Sat 25 Feb 17
at 18:00 PM
Minstermen One Round From Wembley Following Brackley Win
YORK City progressed to the semi-final of the FA Trophy with a 1-0 win over Brackley Town thanks to Jon Parkin’s first half goal.
The Minstermen rode their luck in the second half but dug in to book their place in the last four of the competition with Parkin’s glancing header around the half hour mark being enough to hold off the National League North outfit, despite Brackley hitting the woodwork on three separate occasions.
Gary Mills’ side had to hold on even more for the final moments after Danny Holmes received his marching orders for a quick double booking but saw out the game despite not having a clear cut chance to put the game beyond doubt after the break.
City made a tenacious start to the match and from a corner kick were handed an early penalty after Alex Gudger pulled Jon Parkin’s shirt, but the striker was unable to take advantage with Laurie Walker going the right way and parrying the ball to relative safety.
Gary Mills’ team continued to apply the pressure and from an Asa Hall corner, Hamza Bencherif saw a stinging header knocked away for another set piece which fell to Amari Morgan-Smith, who sent a good chance wide from close range.
The hosts continued to apply pressure with Bencherif sending Vadaine Oliver through with a long diagonal ball while Daniel Parslow had an opportunity to open the scoring from a well delivered Sean Newton free kick.
With just less than 20 minutes on the clock, Brackley had a chance to break the deadlock with a free kick just outside the area but Glenn Walker crashed his effort wide of the far post.
The Northamptonshire side were working their way into the game when Newton’s curving ball from deep found Parkin and he atoned for his penalty miss with a glancing header which settled into the back of the net.
It was City who looked more likely to bag the second with Parkin showing a sublime piece of skill to beat his marker before the ball ended up with firstly Oliver whose shot was blocked before Morgan-Smith sent an effort over the crossbar.
Confidence was growing in the City ranks with the front three combining excellently to set up debutant Hall and fellow midfielder Simon Heslop with chances to extend the lead but neither were able to take advantage.
As first half injury time was announced, an inswinging Newton set piece caused more problems in the Saints’ penalty area but no City player could get a definite touch to put the Minstermen two up at the break.
Brackley came out of the traps in the second half as they attacked the David Longhurst stand and very nearly equalised when Gudger got a strong connection on a corner kick but Kyle Letheren produced an outstanding save to tip the ball around the post.
City were struggling to get a foothold in the second half with Kevin Wilkin’s side not allowing the Minstermen to settle into the rhythm they set themselves in the first 45 minutes.
Towards the midpoint of the second half, City won their first corner but on the break, Brackley’s James Armson hit a superb half volley which caught Letheren out before crashing off the crossbar from all of 30 yards out, earning applause from all four sides of the near-2000 strong crowd.
With five minutes remaining, second half substitute Danny Holmes received his marching orders for a two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for tugging on Armson just outside the penalty area.
From the resultant set piece, Brackley continued to assert their dominance but were doing everything bar levelling the score with Gudger hitting the bar for the visitors after a goalmouth scramble and Armson sending a wayward effort into the home fans with a skewed shot from 12 yards and City managed to hold on for the victory.