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City make it four wins on the bounce

By Dan Simmonite | 25th September 2021
Match Result
Darlington Logo
York City Logo
York City
Blackwell Meadows
Saturday 25th Sep - 15:00

Clayton Donaldson reached a half century in all-time York City goals as his brace sealed a 2-1 victory away at Darlington.

Steve Watson made one change to his side which beat Hebburn last week in the Emirates FA Cup, switching to a 4-4-2 with Sam Fielding coming in at centre half and Kurt Willoughby dropping to the bench. Josh King moved into right back and Olly Dyson was pushed further forward into right midfield.

City kicked off at Blackwell Meadows and had the first chance of the game 11 minutes in after a through ball set Clayton Donaldson through on goal from an acute angle, but the Jamaican couldn’t hit the target as he placed inches wide with his left foot.

Minutes later Mackenzie Heaney outmuscled his man and picked the ball up on the edge to lay off for an incoming Michael Woods who was ready to strike towards goal before a last-ditch Darlington challenge cleared the danger.

The breakthrough finally came on 23 minutes by who else but Clayton Donaldson who was quickest to react after a corner in from Olly Dyson provoked a scramble in the area and the 37-year-old reacted first to poke in from the six-yard box.

Things went from bad to worse for the Quakers after Jake Cooper was sent off following a late tackle on Dyson who had got the better of the defender on the right wing. A contentious decision which angered the home support.

Donaldson looked to have had his second following the free kick into the box which was nodded into the bottom corner, but the linesman had already flagged for offside.

But Donaldson got another chance, this time from the spot after Mark Beck was rugby tackled to the ground following a cross into the box. City’s top goalscorer stepped up and exuberated confidence in his finish, chipping the ball down the middle to give the Minstermen a two-goal cushion.

He could have added another before half time after being released by a curling Mackenzie Heaney ball on the counter attack, but his shot was blasted over the crossbar just before the break.

City were hit with a slight injury blow 5 minutes into the second half, with centre half Sam Fielding limping off and striker Kurt Willoughby replacing him.

Darlington got a goal back on 61 minutes to narrow the gap. Former Minsterman Jake Cassidy headed onto Luke Charman at the front post and the former Newcastle United man squeezed past Pete Jameson from close range.

With a new spring in their step, Darlington pushed on for an equaliser but not before Tommy Taylor pulled off a stunning save to stop a Michael Woods half volley following a one-two with Mark Beck.

Charman nearly grabbed the all-important goal minutes later as his cross forced Jameson to palm away from the top corner of his goal.

Harrison Hopper came on in the later stages to help in midfield and manage the game out.

Donaldson could have had his hat trick in the final minutes with a squared ball which was scuffed at the front post under pressure and another ball from the left which teed up the striker for a volley which he sliced wide.

But City got the job done and finished the game 2-1 after five minutes of extra time.

The Minstermen now climb up to 11th in the Vanarama National League North – 10 points off top of the table AFC Fylde with a game in hand.

City are back at home on Tuesday night against Hereford at the LNER Community Stadium (7:45pm kick-off).



Darlington: Taylor, Smith, Wheatley (Lambert 81'), Storey, Hedley, Hatfield, Charman, Rivers (Beauchamp 73'), Cassidy, Purver, Cooper. Subs not used: Taylor, Mondal, Dos Santos

Goals: Charman (61’)

Yellow cards: Wheatley, Purver

Red cards: Cooper


York City: Jameson, King, Fielding (Willoughby, 51'), Brown, Duckworth, Dyson, Wright, Woods, Heaney (Hopper, 68'), Donaldson, Beck

Subs not used: Campbell, Cunningham, Gilchrist

Goals: Donaldson (23’, 35’ pen)

Yellow cards: Jameson, Hopper


Attendance: 2,176

Referee: Richard Aspinall

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