Date: 21st October 2017 at 5:07pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City appear to be left scrapping for a play-off place at best following a rather flattering 3-2 defeat at promotion rivals Salford City.

Skipper Liam Hogan – who scored for the hosts in the FA Cup meeting between the two clubs five weeks ago – netted in each half and either side of Jack Redshaw’s long overdue strike.

Late replies from substitutes Louis Almond and Aidan Connolly simply masked another seriously inept performance from their opponents.

Manager Martin Gray earlier made a single-change with new loan signing James Gray replacing midfielder Adriano Moke, who dropped to the bench.

On the back of successive defeats in front of their own supporters, the Lancashire hosts secured a trio of early corners as both sides were still trying to adapt to the blustery conditions.

Home striker Mike Phenix required treatment following a blow to the face, although the recalled Richie Allen soon forced on loan goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell to block at the expense of another corner.

Recent signing David Ferguson – who scored twice for Darlington at the same venue on the opening day of the season – suddenly delivered a cross that caught the far post. Newcomer Gray also cleared the target on the turn.

However, Salford went in front midway through the opening half following Hamza Bencherif’s challenge on Mark Shelton. Ibou Touray delivered the resultant free-kick which was knocked down for Hogan to comfortably finish.

Five minutes later the visitors slipped further into arrears when Redshaw’s twenty-yard shot unfortunately evaded on loan goalkeeper Peacock-Farrell.

Amari Morgan-Smith’s reply was blocked at the expense of a first corner in the opposite direction, while Jon Parkin hoisted a free-kick over the stands from just outside the area. Daniel Parslow also poked into the side-netting after keeper Max Crocombe misjudged Josh Law’s free-kick.

York-born midfielder Simon Heslop was in turn booked for pulling back Scott Burton – and Hogan headed comfortably wide from the free-kick, with visiting newcomer Gray having a stoppage-time header tipped over by Crocombe following Law’s corner.

Salford made a rapid start to the second period with Law immediately conceding another corner and Peacock-Farrell superbly denying Allen following Redshaw’s cross.

A misdirected clearance from Alex Whittle soon produced a further corner, and there was immediately another one delivered by Touray from which the unmarked Hogan bundled in a third goal at the far post.

On loan striker Gray responded by forcing sudden action for Crocombe at the other end, that prior to Connolly replacing Morgan-Smith in a first change.

Almond also rapidly came on for debutant Gray, although it was home striker Phenix with a couple of further efforts before Connolly went down under challenge inside the area. From distance Heslop next drove towards Crocombe, who collected at the second attempt.

Moke replaced Ferguson in the visitors’ final change midway through the second period and with the rain still incessant.

Salford should really have scored again, though, when Redshaw wastefully shot wide while substitute Gus Mafutu also sent keeper Peacock-Farrell down to his left.

At least Connolly struck an upright amidst a defensive scramble at the other end, before fellow replacement Almond’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected into the net with just six minutes remaining – prompting a mini pitch invasion.

And moments later York went desperately close to another, advanced right-back Law’s effort coming back off the crossbar from Parkin’s lay-off. Bencheriff next couldn’t force in skipper Sean Newton’s corner.

However, with added time about to be signalled, Connolly’s shot from distance swiftly caught out home keeper Crocombe – but the frantic late rally simply wasn’t enough.

Salford City: Crocombe, Nottingham, Touray, Burton, Piergianni, Hogan, Dudley (Mafuta 72), Shelton, Phenix (Beesley 74), Redshaw (Dieseruvwe 82), Allen

subs (unused): Askew, McHale,

Goals: Hogan (22, 50), Redshaw (27)

York City: Peacock-Farrell, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Whittle, Morgan-Smith (Connolly 59), Heslop, Newton, Ferguson (Moke 67), Gray (Almond 62), Parkin

subs (unused): Simpson, Wharton

Goals: Almond (84), Connolly (90)

Ref: L. Doughty

Att: 1,874