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York City’s Football League dream ends with Wembley heartache
12:00pm Monday 17th May 2010 in York City v Oxford United - Wembley play-off final
York City’s dreams of returning to the Football League lay in tatters today following defeat in the Blue Square Premier Play Off Final at Wembley Stadium.
More than 9,000 City fans set off from York yesterday in high spirits, but ended the day seeing their team go down 3-1 to Oxford United at a rain-soaked Wembley.
Extra trains were laid on by East Coast to cope with the travelling fans, and 24 official coaches set off from York’s Knavesmire at 9am.
Despite being hugely outnumbered by the army of yellow-clad Oxford United fans, the City supporters were confident of a return to League Two after a six-season exile.
Speaking before yesterday’s 5pm kick-off, York fan Sara Wood, 27, from Acomb, said: “This time last season who would have put us here? Our fans are outnumbered, but we will out-sing them – we are better and prouder.”
The confidence of the City fans remained even after the Minstermen went 2-0 down within the opening 20 minutes. City managed to pull a goal back before half time thanks to a gaffe by the Oxford goalkeeper.
Despite a stronger second half by the Minstermen, the fans’ hopes were finally extingushed when Oxford netted a third goal in the final minute.
City fan Russ Leeming, 24, said: “We would never have dreamed a year ago we would be in this position.
“I’m not too disappointed becuase we are looking strong for next season, but we were never in the game today.
“Credit to Oxford – they were a good side. York were outdone by a better side.”
Fellow supporter Charlotte Pratt, 27, of Clifton Moor, said: “I think tactically York were poor. When a team is playing 4-4-3, why did we not match them? It didn’t make any sense.”
Oxford fans too said the City players had failed to capitalise on their chances.
Adam Goddard, 20, said: “I think in the second half York did try. When they scored they should have stepped up but they just sat back.”
York’s star striker Richard Brodie paid tribute to the “outstanding” York City supporters. They were massively outnumbered, but the noise they made, like they have all season, was brilliant,” he said. “It was great to see the scenes at the end and the lads really appreciate it.
“Hopefully, they will come back in their numbers next year.”
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, spoke of his frustration at the result.
He said: “I’m disappointed for all the players and the supporters – so near yet so far. York City have done themselves proud, maybe next time we’ll do it.”