YORK City’s love affair with Wembley continued as the club triumphed at the world-famous national stadium for a fourth time in their history.

Substitute Aidan Connolly netted from a matter of centimetres to secure a 3-2 FA Trophy final victory over Macclesfield after Jon Parkin and Vadaine Oliver had twice given the Minstermen the lead during a dramatic 3-2 victory.

Rhys Browne and Ollie Norburn twice pegged Gary Mills’ men back in a thrilling first half, but a goalbound Parkin effort on 86 minutes was forced over the line by a poaching Connolly to the delight of a sizeable, 7,000 City following.

The Minstermen can now add this latest victory on the hallowed turf to those in 1993 and the double-winning campaign of 2011/12.

City started with purpose from the first whistle, as Amari Morgan-Smith chased on to Oliver’s third-minute header.

The former Luton striker then appeared to be nudged over by last man Andy Halls just outside the box, but no foul was given by referee Paul Tierney.

At the other end, Chris Holroyd steered a header wide from David Fitzpatrick’s left-wing cross, but it was the Minstermen who forged ahead on eight minutes.

Danny Holmes received the ball from Dan Parslow’s short throw and then swung in a left-wing cross that Parkin glanced across former City keeper Scott Flinders and into the bottom corner from seven yards for his 20th goal of the season.

The Silkmen were not behind for long though and, after Kingsley James had seen a 12-yard, first-time attempt smothered by Kyle Letheren from Norburn’s short corner, Browne levelled on 13 minutes with his fourth goal in this term’s tournament.

City skipper Simon Heslop fouled Mitch Hancox and, although Oliver headed away Fitzpatrick’s subsequent left-wing free kick, it dropped to Browne on the edge of the box.

The on-loan Grimsby winger took one touch before fortuitously firing between the legs of three City players – Sean Newton, Parkin and Letheren – to equalise from 15 yards.

Moments later, Yan Klukowski survived a penalty shout when Holroyd slipped his attentions and went down after the recalled defender’s outstretched arm made contact with the Silkman’s shoulder.

Holroyd was also then afforded time and space in the City box to control a low Halls pass, turn and volley over from 15 yards.

As play swung from one end to the other, though, Oliver dragged an ambitious long-range strike off target, before getting on the end of a flowing move to put his team back in front on 22 minutes.

A perfectly-weighted pass by Holmes sent Newton sprinting clear down the left and his low cross to the far post was equally as well measured for a sliding Oliver to beat Flinders from three yards.

The confident Oliver went on to volley wide from 25 yards, while Norburn cleared the bar from the edge of the box.

A flying Letheren, meanwhile, was at full stretch to tip over Danny Whitaker’s powerful 20-yard strike just past the half-hour mark.

The Cheshire outfit continued to press and, after Klukowski completely lost his bearings to let in Holroyd again, he recovered only for the ball to run to Whitaker, whose eight-yard shot was well parried by Letheren.

Drifting in from the right, Browne then left Parslow on the seat of his pants and cut inside Asa Hall before shooting over with his weaker left foot from ten yards.

Another Browne chance finished too high shortly afterwards but, after Newton and Hall had both failed to trouble Flinders from the edge of the box for Mills’ men, Macc were back on terms in the first minute of added-on time at the end of the half.

Norburn exchanged passes with Whitaker before thumping a 25-yard drive that deceived Letheren on its way into the roof of the net.

A rusty Klukowski made way for Adriano Moke at half-time and the second period began with a less breakneck tempo than that set at the start of the first.

Nevertheless, opportunities continued to be created with Whitaker trying his luck from distance and Oliver charging down a George Pilkington clearance that saw the ball ricochet just wide.

Oliver also shot off target on the turn from 20 yards after a sidefooted Browne effort had been pushed away by Letheren, who was relieved to see Whitaker’s edge-of-the-box volley flash narrowly wide through a crowd of bodies.

At the other end, Hall and Parkin failed to stretch Flinders from just outside the penalty area and, on 65 minutes, Letheren was again needed to push away Hancox’s diagonal 12-yard drive.

Hamza Bencherif’s tremendous headed goal-line clearance then prevented James’ thumping six-yard volley from finding the roof of the net.

Moments later, Whitaker fired too high from 20 yards and, as Macc continued to press, Letheren charged out to smother at Browne’s feet and a James mishit spun narrowly wide.

Norburn went on to go nowhere near from 35 yards, before City snatched victory.

Collecting a long ball forward in his stride ahead of ex-City defender John McCombe, Parkin’s shot looped over Flinders after taking a deflection off Pilkington and Connolly made sure by forcing the ball over the line from an inch.

Moments later, Parkin lifted another chance on the top of the netting but, after four minutes of injury time, Tierney’s final whistle heralded ecstatic celebrations from Mills and his players.


Kyle Letheren; Hamza Bencherif, Yan Klukowski (Adriano Moke, 46), Dan Parslow; Simon Heslop, Danny Holmes (Shaun Rooney, 75), Asa Hall (Aidan Connolly, 69), Sean Newton; Vadaine Oliver, Jon Parkin, Amari Morgan-Smith.

Subs not used: Luke Simpson, Scott Fenwick.


Scott Flinders, Andy Halls, Neill Byrne (John Mcombe, 68), George Pilkington, David Fitzpatrick, Rhys Browne, Kingsley James, Ollie Norburn (Anthony Dudley, 88), Danny Whitaker (Luke Summerfield, 86), Mitch Hancox, Chris Holroyd.

Subs not used: Craig Ross, Danny Whitehead.  

Referee: Paul Tierney rating: 7/10 – easy game to control

Booked: None

Attendance: 38,224

Shots on target: City 4, Macclesfield 10

Shots off target: City 7, Macclesfield 8

Corners: City 1, Macclesfield 6

Fouls conceded: City 8, Macclesfield 9

Offside: City 2, Macclesfield 1