Date: 5th August 2017 at 4:58pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City endured the worst possible start to their first-ever season at level six as AFC Telford United claimed a narrow 1-0 victory at Bootham Crescent.

Well-travelled striker Matthew Barnes-Homer scored the winner just before the break, but the hosts were desperately poor on a hugely frustrating afternoon for a crowd only just short of three-thousand.

Three players were handed club debuts in goalkeeper Jon Worsnop, defender Josh Law and striker Louis Almond, while there was no place in the sixteen for the returning Michael Rankine due to a hamstring injury.

Fellow marksman Jon Parkin had an early long-range free-kick that brought a low save from Jas Singh, who then hurriedly claimed the ball ahead of Almond following Parkin’s inviting flick.

Advancing full-back Law next had a 35-yard effort drift wide before Parkin’s header struck the crossbar from Sean Newton’s free-kick. Hamza Bencherif also saw immediate follow-up attempts blocked.

Moments later Parkin headed Amari Morgan-Smith’s cross straight towards Singh, who then superbly kept out Morgan-Smith after Bencherif headed on Daniel Parslow’s free-kick.

Telford actually went very close around the half-hour mark when Will Marsh’s angled effort flashed dangerously across goal, while Barnes-Homer’s header was deflected behind.

Morgan-Smith soon witnessed his reply blocked from Parkin’s knock-down, although it was the visitors with a shock lead just before the break when Barnes-Homer slid in John Marsden’s low cross.

York were playing towards their favoured home end upon the restart, but were continuing to frustrate their supporters while regularly failing to advance. Indeed Marsden had the first shot of the second period but it proved too high – that after a spat between Bencherif and Barnes-Homer.

Parkin’s header was though scrambled away by Singh following Almond’s cross before Sam Muggleton replaced Whittle on the hour. Parslow soon headed well over from Morgan-Smith’s corner.

The Bucks almost added a second as Marsden’s curling 25-yard free-kick found the woodwork after being fouled by Bencherif. Simon Heslop became the first York player cautioned while Almond’s shot was blocked by Shane Sutton following Muggleton’s opening long throw.

Kaine Felix was similarly brought off the bench for Bencherif, but it was Telford substitute Kieran Dunbar lifting over after Muggleton badly surrendered possession. Another Muggleton long throw was eventually scrambled clear while Newton lashed wildly over – with Heslop’s shot also charged down.

There was still a late chance when debutant Law’s 89th minute free-kick was superbly denied by Singh, who also collected Muggleton’s long-ranger in added time as a bitterly disappointing afternoon concluded.

York City: Worsnop, Parslow, Bencherif (Felix 74), Newton, Law, Heslop, Moke, Whittle (Muggleton 61), Almond, Parkin, Morgan-Smith

subs (unused): Wharton, Sukar, Smith

AFC Telford United: Singh, Simpson, Gough, Hayden, Sutton, Rea, Marsh (White 60), Royle, Barnes-Homer (Dunbar 74), Marsden (Strong 85), Newby

subs (unused): Martinez, Fitzpatrick

Goals: Barnes-Homer (44)

Ref: A. Tankard

Att: 2,951 (149 Telford)

Weekend Results: Alfreton 2-0 Blyth; Brackley 2-1 FC United of Manchester; Curzon Ashton 4-0 North Ferriby; Gainsborough 1-2 Leamington; Harrogate 4-0 Nuneaton; Kidderminster 0-1 Chorley; Salford 0-2 Darlington; Southport 4-0 Boston; Spennymoor 1-0 Stockport; Tamworth 0-1 Bradford PA; York City 0-1 AFC Telford