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York City 2, Bedworth 0 - FA Cup fourth qualifying round
OBJECTIVE achieved. Given the scintillating heights York City have hit at Bootham Crescent this season, they were disappointing on Saturday.
But does anyone really care?
The aim was to progress and the Minstermen did – and relatively trouble-free despite the insipid performance.
Once Michael Rankine had given them the lead with a superb seventh-minute solo strike, City had little to fear.
It was a scratchy display and, in the second half particularly, City looked like they were going through a training exercise.
It was lethargic and, as Foyle himself opined, a little bit lazy.
Even so, Bedworth, despite knocking the ball around nicely, rarely looked like posing a consistent threat.
And it was York’s name that was in the hat for yesterday’s draw – that’s all that matters.
Foyle had indicated there would be changes and he took the chance against the lower division outfit to try out some new combinations.
Foyle had also talked about the importance of getting an early goal and his team obliged with only seven minutes on the clock.
It was a strike all of Rankine’s making.
The City striker chased a long ball forward, beat two Bedworth defenders on the left touchline and then drove into the box before lashing a shot past David Bevan into the bottom corner.
It should have been the springboard for a thumping and, initially, as Bevan palmed away a Chris Carruthers cross with Richard Brodie waiting and as a superb Adam Boyes centre only narrowly failed to find a willing hunter, it looked like City might run riot.
They dominated both territory and possession, and virtually camped inside the Bedworth half, but chances were few and far between.
Then they conceded the spot kick.
Sangare had been lucky once, chopping at Jason Moore with a foolish lunge on the touchline in the sixth minute – a tackle only the Bedworth player’s ridiculous pirouette had masked.
But, in the 29th minute, he wasn’t so lucky. Connolly came through a crowd of players before being up-ended by the centre-back and referee Colin Harwood pointed straight to the spot.
An equaliser would have made it an interesting match, but Moore never looked confident and weakly side-footed it to Ingham’s left and straight into the ’keeper’s hands.
The close call briefly roused City and Rankine was unlucky when his deft header from Carruthers’ cross hit a post and, on 33 minutes, he produced a sublime back-heel for James Meredith in the box only for Bevan to block the shot.
The ball rebounded to the City left-back and his chip found Richard Brodie, whose goalbound effort was somehow blocked on the line by Rory Squire.
If Brodie was denied then, it was only a matter of time before the Minstermen’s top scorer found the net and he did so, four minutes before the break, thanks to a wonderful cross from Ben Purkiss.
The centre left Brodie with nothing to do but put the ball into the net and put the game to bed by half-time.
If that was the expectation, City played like it was reality once the second period got under way.
They were catatonic.
Not that Bedworth could take advantage.
Connolly flashed one past the post when in a great position and their best chance came 11 minutes in – but not from one of their own players.
Rankine’s header had own goal written all over it before Ingham pulled off an acrobatic stop and tipped it over the bar.
With a two-goal cushion, City barely looked to push forward and, although they were completely unadventurous, the game was already won.
Let the first round commence.
York City 2 (Rankine 7; Brodie 42), Bedworth 0
York City: Michael Ingham 7, Ben Purkiss 6, Djoumin Sangare 6, David McGurk 6, James Meredith 6, Adam Boyes 6, Alex Lawless 6, Neil Barrett 6, Chris Carruthers 6, Michael Rankine 7, Richard Brodie 7.
Subs not used: Parslow, Nelthorpe, Mimms, McWilliams.
Key: 10 – Faultless; 9 – Outstanding; 8 – Excellent; 7 – Good; 6 – Average; 5 – Below par; 4 – Poor; 3 – Dud; 2 – Hopeless; 1 – Retire.
City’s star man: Michael Rankine – superb solo opener tipped the scales in his favour over Ingham.
Bedworth: David Bevan, Gary Moran, Rory Squire, Gilbert Cummins, Sam Shilton (Jamie Petty, 29), Richard Allen (Tristan Kabango, 77), Paddy Connolly, Jamie Lenton, Matty Blair, Ashley Robinson (Robbie Beard, 54), Jason Moore. Subs not used: Paul Shepherd, Fazel Koriya, Matty Lee, Danny Edmond.
Booked: Barrett 64, Lenton 64.
Shots on target: York 8, Bedworth 3.
Shots off target: York 4, Bedworth 3.
Corners: York 9, Bedworth 4.
Fouls conceded: York 13, Bedworth 8.
Referee: Colin Harwood (Swinton). Rating: Generally on the ball.
Attendance: 1,869 (170 away fans).
Move of the match: Rankine’s sumptuous back-heel for Meredith meant the defender was only denied by a superb save from Bevan.
Head to head - Michael Rankine v Rory Squire
Rankine found himself matched against Squire and fellow Bedworth centre-back Gilbert Cummins in equal measure – and got the better of both of them.
A dangerous figure in the air, Rankine’s headers and knock-downs kept the pressure on, even when City were very lacklustre in the second half.
On the deck, Squire was more competent but, by then, Rankine had already done the damage with the opening goal.