Five years ago almost to the day, York City beat Forest Green Rovers in their final league game of the season.
Five years ago almost to the day, York City beat Forest Green Rovers in their final league game of the season before going onto win the FA Trophy and gain promotion back to the Football League at Wembley.
Adriano Moke scored a late winner as much-changed York confirmed a fourth-placed finish with a 1-0 victory against Forest Green at Bootham Crescent.
Former Glenn Hoddle Academy product Moke struck low under the goalkeeper with just eight minutes remaining after decent work from substitute Danny Pilkington.
The Minstermen next host Mansfield Town in their play-off semi-final first-leg on Wednesday evening. Luton Town face Wrexham in the other tie after winning 2-0 at champions Fleetwood Town.
Manager Gary Mills earlier made six changes as goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite was awarded a third successive start in place of the injured Michael Ingham. Defender Chris Doig returned to lead the side while youngsters Ben White and Reece Kelly were included on the bench.
But it was recalled midfielder Scott Brown being cautioned for a high challenge inside the first-minute before then bouncing a shot harmlessly through to ex-Darlington goalkeeper Sam Russell. Yan Klukowski was similarly booked after sliding in on a cross at the opposite end and catching veteran Mussselwhite while James Norwood and Keiron Forbes were each comfortably off-target.
Home skipper Doig was forced to clear over his own crossbar as the visitors proceeded to win three rapid corners before Michal Potts’ own corner was hurriedly snatched by Rovers keeper Russell, who also witnessed Matthew Blinkhorn hooking over from a sharp angle following excellent work down the right by Moke.
The action continued to be distinctly laboured, although Forest Green striker Taylor went close four minutes before the break with a shot that beat Musselwhite but only succeeded in finding the left-hand upright. He also threatened immediately after the restart as Musselwhite saved well falling to his left.
York were at least starting to appear a little brighter with Brown surging into the area before setting-up Moses Ashikodi to have a scrambled effort blocked on the line. Russell was then required to grab Moke’s cross ahead of Potts before Musselwhite had to save to his right from Michael Uwezu’s 25-yard reply.
The Minstermen had already introduced both Pilkington and Jamie Reed from the bench and youngster Kelly soon joined them for his senior debut with fourteen minutes remaining. But it was Klukowski soon drilling wide from 35-yards before the deadlock was finally broken with just seven minutes remaining. Pilkington raced down the left and played the ball across for Moke to claim his third goal of the season with a low shot under the keeper.
However, Musselwhite had a narrow escape at the opposite end when parrying Klukowski’s corner towards Jamie Turley, whose header struck the crossbar and fell straight back into the keeper’s arms. The 43-year-old then denied Norwood before opposite number Russell held onto Pilkington’s 25-yard shot and also gathered a late Potts header from Kelly’s cross.
York City: Musselwhite, Challinor, Parslow, Doig, Fyfield, Brown, Potts, Moke, Ashikodi (Reed 56), Blinkhorn (Pilkington 57), Tonne (Kelly 76)
subs (unused): White, McLaughlin
Goals: Moke (82)
Forest Green Rovers: Russell, Hodgkiss, Stokes, Turley, Oshodi, Klukowski, Forbes, Collins, Norwood, Taylor (Styche 76), Uwezu (Rowe 80)
subs (unused): Todd, Graham, Pook
Ref: R. Merchant
Att: 3,391 (77 Forest Green)
Video Link: YorkCityTV