Date: 12th August 2017 at 5:17pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City romped to their first win in over half-a-century at Bradford Park Avenue after scoring four times without reply before the interval at the Horsfall Stadium.

Daniel Parslow gave them an immediate lead that was soon improved by Amari Morgan-Smith’s double and skipper Sean Newton adding a fourth.

The Minstermen then had to wait until twenty minutes from the end for further reward, with Luca Havern heading Louis Almond’s cross into his own net; although his City counterpart Hamza Bencherif was later sent-off for pulling back former York striker Adam Boyes.

Midweek goalscorer Jon Parkin was ruled out with a calf problem and replaced by Michael Rankine. He’d previously been sidelined due to a hamstring injury and was making his first appearance since returning to the club over the summer.

Meanwhile, Aidan Connolly was included amongst the substitutes for the first time since coming off the bench to score the winning goal in the FA Trophy final at Wembley in May. The diminutive Scot had recently undergone surgery on both calves.

Avenue named three former York players in their starting line-up in Boyes, Oli Johnson and skipper Nicky Wroe, with Danny Boshell replacing Jamie Spencer in their only change.

The visitors had the perfect start in front of around 850 travelling supporters in an 1,133 attendance, with centre-back Parslow heading in at close-range from Almond’s third-minute free-kick.

Moments later Rankine nodded over another Almond delivery before Bencherif’s header from Newton’s free-kick was turned aside by former Morecambe keeper Steven Drench. Almond then drove over from distance as his colleagues continued to dominate the action.

York unsurprisingly added their second goal after Rankine headed on former Bradford keeper Jon Worsnop’s twelfth-minute clearance and Morgan-Smith finished expertly for a well-deserved first goal of the season.

Wayne Brooskby was unable to control Nicky Boshell’s cross when well-placed at the other end before Newton replied directly into the side-netting despite Almond waiting at the far post.

Defender Bencherif was suddenly cautioned four fouling Brooksby on the edge of the area but the resultant free-kick was despatched straight into the defensive wall.

The Minstermen still moved further in front when Alex Whittle’s 25th minute cross found Almond’s initial effort being blocked by Drench before Morgan-Smith followed up at close-range.

French-born centre-back Bencherif could have had another from Morgan-Smith’s corner, but it was soon to follow anyway with Almond’s fine work allowing supporting midfielder Newton a simple tap-in.

Home winger Brooskby was booked for a late challenge on Morgan-Smith before former City midfielder Wroe needed to be replaced due to injury as the interval was reached.

The always lively Almond curled wide for the visitors upon the restart after a ball forward from Simon Heslop while Boyes headed tamely behind at the other end.

Ex-Southport front-runner Almond also fired straight at Drench before Kaine Felix replaced Rankine inside an hour of the contest. He was soon involved as Newton forced a spectacular save from Drench, while Morgan-Smith saw another effort charged down at the expense of a corner.

York made their final couple of changes as Sam Muggleton and Connor Smith were both sent on for Whittle – with a slight Achilles issue – and two-goal Morgan-Smith twenty minutes into the second period.

And they soon extended their lead when Almond’s cross was headed past his own keeper by Havern, although the visitors were shortly reduced to ten-men after Bencherif was sent-off for a second cautionable offense.

Substitute Mark Ross next had a free header over the bar from Nicky Boshell’s corner for their opponents, who were similarly reduced in number when substitute Nowakowski departed the action with suspected concussion.

Midfielder Adriano Moke’s bursting run then witnessed Drench turning aside Felix’s header at the expense of another corner as the heavy triumph was completed with consummate ease.

Bradford Park Avenue: Drench, Vidal (Ross 46), Hill (Clee 55), Wroe (Nowakowski 43), Havern, Knowles, Brooskby, D. Boshell, Boyes, Johnson, N. Boshell

subs (unused): Spencer, Knight

York City: Worsnop, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Whittle (Muggleton 64), Heslop, Moke, Newton, Morgan-Smith (Smith 64), Rankine (Felix 56), Almond

subs (unused): Connolly, Sukar

Goals: Parslow (3), Morgan-Smith (12, 25), Newton (32), Havern OG (70)

Ref: D. Watson

Att: 1,133 (845 York)

Weekend Results: AFC Telford 0-2 Salford; Blyth 4-2 Tamworth; Boston P-P Spennymoor; Bradford PA 0-5 York City; Chorley 1-1 Curzon Ashton; Darlington 4-1 Alfreton; FC United of Manchester 1-2 Kidderminster; Leamington 0-1 Southport; North Ferriby 0-5 Brackley; Nuneaton 0-1 Gainsborough; Stockport 2-2 Harrogate

League Table (Top):

1. Brackley 3 – 9 (+8)
2. Darlington 3 – 9 (+6)
3. Southport 3 – 9 (+6)
4. Harrogate 3 -7 (+6)
5. YORK CITY 3 – 6 (+6)
6. Spennymoor 2 – 6 (+2)
7. Salford 3 – 6 (+1)