York City superbly fought back from two-goals down to extend their unbeaten run to seventeen games following a 2-2 draw in their final fixture of the regular season at title-hopefuls Scunthorpe United.
That had looked distinctly unlikely when Terry Hawkridge added to Paddy Madden’s opener seven minutes before the break.
But Ryan Brobbel replied for the visitors right on the stroke of half-time and Calvin Andrew’s first goal for the club deservedly equalised with nineteen minutes remaining.
It means that York host Fleetwood Town in their play-off semi-final first-leg at Bootham Crescent next Saturday night with a 7.30pm kick-off. The return is the following Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Minstermen saw the first meaningful action with Andrew’s 25-yard effort being taken by Sam Slocombe, whose opposite number Nick Pope wasn’t seriously tested by Madden after Lewis Montrose had been dispossessed.
York’s strength over the past four months had been their defence but that was found wanting as the unmarked Madden headed in Eddie Nolan’s nineteenth-minute cross.
Montrose’s long-range reply drifted harmlessly wide but his side should have levelled moments later after Adam Reed’s close-range shot was blocked by Slocombe following good work by Brobbel.
However, it was title-chasing Scunthorpe forging further ahead seven minutes from the break when Hawkridge cleverly made space and drilled across goal – with Pope unable to keep it out.
Their opponents replied on the stroke of half-time with Brobbel receiving from Reed and producing an excellent right-footed finish into the far corner.
York boss Nigel Worthington made an attacking change at the break with Will Hayhurst replacing Montrose and his valiant charges really stepped up to the occasion.
Full-back Oyebanjo soon scuffed wide following an enterprising break while Madden’s deflected reply was easily gathered by Pope.
The visitors backed by their vast bank of supporters continued to be well on top while forcing a succession of corners.
Brobbel hesitated when well-placed from a Hayhurst cross before Reed diverted wide of the near post from a delivery by Coulson, who himself had a couple of shots charged down.
And York were deservedly rewarded for their constant pressure when Andrew eventually forced in Hayhurst’s drilled cross following yet another corner – to spark wild celebrations behind the same goal.
Scunthorpe tried to respond with Hawkridge curling a cross over and substitute Deon Burton trying an effort from distance that was comfortably held by Pope. But their challenge rather fell away as the visitors’ wonderful run was maintained.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Ribeiro, Nolan, Collins (McAllister 73), Mirfin, Canavan, Sparrow, Syers, Madden, Winnall (Burton 72), Hawkridge (McSheffrey 87)
subs (unused): Severn, Waterfall, Burdett, Hayes
Goals: Madden (19), Hawkridge (38)
York City: Pope, Oyebanjo, Lowe, McCombe, Davies, Brobbel (Jarvis 88), Montrose (Hayhurst 46), Penn, Reed, Coulson, Andrew
subs (unused): McGurk, Platt, Bowman, Allan, Ingham
Goals: Brobbel (45), Andrew (71)
Ref: N. Miller (County Durham)
Att: 7,482 (1,389 York)
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