YORK City put up one hell of a fight against ex-Red Devil Teddy Sheringham’s Stevenage side during an entertaining 2-2 draw.

The Minstermen lost their way after Eddie Nolan’s spectacular strike had given them a deserved half-time lead as the Hertfordshire hosts, now managed by Manchester United’s 1999 Champions League winner, turned the game on its head with two goals in three minutes early in the second period.

But another terrific effort from Luke Summerfield levelled the scores and, after Dave Winfield conceded a late penalty, Scott Flinders’ made a superb 83rd-minute save as an enthralling, end-to-end encounter took another twist.

The hosts also hit the woodwork twice – the second time during five minutes of added-on time – but City deserved their share of the spoils.

Earlier, the visitors had been the epitome of good discipline during a professional first-half display.

Russ Wilcox’s men could never be described as shrinking violets but their shape and organisation was so good that they didn’t need to resort to a single foul during that impressive opening 45 minutes, as Stevenage were repeatedly forced to pass backwards and sideways in order to retain possession.     

Last season’s play-off semi-finalists were restricted to just two first-half chances with Chris Whelpdale’s hopeful, long-range attempt gathered comfortably by Flinders and Tom Hitchock’s edge-of-the-box effort deflecting well wide off the heels of team-mate Charlie Lee.

Hitchcock also saw a penalty appeal rejected after he appeared to be nudged over by Winfield but City were not troubled otherwise before the interval.

At the other end, meanwhile, Summerfield warmed on-loan Fulham keeper Jesse Joronen’s hands from the edge of the box after Nolan had released Reece Thompson through the right channel.

Nolan went on to open the scoring with only the third goal of his nine-year professional career and his first since netting at the same ground for Scunthorpe back in 2011.

Receiving the ball following a short, square pass from Summerfield, the former Republic of Ireland international’s first-time, 30-yard strike rocketed into a helpless Joronen’s left-hand corner.

But, following the break, Stevenage offered an early signal of their intent when Lee headed a Jack Jebb corner against the bar and Flinders saved Whelpdale’s follow-up effort.

Whelpdale and Lee both won League Two champions medals with Gillingham two years ago and the pair both struck in quick succession to give Sheringham’s side the lead.

First, on 52 minutes, referee Brendan Malone ignored visiting protests concerning a push on Marvin McCoy but City still went on to surrender possession before on-loan teenage, Tottenham left-back Connor Ogilvie swung in a cross that Flinders misjudged, leaving Whelpdale to head into an inviting net from four yards.

Next, Winfield was forced into conceding a corner down City’s right and Jebb’s delivery to the far post was headed back across the goal by centre-back Dean Wells with Lee leaping high to beat an exposed Flinders from inside the six-yard box again.

They were City’s first lapses of the match and were clinically punished but Wilcox’s switch to 4-3-3 midway through the second half prompted a spirited response.

Soon afterwards, James Berrett’s 20-yard attempt lacked the power to beat Joronen but, on 74 minutes, the Finland international was grasping at thin air after Summerfield played a short corner from the left to substitute Russell Penn and, after receiving the ball back, bent a sumptuous shot inside the home side’s far post.

Chances were then created at both ends with Oliver doing well to hook the ball to striking partner Thompson only for his goalbound attempt to be deflected off target.

After Jebb fired an edge-of-the-box volley down Flinders’ throat, Josh Carson also tested Joronen from 30 yards before speedy Stevenage sub Dipo Akinyemi had his legs whipped from under him by Winfield after haring through the left channel and cutting inside the City centre half.

Fellow replacement Brett Williams then stepped up from 12 yards but Flinders threw himself to his left and pushed away the firmly-struck spot kick.

Buoyed by their keeper’s heroics, Winfield, Oliver (twice) and Emile Sinclair all threatened for City but the home side also rattled the bar in stoppage time from a Tom Conlon free kick while the dangerous Akinyemi drove over after a twisting run that tied Winfield in knots again.  


Scott Flinders: 8 – caught out for Stevenage’s first goal but penalty save saw him atone in fine style

Keith Lowe: 7 – competed throughout and was rarely exposed down his side of the pitch

Dave Winfield: 6 – as uncompromising as usual in first half but penalty mistake could have proved costly

Femi Ilesanmi: 8 – strong adversary for Stevenage and showed great energy to drive forward too

Marvin McCoy: 7 – battled well to keep Pett quiet and attacked when possible

Eddie Nolan: 8 – spread play well and hit the ball so sweetly for his goal

STAR MAN Luke Summerfield: 9 – terrific goal and displayed great quality to keep possession for his team

James Berrett: 7 – busy and probing but, for once, his fellow midfielders took the goal plaudits

David Tutonda: 6 – rarely seen as an attacking force before making way in second half

Vadaine Oliver: 7 – industrious and dragged home defenders around in the final third

Reece Thompson: 6 – a little hesitant at times and decision making could have been better but always a willing outlet

Subs: Russell Penn 7- passionate (for McCoy, 68), Emile Sinclair 7- sprightly (for Tutonda, 68), Josh Carson (for Thompson, 78).

Subs not used: Michael Ingham, John McCombe, Ben Godfrey, Callum Rzonca.



Jesse Joronen, Fraser Franks, Mark Hughes, Dean Wells, Connor Ogilvie, Chris Whelpdale, Connor Smith, Jack Jebb (Tom Conlon, 80), Tom Pett, Charlie Lee (Dipo Akinyemi, 78), Tom Hitchcock (Brett Williams, 71). Subs not used: Chris Day, Jamie McCombe, Ronnie Henry, Dale Gorman .

Stevenage star man: Lee – lively in penalty box

Referee: Brendan Malone. Rating: 6/10 – upset Wilcox for first home goal but adequate otherwise

Booked: Pett 37

Attendance: 3,390


Shots on target: Stevenage 8, City 6

Shots off target: Stevenage 3, City 6

Corners: Stevenage 6, City 8      

Fouls conceded: Stevenage 7, City 5

Offsides: Stevenage 0, City 7