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York City 1, Gateshead 2
THE longest unbeaten run in Gary Mills’ York City managerial career is over after Gateshead completed the double over their play-off rivals last night.
Micky Cummins’ brace earned the Heed maximum points in a 2-1 away victory with Jamie Reed’s 65th-minute reply proving a mere consolation for the hosts.
Prior to going down to Ian Bogie’s men, City had gone nine games without a loss since the pre-Christmas home defeat to Kidderminster.
Mills kept faith with the same side that started Saturday’s 2-1 home victory over Stockport, meaning the goal heroes in that match Reed and Matthew Blinkhorn were named on the bench again.
The visitors included two former Minstermen with top scorer Jon Shaw returning from a groin injury to line up alongside another ex-Bootham Crescent employee Phil Turnbull.
Mills’ side got off to the worst possible start, going behind in the second minute after Ben Gibson conceded a corner when he ended a Yemi Odubade raid down the right.
On ten minutes, Chris Smith charged down an edge-of-the-box Shaw effort after the lively Alan O’Brien had sprinted past Jon Challinor on the right wing.
The hosts’ first threat came moments later when Paddy McLaughlin skipped past Craig Baxter down the left touchline and sent in a dangerous low cross that Matty Blair could not convert at the far post.
Challinor also ghosted in from the right flank to test Tim Deasy and Jason Walker had a 15-yard half-volley that cleared the crossbar on 23 minutes.
At the other end, Turnbull’s thumping 25-yard rising effort was pushed over by Ingham before the Minstermen ended the half strongly.
Chris Doig, whose distribution from the back was immaculate all half, released Ashley Chambers with a perfectly-weighted through ball after 40 minutes but the former Leicester striker’s first touch created an unfavourable shooting angle and his eventual effort was saved easily by Deasy.
A deflected Blair cross then caused consternation in the visitors’ six-yard box but Scott Brown could not direct his close-range header towards goal.
Three minutes into the second period, Smith had Deasy at full stretch to tip over the City skipper’s dipping 25-yard effort.
But James Curtis’ header from Baxter’s long throw was saved by Ingham at his near post before Shaw missed a gilt-edged chance for the visitors.
Kris Gate’s cross from the right fell to an unmarked Shaw’s feet eight yards from goal but he prodded a poor effort wide of an exposed Ingham’s left-hand post.
Seconds later, however, Ian Bogie’s men had doubled their advantage when Odubabe’s excellent cross from the right found Cummins, who had been left to jump unopposed by Brown to head in at the far post on 57 minutes.
Just past the hour, an unmarked Curtis’ sidefooted shot from an Odubade corner was saved by Ingham before Mills took action with a triple substitution, introducing Reed, Blinkhorn and Ben Swallow.
With his first touch, Reed reduced the deficit on 65 minutes, heading in a McLaughlin corner at the far post from eight yards.
After Cummins had then gone close to a hat-trick when he fired wide from 15 yards, Reed saw a fantastic 30-yard free-kick clawed away for Deasy, as it rocketed towards his top right-hand corner.
But, after that, it was Ingham who went closest to snatching a point when, not for the first time this season, he was sent forward for a stoppage-time corner but his goalbound header was blocked.
York City 1 (Reed 65), Gateshead (Cummins 2, 65) 2
York City:Michael Ingham 7, Jon Challinor 5, Chris Smith 7, Chris Doig 8, Ben Gibson 7, Scott Kerr 7, Patrick McLaughlin 6, Scott Brown 4, Matty Blair 6, Jason Walker 6, Ashley Chambers 5.
Key: 10 – Faultless; 9 – Outstanding; 8 – Excellent; 7 – Good; 6 – Average; 5 – Below par; 4 – Poor; 3 – Dud; 2 – Hopeless; 1 – Retire.
Star man: Chris Doig – unflappable throughout and a calming influence in the City back four.
Gateshead: Tim Deasy, Craig Baxter, James Curtis, Ben Clark, Sam Rents, Phil Turnbull, Kris Gate, Micky Cummins, Yemi Odubade (Chris Moore 89), Jon Shaw, Alan O’Brien (James Marwood 88). Subs (not used) Paul Farman, Josh Gillies, Carl Magnay.
Booked: Smith 73.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Darren Bond (Wigan).
Attendance: 2,683 (128 from Gateshead).