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Match Report

AIDAN Connolly’s late goal helped York City to the FA Trophy with a 3-2 win over Macclesfield Town at Wembley Stadium.

The Minstermen took the lead on three separate occasions but it was attacking midfielder Connolly’s close range effort which brought the silverware back to North Yorkshire after previous efforts from Jon Parkin and Vadaine Oliver had been cancelled out in an enthralling first half by Rhys Browne and a Danny Whitaker thunderbolt.

In front of nearly 40,000 fans at Wembley, both sides gave their all but it was the Minstermen who lifted the Trophy at the end of a breath taking final, sparking wild post-match celebrations from the travelling contingent of City fans.

Chris Holroyd had the first real opportunity on the hallowed turf, sending a glancing header wide having been well picked out from the left by David Fitzpatrick.

On the counter though, City made no mistake, taking an early lead through top scorer Jon Parkin who nodded in from close range following a terrific cross from Danny Holmes, sending the Minstermen faithful into a frenzy with less than 10 minutes played.

The open start paved the way though for a quick Macclesfield leveller, Rhys Browne firing in from a half cleared free kick from which City failed to close the ball down.

After Holroyd and Vadaine Oliver launched ambitious efforts to give their respective sides the lead, the latter succeeded, latching himself onto Sean Newton’s delicious low pass across goal to give Gary Mills’ side the lead once more.

On the half hour mark, Danny Whitaker had an effort from outside the area well saved by an outstretched Kyle Letheren as the side in blue began to assert dominance on proceedings before the City stopper denied the Town midfielder one-on-one with an equaliser looking the most likely outcome after Holroyd raced beyond his marker.

With the first half nearing to a close, Ollie Norburn produced the goal of the day, finding the roof of the net from distance with virtually the last kick of the first 45 minutes.

City were nearly handed the lead for the third time through a huge slice of luck as Oliver blocked a clearance in the backline which looked destined for the back of the net before the ball ventured just wide before Browne saw a good effort tipped away by Letheren after breaking free down Macclesfield’s right hand side.

The Minstermen were struggling to stop Macclesfield coming forward in the first 15 minutes after the restart with Whitaker going close to scoring another goal from outside the penalty area, though midfielder Asa Hall was afforded a long range opportunity of his own which he drilled narrowly wide of Scott Flinders’ upright.

Despite that opportunity, it was Macclesfield who were foraying forward at every given opportunity with Mitch Hancox testing Letheren into another fine save across goal before Hamza Bencherif turned himself into the ultimate shot stopper, heading Kingsley James’ vigorous goal bound effort off the line.

With the game looking like approaching extra time and City chances at a premium, the whole of Wembley was sent into shock as City grabbed the lead late on with a rare attack. Parkin saw his goal bound effort take a wicked deflection off a defender and over Flinders with Aidan Connolly pouncing to stab the ball over the line to send the travelling Yorkshire fans into delirium with the last meaningful attack of the game.

Macclesfield Town: Flinders, Halls (C), Fitzpatrick, Byrne, Pilkington, Browne, Holroyd, James, Norburn, Hancox, Whitaker.

York City: Letheren, Heslop (C), Morgan-Smith, Klukowski, Hall, Oliver, Parkin, Newton, Holmes, Parslow, Bencherif
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