With no game today due to a waterlogged pitch at Bootham Crescent, we instead head back exactly six years to 17th March 2012, and a highly dramatic finish to a contest in which the glittering prize at stake was an appearance at Wembley.
Matty Blair scored a dramatic last-minute equaliser to take York City to Wembley for the third time in only three years following an FA Trophy semi-final aggregate 2-1 victory at Luton Town.
With the Hatters leading 1-0 courtesy of Robbie Willmott cancelling out Jamie Reed’s first-leg penalty just before the break, and extra-time seemingly inevitable, Jamal Fyfield delivered a superb cross in the final minute for Blair to head a sensational equaliser.
The Minstermen had earlier suffered the loss of key midfielder Scott Kerr through injury while leading goalscorer Jason Walker, on his first return to Kenilworth Road, was also replaced at the interval.
But with skipper Chris Smith absolutely magnificent in the heart of defence, City recovered from the shock of conceding just before the break and Blair swooped for a crucial late equaliser.
York will next face Newport County in the final at Wembley on 12th May after their 0-0 draw against Wealdstone in the second semi-final – the Exiles going through 3-1 on aggregate.
The Hatters opened strongly with Stuart Fleetwood escaping the offside trap and shooting across goal from an Alex Lawless through ball. Michael Ingham then punched clear George Pilkington’s header before Patrick McLaughlin instantly blocked from ex-City midfielder Lawless. Danny Crow also had an effort turned aside by Ingham and the covering Smith headed behind a Curtis Osano cross before Fleetwood blazed wide.
York midfielder Kerr needed treatment on his ankle following a Lawless challenge and was soon replaced by Scott Brown – only moments after Blair had picked up a booking.
The visitors were struggling to maintain any real possession, although substitute Brown drove comfortably over after McLaughlin and James Meredith, who earlier passed a late fitness test, had finally forced some hurried defensive work.
Back at the other end, Willmott saw an attempt blocked by Smith before flashing another shot wide of the far post, with the diving Kevin Keane desperately trying to get on the end of it. Jake Howells also hooked wide as the hosts continued to dominate.
That was briefly interrupted with Blair trying an ambitious overhead kick before the visitors cracked just ahead of the interval, when a ball down the right forced a mistake from Daniel Parslow and Crow crossed for Willmott to slip beyond the helpless Ingham.
But the second-half was to be a totally different affair after Chambers replaced ex-Luton marksman Walker upon the restart.
The former Leicester City striker soon struck narrowly wide from the edge of the area after good work between Jon Challinor and Blair. Chambers also volleyed comfortably off-target following Challinor’s long throw, while Reed then sent a 28-yard free-kick narrowly over after being dragged back by Janos Kovacs.
Close to the hour the visitors wasted a glorious opportunity, and once again it was Chambers the threat after being fouled by Osano, and then collecting a quick McLaughlin free-kick before dragging wide of the near post from only eight-yards.
The brave Minstermen were now on top as Blair’s cross was forced behind for a corner and Fyfield side-footed straight at keeper Mark Tyler – but was anyway ruled offside. Fyfield was then cautioned for a foul on Howells before Ingham parried aside Willmott’s free-kick.
Referee Andy Woolmer immediately awarded the hosts another free-kick and imposing defender Kovacs glanced a header wide under challenge from Parslow before Willmott also missed the target. McLaughlin’s through ball almost released Chambers at the opposite end, until the former appeared to receive a heavy shove and Luton immediately broke upfield – where Fyfield importantly cleared with his defence outnumbered.
The Hatters were being given a succession of free-kicks but it was once again York going desperately close with eleven minutes remaining, when Reed steered straight at Tyler after fine work from Blair.
Back came the hosts with Crow having a shot deflected away and Kovacs also seeing an effort diverted behind as the Luton fans were prematurely proclaiming their forthcoming trip to Wembley.
But magnificent York were intent on finishing the tie without the need for extra-time, and Fyfield crossed brilliantly from the left for Blair to steer his 90th minute header past Hatters’ first-leg hero Tyler and send the travelling four-hundred supporters behind the same goal into total ecstasy.
Luton Town: Tyler, Osano, Kovacs, G. Pilkington, Taylor, Keane, Lawless, Howells, Willmott, Fleetwood (Watkins 66), Crow
subs (unused): Blackett, O’Connor, Henry, Woolley
Goals: Willmott (43)
York City: Ingham, Challinor, Smith, Parslow, Fyfield, Kerr (Brown 24), Meredith, McLaughlin, Blair, Walker (Chambers 46), Reed (Blinkhorn 90)
subs (unused): Musselwhite, Doig
Goals: Blair (90)
Ref: A. Woolmer
Att: 5,796 (400 York)