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FLASHBACK: Wayne Hall penalty wins promotion for City

21st March 2020

York City are promoted to the 2nd division for the first time since 1974 after Wayne Hall blasts home the decisive penalty in the shootout against Crewe Alexandra in the Third Division Play-Off final at Wembley.

The Minstermen scored all five of their penalties and goalkeeper Dean Kiely saved Gareth Whalley’s spot kick to secure promotion.

City were nervous initially, and were almost caught out in the 1st minute. Ashley Ward for Crewe played a long ball down the right wing and Dave McKearney got in between the defenders but chipped the ball over Kiely for a goal kick.

Both sides were looking to play pure football and this gave a bright start to the playoff final.

In the 4th minute, Jon McCarthy collected the ball in the middle of the park and easily dribbled past two Crewe defenders but his shot was tame and went straight at Mark Smith.

McCarthy was pulling the strings in the early stages of the first half, and in the 10th minute, nodded a header from the back post to Blackstone but he could only head the ball straight at Smith.

City were in control of much of the first half, through high pressing and decisive wing-play, and this was nearly rewarded in the 24th minute.

Tony Canhem’s right-footed shot cannoned off the crossbar after he disposed Neil Lennon in midfield, ran to the left wing and cut inside past the Crewe fullback. He was unlucky not to score.

Paul Barnes also went close in the 35th minute but he smashed his shot across the face of goal.

City were also defensively solid throughout the first half, with captain Paul Stancliffe and Paul Atkin securing the back four.

Stancliffe put in a key challenge to stop Ward from having a clear shot on goal in the 42nd minute.

The Minstermen continued the pressure in the 2nd half. Wayne Hall played an excellent long-ball to Ian Blackstone on the 47th minute but he hit his half-volley into the palms of Smith.

McCarthy was denied again by the woodwork in the 57th minute after he cut in from the right-wing and hit a near post shot, but the score remained level.

City were on top, but a miskick from Kiely nearly gave Crewe an opportunity in the 60th minute but the defence handled his mistake.

But for all of City’s possession and chances, Crewe nearly went ahead against the run of play,

York defenders failed to clear their lines from the second phase of a corner and Tony Naylor’s shot from the 6-yard box hit the back of the net but he was flagged offside.

City reapplied the pressure, mainly through McCarthy and Canham, and hit the woodwork for the 3rd time in the match in the 70th minute.

Canham hit the post after his speculative cross turned shot wrongfooted Smith but the score remained level.

The gave became more even near the end of the 2nd half, as Crewe started to created more chances.

Steve Walters managed to get his cross past McCarthy, which Whalley then guided to Ward in the penalty area but his shot was blocked well by Atkin.

Kiely kept City in the game, saving strongly from Naylor’s powerful low shot, after the Crewe striker played a one-two with substitute Andy Woodward.

The keeper’s heroics were almost rewarded by McCarthy with the last kick of normal time. McCarthy robbed Crewe captain Evans in the centre circle and dribbled from the half way line into the penalty area but lofted his shot over the bar.

The first half of extra time was cagey initially, as both sides were struggling with tired legs. Nigel Pepper got the only booking of the game after a strong, off-the-ball challenge on Naylor.

City finally got control of the half in the 101st minute, but were stopped from taking the lead after a decisive save from young goalkeeper Smith.

McCarthy made another decisive run split open the Crewe defence, played a one-two with Swann and his deflected shot well to Blackstone from 7-yards out, but Smith made himself big and saved well. 

But the Minstermen were finally rewarded for their attacking efforts in the 104th minute. York born Gary Swann hit a low shot past Smith after latching onto a lovely threaded through ball from Barnes.  

The 2nd half of extra time was more tense than the first, with neither side controlling the game.

City defended well right up until the final moments of extra time.

Substitute Steve Tutill gave away a penalty in the 119th minute for a clear hand ball from a Crewe corner.

Dave McKearney coolly struck his penalty past Dean Kiely, and the City players, who defended bravely and created so many chances in the 120 minutes, had to pick themselves up and head for penalties.

Alan Little gave a rousing pep talk to his players beforehand, and set out his penalty takers.

Surprisingly, McCarthy took the first York penalty over the usual taker Nigel Pepper, but he coolly slotted home his spot-kick into the bottom left hand corer.

Crewe’s McKearney scored his second penalty of the game, but Barnes responded by driving his penalty straight down the middle past Smith.

Crewe’s Shaun Smith scored in reply and Tony Canham duly converted his penalty.

With the scores level, City went ahead after Whalley’s poor penalty was well-saved by Kiely to give York the advantage.

Whalley’s penalty was then punished by Pepper, who scored his 8th penalty of the season after slotting the ball past Smith.

Ward scored to keep Crewe in the game, but Wayne Hall scored the decisive penalty to send York City to the 2nd division for the first time since 1974.

York City: Kiely, McMillan, Hall, Pepper, Stancliffe © (Tutill 108), Atkin, McCarthy, Canham, Barnes, Swann, Blackstone.

Unused Substitutes: Borthwick.

Crewe Alexandra: M. Smith, McKearney, S. Smith, Evans, Carr, Whalley, Ward, Naylor, Lennon, Walters (Clarkson), Edwards (Woodward 70)

Attendance: 22,416 (9,000 York City).

Referee: Allan Gunn

*We revisited this game from the 1993 playoff final against Crewe Alexandra.


Report by Freddie Webb.

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