Date: 11th November 2017 at 5:02pm
Written by: Vital York City

Debutant goalkeeper Adam Bartlett saved a second-half penalty after former midfielder Tom Platt was sent-off as York City secured a dramatic 3-2 victory against Alfreton Town at the Impact Arena.

The Minstermen were twice pegged back by their opponents, with Aidan Connolly and Jon Parkin strikes being cancelled out by Cieron Keane and Brendon Daniels.

However, Parkin converted a penalty with around twenty minutes remaining following the already cautioned Platt pulling back recent signing Gary Martin.

But the drama certainly wasn’t finished as newcomer Bartlett then sprang to his right to keep out Bradley Wood’s 77th minute spot-kick.

Manager Martin Gray, now joined by his former Darlington assistant Brian Atkinson, made a single-change with new goalkeeper Bartlett being handed a debut following on loan Bailey Peacock-Farrell returning to parent club Leeds United.

England ‘C’ international David Ferguson was back on the bench having served a one-match suspension, while former York duo Tom Allan and Platt both started for the hosts as they chased just a second win in seven games. Indeed Platt soon drove wide from 25-yards after early shouts for a penalty at the opposite end.

Fine work from Adriano Moke then saw Martin glancing Sean Newton’s cross towards goalkeeper Chris Elliott. Parkin also hooked across for Martin to head wide before Moke released Alex Whittle and his assist was scuffed in off the far post by the busy Connolly.

Ex-Harrogate Town winger Daniels had an immediate reply deflect behind off Hamza Bencherif while Parkin shot wide from the edge of the area as the visitors sought to double their advantage.

City defender Bencherif once again blocked well to thwart Brody Robertson following a mistake by Daniel Parslow before Newton’s effort was saved by Elliott. He then punched away Newton’s corner and Moke’s subsequent half-volley was headed off the line by home skipper Craig Disley.

However, Alfreton were to equalise with just over a third of the game completed when Keane was left in space at the far post from Platt’s cross.

Parkin next blasted a free-kick high after Platt was cautioned for dragging back Martin. Billy Priestley responded by heading Ryan Jennings’ delivery wide after a miscued Josh Law clearance had conceded a late first-half corner.

Having rather faltered after a decent enough start to the contest, York continued to appear particularly vulnerable straight from the restart, with Law producing an important covering header.

Jennings’ corner then directly struck an upright before Platt fired the loose ball over. Ex-City team-mate Allan also headed too high from another corner as the home side were well in the ascendancy.

However, York suddenly broke away and the influential Connolly’s whipped cross was turned in by Parkin for his twelfth goal of the season.

Amari Morgan-Smith immediately replaced Daniel Rowe, although the visitors were suddenly hit by a second equaliser when Daniels’ spectacular 35-yard free-kick escaped debutant Bartlett and flew in underneath the crossbar.

The Minstermen could have recaptured the lead when after Bartlett’s rapid clearance, Martin’s shot was parried by Elliott and Morgan-Smith was only denied on the line by Disley – with Newton hoisting the rebound over.

Leading scorer Parkin also lifted high another Connolly delivery before unfortunately miscontrolling a later Morgan-Smith cross.

But York were back ahead when last-man Platt was sent-off for pulling back Martin direct from Bartlett’s long clearance. Parkin slotted the resultant penalty underneath the keeper.

However, Newton was then adjudged to have handled at the opposite end and Bartlett threw himself to his right to keep out Wood’s penalty.

Two further changes had been made by the visitors and substitute Ferguson just failed to convert fellow replacement James Gray’s cross. Newton was also to shoot wide before Whittle needed treatment for a cut to the face.

Bartlett then fended away a long-range Daniels strike during five minutes of added time – but York held on to record a second consecutive victory.

Alfreton Town: Elliott, Keane, Wood, Platt, Allan, Priestley, Jennings (Topliss 66), Disley, Robertson (Shariff 60), Marshall, Daniels

subs (unused): Westcarr, Everington, Johnson

Goals: Keane (33), Daniels (57)

York City: Bartlett, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Whittle, Rowe (Morgan-Smith 56), Moke, Newton, Connolly (Ferguson 71), Martin (Gray 74), Parkin

subs (unused): Wharton, Simpson

Goals: Connolly (13), Parkin (53, pen 71)

Ref: R. Massey​

Att: 997 (389 York)