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Stoppage time goals cost City

By Ian Appleyard | 29th July 2017

York City 1 Notts County 2

YORK City conceded stoppage time goals at the end of both halves as they lost their final pre-season friendly of the summer against League Two side Notts County.

However, it was a game that the Minstermen could so easily have won as striker Jon Parkin (pictured) equalised from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute and then narrowly failed to score again with just two minutes to play.

County goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons produced a brilliant save to deny Parkin a possible winner - the big striker flicked the ball goalwards with his boot from a long Sam Muggleton throw only for Fitzsimons, making his debut, to claw it off the line.

Midfielder Liam Walker had put County ahead on the stroke of halftime but Parkin equalised from the spot after substitute Michael Rankine was tripped by Fitzsimons.

Trialist defender Pierce Bird headed County’s winner from a corner in the final moments of the game.

Manager Gary Mills had made six changes to the side that started against part-timers Oakham United in midweek with Jon Worsnop, Hamza Bencherif, Simon Heslop, Jon Parkin, Louis Almond, and Amari Morgan-Smith replacing Luke Simpson, Connor Smith, Kaine Felix, Michael Rankine, Sam Muggleton, and Theo Wharton.

Both Almond and Morgan-Smith were back after recovering from minor knee injuries. Wharton was absent after suffering an ankle injury but Felix was included on the bench after shaking off a groin problem.

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan had not travelled to Bootham Crescent – opting instead to watch his side, who were involved in a second friendly this afternoon, in action at Carlton Town.

Assistant-manager Richard Thomas took charge and the Magpies’ side included three new players – former Chelmsford City goalkeeper Fitzsimons and Gibraltarian international midfielder Liam Walker – who had joined the club in the past week – and French under-19 international Eddie Lecygne who was making his debut on trial from Premier League Stoke City.

Former Newcastle United and England under-21 striker Shola Ameobi led the County attack alongside Lewis Alessandra who briefly played on loan for City two years ago.

After an evenly balanced start, City created the first good opportunity of the game in the 21st minute when Amari Morgan-Smith’s angled drive was pushed around the post by Fitzsimons. Morgan-Smith’s subsequent corner was headed wide by Daniel Parslow.

York goalkeeper Worsnop produced two excellent saves to deny County winger Jorge Grant as the visitors looked to step up the pace.

Adriano Moke needed lengthy treatment after suffering an accidental bang to the head in a challenge with Alessandra but was able to play on.

City proved more than a match for their higher level opponents but conceded a goal in first half stoppage time when midfielder Walker picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and unleashed a low shot which cannoned into the net off the post.

Centreback Bencherif was replaced by Alex Whittle at halftime due to a shoulder strain. Whittle came on at left wingback and Jassem Sukar moved into the back three.

City might have equalised five minutes into the second half when Parkin intercepted a loose clearance by the County goalkeeper. His first time effort towards the unguarded net was headed clear by defender Hollis.

City were lucky to survive at the opposite end soon after when both Hollis and Pierce Bird struck the crossbar following a corner.

Louis Almond then fired a warning shot to County when his curling shot deflected off a defender’s head and narrowly flew over the bar.

As the game entered the final 20 minutes, City weathered a spell of intense pressure.

However, they got back on level terms from the penalty spot with just seven minutes to play.

Referee Richard Clark ruled that City substitute Rankine had been bundled over by the goalkeeper and Parkin made no mistake from the spot.

Parkin nearly put City ahead when his clever flick was clawed off the line by Fitzsimons in the 88th minute.

But County won the contest when defender Bird headed in from a corner in stoppage time.

York City: Worsnop, Law, Bencherif (Whittle HT), Parslow, Moke, Newton, ,Heslop (Smith 69) Parkin, Morgan-Smith (Muggleton 65), Almond (Felix 74), Sukar (Rankine 65). Unused substitute: Simpson.

Notts County: Fitzsimons; Hunt (Dearle 80), Dickinson, Walker, Bird, Hollis, Grant, Lecygne, Ameobi (Saunders 62), Alessandra, Hawkridge. Unused substitutes: Hall, Osborn.

Referee: Richard Clark

Attendance: 1019

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