Billy may axe Evans after nightmare start

Under pressure goalkeeper Tom Evans

Under pressure goalkeeper Tom Evans

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

YORK City boss Billy McEwan has given the first indication that he will take struggling goalkeeper Tom Evans out of the firing line.

Evans, 30, gave an unsure performance during last night's 3-2 home defeat against Rushden and Diamonds and, following similar displays this season, could lose his place for next Tuesday's home match with Altrincham.

The Minstermen have now conceded 12 goals in their opening six games - the highest tally in the Blue Square Premier table - and Evans looks set to pay the price.

McEwan could choose to recruit a new goalkeeper ahead of today's transfer deadline or hand an opportunity to on-loan Leicester City teenager Carl Pentney, whose current one-month deal comes to an end a week tomorrow.

About Evans' position, McEwan said: "Tom might need to have a wee rest and I will be having a chat with him. He was my Player of the Year last season and was outstanding with 21 clean sheets.

"Like most 'keepers, he could have done better with a few goals but, in general, he had a fantastic campaign. Now though, he's not a patch on the player he was.

"His confidence has gone a bit and that can affect players. Outfield players can get away with things but he's the last line of defence even though he was a bit unlucky with the second and third goals when we did not defend properly.

"He's got to be big and strong now and he's 30 with lots of Football League experience under his belt."

Despite goals from Richard Brodie and Martyn Woolford, McEwan was also once more lamenting his side's inability to convert chances at one end and too readily concede them at the other after last night's game, which marked 75 years at Bootham Crescent and a ninth live televised match without victory.

He said: "We had so much of the game and some of our attacking play was scintillating but we could not put the ball in the back of the net enough times and we gave them goals on a plate by making basic errors. We should have been four or five up at half-time but lived to regret it and I feel sorry for the fans because Christmas came early for Rushden."

Despite one win from his team's opening six games, however, McEwan still maintains that he foresees better times ahead.

He added: "I managed a team at Rotherham to the old fourth division title and some of the football we are playing is better than what they were capable of.

"I have confidence in the players we have and I believe in them. I know I keep saying we will be all right but I believe we will be."

McEwan also absolved debutant Darren Kelly of any blame for last night's defeat.

The former Derry City centre-back scored an unlucky own goal to settle the match on 86 minutes following Curtis Woodhouse's inswinging corner and the City boss added: "Darren's only had one training session with us and did not even know the players' names so it's difficult but he will be fine long-term."

City skipper Manny Panther completed just 53 minutes of last night's game after returning from a hamstring injury and, about his withdrawal, McEwan said: "He told me he was fit but he wasn't in my eyes."

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