York City Futsal’s young side threatened to achieve the result they needed until eventually falling to defeat against a powerful Oxford City Lions.
The Minstermen had required only a draw to confirm their own National Super League survival and actually led 4-1 late in the opening period.
But their opponents were to prove far too strong, and having still gone into the break on equal terms, finally ran out as comfortable winners.
York were again noticeably without fourteen-goal leading scorer Daniel Pedras and England international Robbie Bettson, while skipper Fabinho Almeida was similarly absent following his sending-off against Cambridge United last week.
The two sides traded early efforts before the visitors went in front when powerfully despatching a free-kick high into the roof of the net.
Oxford were appearing the bigger and stronger outfit, and there was a clash of heads involving Jamie Bettson, who was fortunately able to resume but then actually played little further part in the game.
However, York suddenly equalised midway the opening half when a flowing move resulted in Liam Dutton forcibly driving through the goalkeeper’s legs.
And they were even in front not long afterwards as Matt Overton burst forward from a loose pass and smashed into the net.
Lively England Under-19 international and stand-in captain Michael Bulmer saw a further couple of efforts blocked while City’s keeper saved well at the other end.
Photo: Ian Parker
York City Futsal supporters must wait a little longer for survival to be confirmed
York then struck twice in rapid succession when first Tom Blackburn was released following another misplaced pass and, with the Oxford keeper stranded up the court, neatly clipped into the far corner.
And moments later Blackburn added his second from a diagonal through ball to make it 4-1; although the visitors promptly replied three times during the closing few minutes of the opening half to keep it level at the break.
Resurgent Oxford went in front at the start of the second-half with a cross from the right easily converted at the far post.
A quick counter-attack from a throw up the court by their keeper then witnessed a sixth goal added, soon improved in very similar fashion following another simple pass across the face of goal.
The hosts were looking increasingly tired, although Overton defiantly pulled another shot wide of the target before the visitors hammered a close-range free-kick into the bottom corner to move 8-4 in front.
At least Alex McDowell lashed into the far corner from a ricochet to reduce the deficit, while Overton had a fierce shot well held; until a loose pass from the home side was converted inside the near post by their opponents.
City’s Adam Richmond twice went close to further reward before then clinically slotting into the far corner; although a miskicked clearance from their keeper promptly took the scoreline to 10-6 ahead of Overton being denied on a couple of further occasions.
Photos by kind permission of Ian Parker