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Match report: York City 0, Barrow 0
York City’s players need to find a good luck charm quickly.
Whether it’s a lucky rabbit’s foot, or a horseshoe, Martin Foyle’s men need their fortune to change.
They won’t believe today they are still waiting for their first win of the Blue Square Bet Premier campaign after a frustrating 0-0 draw with Barrow at Bootham Crescent.
With the Bluebirds largely devoid of ambition, and clearly happy to settle for a point, the Minstermen bossed both territory and chances but just couldn’t get the breakthrough.
The ball was cleared off the line, deflected off a post – it went everywhere but in the net.
It means last year’s play-off finalists are still to get on the winning trail, four games into the campaign.
Having played 4-3-3 in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Bath City, Foyle reverted to 4-4-2 as Jonathan Smith came into midfield and Michael Rankine dropped to the bench – putting another body in the centre to counter Barrow’s 4-5-1.
Maybe the midfield conundrum contributed to a slow start, but City came to life as the clock clicked past ten minutes.
First, Djoumin Sangare had a header saved by Alan Martin from Chris Carruthers’ high cross then, barely 30 seconds later, Martin charged down a Gash effort before Jonathan Smith smashed a 20-yard drive over the bar.
Last term’s top scorer Richard Brodie missed a couple of glittering chances at Bath, but even he couldn’t believe he hadn’t given his side the lead after 12 minutes.
Gash found him six yards out in the centre of the box, but the former Newcastle Benfield striker delayed his shot, failed to get the ball out of his feet, and couldn’t trouble Martin.
City, at this stage, were rampant.
Sangare’s bullet header, from a Carruthers corner, frustratingly struck a defender, and Gash had a shot blocked.
Barrow were furious midway through the first period when James Owen plunged to the floor in between two defenders but didn’t get a penalty.
What made their anger worse was that it looked like the assistant referee twitched his flag to give the decision, but referee Andrew Madley brushed the loud appeals aside.
Barrow reminded City they could be a threat when midfielder Mark Boyd drove a fierce shot narrowly over after 26 minutes.
But this was a fleeting moment for the Cumbrians.
There was a melee in the Barrow penalty area but no-one could stab the ball home and Barrett then smashed a shot over the bar as City continued to press as the first half wound down.
It was 49 minutes before Barrow even had a shot on target.
Still City sought the goal.
Alex Lawless’s fiercely-struck shot was deflected narrowly behind Martin’s left-hand post for a corner and, on the hour mark, Rankine came on for Carruthers as Foyle again employed a third striker in an effort to breach the retreating Barrow defence.
The visitors were hardly ambitious, frequently stacking men behind the ball as they made their ambitions very clear – and tested the referee’s patience with some blatant time-wasting.
Rankine did his best to get the goal, heading wide of the far post from Gash’s cross after Daniel Parslow had robbed Simon Wiles of possession with a stinging tackle.
And Martin needed a strong hand to tip a fine Barrett drive from 20 yards round his right-hand post with 22 minutes left.
Peter Till then came on to further boost the attacking numbers and he left Paul Edwards sprawling before crossing for James Meredith, who headed goalwards but into the arms of Martin.
The chances continued to mount up.
Gash only narrowly failed to find the target from just inside the penalty area as Parslow’s botched cross found its way to his feet.
Foyle’s last throw of the dice was to bring on David McDermott for Brodie and he also forced Martin to tip round for a corner on 81 minutes From that, Rankine saw his shot cleared off the line and Till drove through a crowd in the box only to see it deflect onto a post.
It just wasn’t City’s night.
York City 0, Barrow 0
York City: Michael Ingham 6, Daniel Parslow 6, David McGurk 7, Djoumin Sangare 6, James Meredith 7, Alex Lawless 8, Neil Barrett 6, Chris Carruthers 7, Michael Gash 7, Jonathan Smith 6, Richard Brodie 5.
Substitutions: Michael Rankine (for Carruthers 61) 6, Peter Till (for Smith 69) 6, David McDermott (for Brodie 78).
Subs not used: Duane Courtney, Greg Young.
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: Alex Lawless – did his best to get City moving in midfield.
Barrow: Alan Martin, Simon Spender, Paul Jones, Phil Bolland, Paul Edwards, Paul Rutherford (Simon Wiles 17), Mark Boyd, Darren Sheridan, James Owen, Marc Goodfellow (Mike Pearson 59).
Subs (not used): Danny Forrest, Andy Cook, Andy Milne.
Yellow cards: Gash 44, Bolland 59, Lawless 88, Rankine 90.
Red cards: None.
Shots on target: City 11, Barrow 3.
Shots off target: City 6, Barrow 3.
Corners: City 8, Barrow 3.
Fouls conceded: City 14, Barrow 11.
Offsides: City 2, Barrow 1.
Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire).
Attendance: 2,212 (135 away fans).