WITH a record of 24 goals conceded in ten games, Gainsborough painted a picture of defensive frailty prior to their arrival at Bootham Crescent.

But, against an away team happy to leave Bradley Wells alone in attack and position everybody else behind the ball when out of possession, York City struggled for long periods to break down their stubborn opponents.

For the entire first half, the laboured Minstermen lacked the ideas to make attacking inroads, with midfield trio Sean Newton, Simon Heslop and Theo Wharton often sat on top of the back four and too many hopeful diagonal balls being sprayed from right to left following a succession of short passes in the home half.   

Despite Gainsborough’s lack of ambition, City keeper Jon Worsnop was also forced into the two best saves of the opening 45 minutes before the Lincolnshire part-timers went on to grab the game’s opening goal midway through the second period, courtesy of a Jonathan Wafula header.

Gary Mills’ men then showed character to respond swiftly through Josh Law but, to crown a very frustrating night, Jon Parkin and Michael Rankine squandered glorious chances to win the game at the death after their team had spent long periods unable to create a clear-cut opportunity.

Set-piece situations looked the hosts’ best hope before the break with Parkin heading a Newton free kick straight at Trinity keeper Henrich Ravas and also being denied by a Josh Lacey goal-line clearance after meeting Amari Morgan-Smith’s corner in the air.

Just past the quarter-hour mark, Heslop then volleyed way off target after Alex Whittle had exchanged passes with Newton down the left, before Worsnop dived to his right to parry away Wells’ 25-yard free kick.

At the other end, Louis Almond’s 20-yard sidefooted shot was a good height for Ravas, who wasn’t troubled either by a weakly-struck Parkin attempt from distance.

Wells and Dan Parslow went on to miss the target with headers, while Ravas was not extended again by a Law edge-of-the-box effort after the City right back had combined with Morgan-Smith.

A curling Almond shot was also safely gathered by Ravas and Parkin’s shot on the turn cleared the crossbar following Bencherif’s long free kick forward.

It was Gainsborough, though, that could have taken a lead into the interval when Tom Davie burst through City’s right channel far too easily before forcing Worsnop to save with his legs.

Parkin might have opened the scoring twice early in the second half, but headed too high from Almond’s left-wing cross and then got his boot on the end of Law’s curling ball towards goal, but again cleared the bar from seven yards.

Just past the hour, Wells blasted a volley wayward from 15 yards for Gainsborough but, after Parkin’s 20-yard lob had beaten a stranded Ravas only to drop just over the bar, the visitors took the lead on 67 minutes.

Davie sent in a cross from the left and Wafula beat Worsnop from eight yards with his downward header.

The Trinity marksman might have doubled the lead moments later when he latched on to Craig King’s ball forward but scuffed wide.

Instead, City equalised with the game’s next attack on 75 minutes as Parkin’s excellently-weighted pass sent Law charging clear through the right channel and he beat Ravas at his near post with a firm ten-yard drive.    

Parkin went on to see an ambitious 35-yard free kick deflect wide off the visitors’ wall, before failing to claim the 200th goal of his career with his easiest chance of the night on 89 minutes.

A left-wing cross by Almond found him unmarked seven yards from goal, but the former Stoke and Hull striker directed his side-footed half-volley straight at Ravas.

Sub Rankine was equally as wasteful in stoppage time when he headed wide from six yards after Parkin had lifted the ball in from the byline, meaning the Minstermen missed out on racking up three straight wins for the first time since April 2014.


Jon Worsnop 7

Josh Law 7

Hamza Bencherif 7

Dan Parslow 7

Alex Whittle 6

Simon Heslop 6

Theo Wharton 6

Sean Newton 6

Louis Almond 7

Jon Parkin 6 `

Amari Morgan-Smith 6

Substitutes: Michael Rankine (for Wharton, 73), Sam Muggleton (for Whittle, 83).

Subs not used: Kaine Felix, Connor Smith, Jassem Sukar.

City star man: Law – took goal well and rarely troubled defensively


Henrich Ravas, Josh Lacey, Nathan Stainfield, Kern Miller, Tom Davies, Jonathan Wafula, Ioan Evans, Shane Clarke, Craig King, Ashley Worsfold (Jordan Richards, 90), Bradley Wells (Alex Simmons, 77). 

Subs not used: Lewis Collins, Ben Gordon, Richard Walton.

Referee: Dean Watson rating: 6/10

Booked: King 89

Sent off: None

Attendance: 2,196 (59 from Gainsborough)

Shots on target: City 8, Gainsborough 4

Shots off target: City 7, Gainsborough 4

Corners: City 8, Gainsborough 3

Fouls conceded: City 8, Gainsborough 11

Offside: City 3, Gainsborough 0