WITHOUT Jon Parkin’s goals, York City would now be in the National League North’s bottom three rather than clinging on to a play-off spot.

Following the thumping free kick that earned a 1-1 home draw with Kidderminster, Parkin’s name of the scoresheet has been worth 12 points to his team this term.

That tally is the exact gap between the sixth-placed Minstermen and Nuneaton, who currently occupy the division’s first relegation spot.

If that statistic is not sufficient evidence of Parkin’s significance during such an otherwise inconsistent season, then this game alone provided almost irrefutable proof.

Aside from Parkin’s consummate equaliser, Martin Gray’s team managed just three other shots on a listless afternoon – weak efforts by Gary Martin and Daniel Rowe, along with an ambitious Dan Parslow shot that almost ended up in Museum Gardens.

In fact, the hosts failed to muster a single goal attempt during the entire second period, although a determined rearguard action, which included all 11 home players defending the penalty area at corners, also ensured that a more enterprising Kidderminster team didn’t create another opportunity after the 67th minute.

Eleven out of the Minstermen’s last 17 goals have now been scored by Parkin and only one other player – Aidan Connolly with two – has netted more than once during that ten-game period.

Whilst a little unfair to label City a one-man team, it is clear that if the rest of the side displayed the same high standards as Parkin does on a regular basis in their respective positions, then then the distance to league leaders Salford might be a little less than the current 18-point gulf.

Kidderminster were more fluent from the first whistle, as they continue to resemble the side that finished runners-up last term rather than the team that has struggled to impose themselves in the higher reaches so far during 2017/18.

This display extended Harriers’ unbeaten league run to a sixth game – their best sequence since New Year’s Day – offering some credence to Gray’s assertion afterwards that the opponents are a very good team, without excusing his side’s attacking limitations over 90 minutes.

Adam Bartlett was required to make a near-post parry two minutes in as adventurous right-back James Pearson tried his luck from 12 yards.

Moments later, Parkin headed on a long ball to release Martin through the left channel, but his tame shot lacked the conviction to trouble away keeper Brandon Hall.

Andre Brown and James McQuilkin went on to test home debutant Bartlett from 20 yards and Sam Austin curled wide from a similar distance after Josh Law gave the ball away sloppily.

After Rowe dragged well off target at the other end of the pitch, he then failed to track Kiddy captain Ryan Croasdale’s forward surge, which was picked out by Elton Ngwatala.

Croasdale went on to bend a 20th-minute, edge-of-the-box effort into Bartlett’s bottom-left corner.

After Parslow surrendered possession, Croasdale again tried his luck from an almost identical position from the game’s next attack, but Bartlett once more pushed the ball away to safety.

With the hosts in desperate need of inspiration, Parkin came to his team’s rescue in typical fashion on 37 minutes after Martin was fouled by Croasdale 25 yards from goal.

The 35-year-old marksman subsequently fired inside Hall’s left-hand upright with a measure of confident nonchalance to claim his 29th goal of the calendar year.

Parslow was not as clinical with a hopeful 30-yard half-volley that soared too high in the last action of the half.

A soporific second period ensued, although Pearson charged down a Bartlett clearance and was a little unfortunate to see the ricochet clear the home crossbar.

The same player also called Bartlett into routine action from distance, before the former Harriers’ shot-stopper saved his smartest stop to deny nine-goal away top marksman Emmanuel Sonupe.

Ex-Tottenham attacker Sonupe burst through the right channel, but Bartlett used his legs to keep out a low drive at his near post.

At the other end, Hall completed more than 85 minutes without making a single save and, following back-to-back triumphs in their previous contest, City are still waiting to rack up three successive victories for the first time since April 2014.


Adam Bartlett 7

Josh Law 5

Hamza Bencherif 7

Dan Parslow 6

Alex Whittle 6

Aidan Connolly 5

Daniel Rowe 5

Adriano Moke 6

Sean Newton 5

Jon Parkin 7

Gary Martin 5

Substitutes: Amari Morgan-Smith 5 (for, Connolly, 54), David Ferguson 5 (for Martin, 59).

Subs not used: James Gray, Luke Simpson, Tyler Walton.

Star man: Bencherif - used his strength to keep away striker Ironside quiet


Brandon Hall, James Pearson, Fraser Horsfall, James O’Connor, Sam Austin, Declan Weeks, Ryan Croasdale, James McQuilkin, Andre Brown, Joe Ironside (Yan Klukowski, 75), Elton Ngwatala (Emmanuel Sonupe, 63). Subs not used: Andre Wright, Liam Truslove.

Kidderminster star man: Pearson – strong runner from right back

Referee: James Bell rating: 6/10 – made errors but no big ones

Booked: Pearson 20, Ironside 31, Law 69

Sent off: None

Attendance: 2,507 (117 from Kidderminster)

Shots on target: City 2, Kidderminster 7

Shots off target: City 2, Kidderminster 2

Corners: City 2, Kidderminster 5

Fouls conceded: City 13, Kidderminster 13

Offside: City 3, Kidderminster 3