We’re heading back to a third-tier clash in March 1996 for one of York City’s most notable victories against Wrexham, when a recent newcomer led their charge in North Wales.
We’re heading back to a third-tier clash in March 1996 for one of York City’s most notable victories against Wrexham, when a recent newcomer led their charge towards an important 3-2 triumph in North Wales.
The Minstermen surged to only their fourth away win of the season with a splendid hat-trick from striker Gary Bull helping ease their relegation fears.
Bull, 29, had only joined the visitors less than a month earlier as part of the deal taking star marksman Paul Barnes to Birmingham City for a £350,000 transfer fee.
However, the former Nottingham Forest, Barnet and Cambridge United goalscorer instantly became the fourth City player to record an individual treble at the Racecourse Ground. That feat had previously been achieved by legendary ‘Happy Wanderers’ duo Arthur Bottom (1954) and Norman Wilkinson (1955), together with Wembley-winner Ian Blackstone (1990).
It took just twelve minutes for York to make the breakthrough with Bull on target having being fed by always-cultured right-back Andy McMillan.
But the Dragons were to reply just three minutes later courtesy of Kevin Russell’s angled drive; although home celebrations had barely finished as Bull expertly controlled Paddy Atkinson’s cross and calmly swept beneath goalkeeper Andy Marriott.
Bull was to complete his magnificent treble thirteen minutes into the second period, with this time Gary Himsworth’s forceful drive falling in his direction. The predatory front-runner instinctively chested the ball down and volleyed into the net.
Play-off chasing Wrexham’s side included future twice York ‘Clubman of the Year’ Barry Jones, and they were to respond five minutes later as unmarked substitute Steve Morris was allowed to head beyond Dean Kiely.
Home striker Lee Jones also witnessed his effort coming back off both uprights, while City counterpart Steve Bushell – on for record signing Adrian Randall – showed fine inventiveness to crash a left-footed volley against the post.
The visitors had already defeated AFC Bournemouth 3-1 at Bootham Crescent just four days earlier with goals from Glenn Naylor (2) and Himsworth, and therefore moved themselves five points clear of a relegation zone including Swansea City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Hull City.
Wrexham: Marriott, McGregor, Hardy, Russell, Humes, B. Jones, Chalk, Watkin (Morris 62), Connolly (Owen 62), L. Jones, Ward
subs (unused): Phillips
Goals: Russell (15), Morris (63)
York City: Kiely, McMillan, Atkinson, Pepper, Sharples, Atkin, Himsworth, Randall (Bushell 52), Naylor (Cresswell 86), Bull, Stephenson
subs (unused): Osborne
Goals: Bull (12, 16, 58)
Ref: E. Wolstenholme (Blackburn)