YORK City’s relegation from the National League was confirmed despite a credible 2-2 draw with play-off semi-finalists Forest Green Rovers.
Jon Parkin brought City level twice after two first half goals from Omar Bugiel had given the visitors the lead but the Minstermen fought back valiantly each time.
After Parkin scored the game’s final goal in the 48th minute, City had numerous chances to win the game and secure survival, but Guiseley’s injury time equaliser meant a draw was not enough and Gary Mills’ side suffered relegation.
City made a blistering start to proceedings, Jon Parkin hitting a half volley on the edge of the area to force Forest Green goalkeeper Sam Russell into early action before Sam Muggleton, on his first start for the Minstermen, saw two trademark throw ins rattle the crossbar.
Having failed to take advantage of a promising start though, City fell behind as the visitors put together their first attack of the match, Omar Bugiel finishing well into the top corner after a mazy run from Dan Wishart on the left.
Moments later, Vadaine Oliver spurned a golden opportunity to bring the hosts level. Having been played through by Parkin who got goal side of his marker, City’s top scorer was able to play the ball across goal but his strike partner blazed the effort into the David Longhurst Stand.
Not long after, Simon Heslop won a foul 25 yards from goal having been clattered between two defenders, allowing free kick maestro Parkin to try his luck once more, but found his effort stifled by the wall.
After numerous missed chances, Parkin sparked incredible scenes all around Bootham Crescent when, after a sustained period of possession from the visitors, he was played in by captain Heslop and made no mistake to slot in past the ‘keeper.
The wild celebrations were short-lived though as Bugiel split the defence with a direct run forward and made no mistake in scoring his second of the afternoon to restore Mark Cooper’s side’s lead just two minutes after it had been relinquished.
Shell shocked by the immediate reply from their opponents, City took their time to create chances again but Muggleton showed class with his feet, forcing a good catch from Russell with a curving effort before the ‘keeper saw a clearance blocked by an onrushing Vadaine Oliver who could not direct the ball towards goal before the break.
City came out of the blocks once again for the second half and after Parkin nearly deflected an Asa Hall effort into the net within the first minute, he got on the end of an Amari Morgan-Smith effort from close range to once again get Bootham Crescent on its collective feet with his second goal of the afternoon and his 15th of the season for City.
Minutes later, City could have had the lead as Hall was denied a headed goal by the outstretched leg of Russell when it looked for all the world like the ball would find the back of the net.
The hosts were creating a plethora of chances and Oliver had another excellent one, latching on to a forward ball to go one-on-one with Russell but the shot stopper lived up to his tag with a comfortable catch.
Forest Green were able to take the sting out of the match at every given opportunity, not affording City the chance to keep the contest at the pace set for much of the match, but still the Minstermen came forward with Oliver making himself a nuisance, rising highest to a Newton cross, but without the end product to beat Russell.
With time running out and City unsure of whether they needed one point or three, chances were at a premium for both sides but Heslop went close with a drilled effort from the edge of the area which sailed over.
Going into injury time, the City players were giving their all, knowing by this point only a win would do and Newton had the game’s final chance, blasting wide from a dangerous corner but with the missed chances, City’s fate was confirmed.