Date: 4th February 2017 at 5:04pm
Written by: Vital York City

Former winners York City powered through to the last eight of the FA Trophy with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Nuneaton Town.

The visitors actually had the contest won inside twenty minutes with early goals from Amari Morgan-Smith, Vadaine Oliver and Sean Newton.

Striker Scott Fenwick was recalled in the absence of the suspended Jon Parkin, while Shaun Rooney [ankle] made a welcome return to a bench noticeably lacking Aidan Connolly [hamstring].

The tie kicked-off at the appointed time despite initial fears after the match officials were delayed in traffic following an accident on the M6. But it was the hosts who were actually the late starters.

The Minstermen were instantly ahead when from a long ball forward, home keeper Christian Dibble cleared straight at the chasing Morgan-Smith, who comfortably rolled it into an inviting net for his third goal in four games.

That advantage could have been immediately doubled after Oliver was denied by Dibble and skipper Kelvin Langmead cleared the loose ball off the line.

However, Kyle Letheren saved low to keep out Joe Ironside’s firm header from an Alex Penny cross on the right; only for back-in-favour striker Oliver to tap in Newton’s whipped delivery at the near post on fifteen minutes.

That rapidly became three when Simon Lappin’s corner from the left was headed on by Daniel Parslow and driven into the net from fifteen-yards by Newton.

Exodus Geohaghan had already delivered a number of his trademark long throws, and almost took advantage of Ironside’s header across goal from Greg Tempest’s free-kick towards the other end – that followed cautions for both Oliver and Yan Klukowski.

Letheren later rescued at the feet of Langmead after another corner and Jordan Nicholson also struck wide of the far post; Ironside was then denied by the former Welsh Under-21 international keeper, who soon mishandled Langmead’s header before Tempest hoisted over.

The visitors twice went close upon the restart with Hamza Bencherif and Oliver having efforts deflected behind from Lappin deliveries, while Fenwick proved wide of the mark at his subsequent corner.

Tom Elliott was much too high with a replying volley before Penny covered the break of Oliver after Morgan-Smith supplied the pass. Fenwick was in turn booked due to adjudged repeat offences and soon joined by Morgan-Smith for deliberate handball.

Newton next helped on a long clearance and released Fenwick on goal, but the recalled striker was thwarted by Dibble. Skipper Simon Heslop then became the fifth visiting player cautioned for tripping Greg Mills.

Striker Oliver also forced Dibble into action at his near post from Bencherif’s free-kick inside the final ten minutes and Newton blasted into the side-netting.

The inspirational Newton also curled a late free-kick narrowly over after substitute Conor Anderson was booked for fouling Fenwick, before David Morgan’s twenty-yard reply was deflected behind.

Nuneaton Town: Dibble, Penny, Geohaghan, Morgan, Langmead, Tempest, Clifton (Daniels 81), Elliott, Ironside, Mills, Nicholson (Anderson 67)

subs (unused): Saye, Bangura, Taylor

York City: Letheren, Bencherif, Klukowski, Parslow, Heslop, Lappin, Newton, Whittle, Fenwick, Oliver (Rooney 88), Morgan-Smith (Moke 89)

subs (unused): Simpson, Woodland, Holmes

Goals: Morgan-Smith (3), Oliver (15), Newton (19)

Ref: S. Allison

Att: 687