Date: 19th October 2017 at 12:18pm
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The clock turns back to February 1998 and a former striker celebrating a second ‘debut’ for the club after completing a surprise return to Bootham Crescent.

The clock turns back to February 1998 and a former striker celebrating a second ‘debut’ for the club after completing a surprise return to Bootham Crescent.

Marco Gabbiadini has backed York City to make a serious push for the League Two play-offs despite their weekend 1-1 draw with League Two leaders Watford dropping them into the bottom half of the table.

In his first game since completing a shock return from Stoke City, one-time England Under-21 international Gabbiadini won a first-half penalty converted by centre-back Tony Barras.

However, Steve Palmer equalised for the visitors during an extended six minutes of stoppage-time – much to the annoyance of the vast majority in an increased 4,890 Bootham Crescent attendance.

To make matters worse, Gabbiadini later hobbled away from the stadium with ligament damage in his left ankle, and is now set to miss the visit of second-place Bristol City tomorrow evening.

But the Nottingham-born front-runner admitted it had proved a memorable occasion for him some eleven years since departing the club for Sunderland.

“It was great to be back,” Gabbiadini told The Press. “All the night before the game I was thinking about it and we started off like a storm.

“It’s just so disappointing that we should lose out on the win in the manner that we did. If they had equalised say midway through the second-half it would have been still disappointing, but it would have not knocked the stuffing out of us that it has done.

“But overall the performance was excellent and but for their keeper I might have scored,” he reflected. “It would have been nice to have got a goal but I would rather have taken the win.

“For me it would be great for us to get into the play-offs. And I think there’s enough here to do that. I have set myself that target and hopefully the other players will look at it in the same way.

“We have played the division’s leaders off the park and so there’s no reasons why we cannot do that to teams who want to play football rather than those who come here to spoil it.”

Manager Alan Little was suitably ecstatic at the notable contribution of his latest recruit: “Gabbiadini was class,” he enthused. “All credit to him for coming here. He wants to play. Watford just couldn’t handle him so they started kicking him. That’s how well he played.

“I just cannot fault the performance. The players – all eleven of them – were superb. We are a better team than Watford. But we don’t win matches like Watford.

“They tried to play football in the first-half, but we were far better than them. They then changed things by going direct. They came to spoil and they got what they wanted. They scrapped out a draw.

“The only man in the game with a watch is the referee and you cannot do anything about it. You just get on with it but it was a sickening time to lose a goal.”

Rewind Extra – February 1998

Marco Gabbiadini had previously scored for Sunderland against York

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