York City 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 2

ANOTHER moment of Michael Coulson magic conjured up a point for York City on a tense night at Bootham Crescent.

Having taken the lead through Vadaine Oliver early in the first half, goals from Ashley Hemmings and the evergreen Jamie Cureton put the visitors in the ascendancy.

But, with the Daggers edging towards only their second league win of the season and the pressure mounting on City chief Russ Wilcox, Coulson curled in from 20 yards, sparking a spirited finish that suggested the players are fighting fully for their manager’s livelihood.

Earlier, Wilcox sprung a shock in his team selection with Keith Lowe dropped for the first time in his City career as Dave Winfield was recalled.

The fit-again Eddie Nolan also returned in place of injured skipper Russell Penn with goalkeeper Scott Flinders donning the armband.

Cureton only took five minutes to signal a warning for the visitors when his 15-yard volley flashed narrowly wide of Flinders’ goal.

Former City Wembley hero Ashley Chambers, who was afforded a warm round of applause when he took the Daggers’ first corner in front of the David Longhurst Stand, also curled a 25-yard effort into Flinders’ arms.

At the other end, Oliver steered a good ten-yard chance wide of Liam O’Brien’s left upright when the ball ricocheted into his path but the ex-Crewe striker went on to open the scoring on 14 minutes.

Femi Ilesanmi’s excellent disguised pass released Anthony Straker through the left channel.

His scuffed 15-yard shot then found Oliver on the far post, who tapped in from a couple of yards.

In response, Justin Hoyte’s ambitious 35-yard attempt flashed wide, while Michael Collins lifted an edge-of-the-box shot well over following a bobble after good work by Coulson.

But the Daggers drew level on 31 minutes when the Minstermen were caught out three against one on the counter attack.

Cureton threaded the ball through the left channel for Hemmings to run on to and he blasted inside Flinders’ near post from 15 yards before John McCombe could close down the shot.

City, meanwhile, saw James Berrett curl a 20-yard free kick over whilst, in first-half stoppage time, impressive on-loan West Ham defender Josh Pask, who carried the ball out of defence with confidence and purpose at every opportunity, drilled a long-range strike narrowly wide.

The visitors continued to carry a threat after the break and forged in front on 56 minutes when Hemmings picked out 40-year-old veteran Cureton in the penalty box.

He then prodded a low shot into Flinders’ bottom-left corner from eight yards.

The Minstermen almost struck back on the hour when Straker’s curling free kick deflected off the head of ex-City midfielder Andre Boucaud’s head and hit the crossbar.

Winfield also headed wide from the rebound and Berrett went on to scuff badly off target moments later.

But Dagenham were not resting on their laurels and Flinders was called upon to make saves from Kane Ferdinand’s downward header and an edge-of-the-box Cureton strike.

At the other end, Straker drove across the face of goal before Coulson levelled in terrific fashion.

Following Marvin McCoy’s raid down the right, Collins teed up the City striker who curled a brilliant shot into O’Brien’s bottom-left corner.

A rousing City almost went on to win the game with Rhys Turner forcing a smart near-post save from substitute keeper Mark Cousins and Oliver’s back heel from a Berrett corner narrowly evading McCombe, who was steaming in at the far post.


Scott Flinders: 7

Marvin McCoy: 7

Dave Winfield: 6

John McCombe: 6

Femi Ilesanmi: 7

Eddie Nolan: 7

Michael Collins: 7

James Berrett: 6

STAR MAN Michael Coulson: 8

Vadaine Oliver: 7

Anthony Straker: 7

Substitutes: Rhys Turner (for Nolan, 65), Josh Carson (for Straker, 73).

Subs not used: Michael Ingham, Ben Godfrey, David Tutonda, Keith Lowe, Emile Sinclair.

Dagenham & Redbridge

Liam O’Brien (Mark Cousins, 84), Josh Passley, Nyron Nosworthy, Josh Pask, Justin Hoyte, Frankie Sutherland, Andre Boucaud (Joss Labadie, 88), Kane Ferdinand, Ashley Hemmings, Ashley Chambers, Jamie Cureton (Matt McClure, 81). Subs not used: Jack Connors, Clevid Dikamona, Jodi Jones, Frankie Raymond.

Referee: Chris Sarginson.

Booked: Collins 18, McCoy 90.

Attendance: 2,559 (65 from Dagenham)

Shots on target: City 5, Dagenham 5

Shots off target: City 7, Dagenham 4

Corners: City 6, Dagenham 6

Fouls conceded: City 5, Dagenham 10

Offsides: City 0, Dagenham 4