, although Jason Walker replied in the 54th minute, the Minstermen could not force their way back into the game.
An “annoyed” Mills expressed his frustration at the way his team played and believed his players were given a big lesson in their first League Two encounter.
He added: “I don’t think we played our game from the word go and that annoyed me a bit. We weren’t brave enough to play from the back and kept launching balls down their throats right up to half-time.
“We can’t let teams dictate to us how we are going to play. We have to play our game. “I don’t think they were any better than us. They scored with a deflection and a cracking goal in the first half, but it’s more about how they got those opportunities.
“For the first, we gave the ball away twice in midfield when Jonathan Smith and Michael Coulson lost possession and that’s a big lesson. If you give the ball away, then it will end up in the back of your net. “We were chasing the game after that in the second half, but we also switched off for their third goal. You can argue all you want that the ball went out of play but you have to play on and there was nobody close to him when he scored.
“We had a good go at getting back into it and got a goal. Matty Blair then had a great chance but we got a bit desperate after that.
“We had to pump the ball forward because we did not start how I wanted to do in the first half, but we won’t be the only team to lose on the first day and we must learn from it and pick the right team for tomorrow.”
City, meanwhile, have been drawn away to Rotherham United in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, which will be played during the week beginning September 3.