York City 1-3 Wycombe: No fairytale beginning for Minstermen
York City marked a return to life in the Football League with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Wycombe Wonderers despite a spirited second half performance in front of a bumper crowd at Bootham Crescent.
With an eight-year Football League absence behind them, York fans turned out in mass numbers – with queues stretching out of the front gates at Bootham Crescent before the game started.
City manager Gary Mills opted to leave last season’s hero Matty Blair on the bench and hand starts to new signings Michael Coulson, Jonathan Smith and Lee Bullock. Jason Walker returned to the starting 11 to spearhead the attack, with Craig Doig partnering captain Chris Smith at the heart of defence.
The game started in a scrappy manner with York struggling to find their usual passing rhythm in the opening stages. By contrast, the visitors seemed to be content with using physical presence to take a foothold in the match, and their tactics paid dividends on 28 minutes when the City defence failed to clear and Matt Bloomfield was on hand to slot home from fifteen yards and silence the crowd.
It went from bad to worse for the Minstermen on the stroke of half time when new boy Jonathan Smith was robbed in possession marginally inside his own half by Sam Wood, who then let fly from 35 yards with a stunning right footed volley which caught Michael Ingham slightly out of position and looped into the top of the City ‘keeper’s goal.
With some stern words from Gary Mills ringing in their ears, York came out after the break a rejuvenated outfit, but it was the visitors who were next to put the ball in the net despite York’s dominance in possession. The ball broke down the left and star striker Stuart Beavon was on hand to find the back of the City net with a clinical finish, despite appeals for offside from an incensed Michael Ingham.
Almost in a twist of irony, the third goal proved to act as a release for City, who knowing the game had slipped away from them began to impose their passing style which worked so well last year. The introduction of Matty Blair and Jon Challinor from the bench seemed to spark life into the home side, and they pulled one back on 54 minutes when Jason Walker found himself unmarked on the edge of the six yard box to convert Jonathan Smith’s header and cut the deficit to two goals.
From then on in it was York who dominated the game, with chances falling to Walker, Smith and Danny Parslow throughout the half – the latter forcing an extremely good save from Chairboys’ ‘keeper Nicky Bull to prevent York further reducing their opponent’s lead. All in all a tough day for the Minstermen, but one from which they will have taken valuable lessons as their fight to remain a Football League club begins.
The Yorker’s Man of the Match – Danny Parslow. Playing at both right back and in the centre of midfield, Parslow’s work rate was outstanding and his abilities both on the ball and in the air helped York to remove danger and launch attacks. Looked more comfortable when playing in midfield but his value as a utility player outweighs anything else.