Date: 17th December 2016 at 5:13pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City kept their first clean-sheet in eighteen games but find themselves still bottom of the table and now six points away from immediate safety after success for their rivals elsewhere.

However, the Minstermen totally dominated the contest and launched a constant second-half barrage in which they were more than once denied by both the woodwork and desperate goal-line clearances.

Manager Gary Mills earlier made a couple of changes from their FA Trophy victory against Worcester City, with Simon Heslop and Daniel Nti returning at the expense of Matt Fry and Alex Whittle.

But it was home goalkeeper Kyle Letheren with an immediate sharp reaction from the swivelling Ben Gerring following a third-minute free-kick for the visitors.

On loan striker Rhys Murphy turned a reply wide from Heslop’s cross from the right before laying off for Jon Parkin to chip narrowly over the crossbar.

York’s big target-man then stabbed behind as goalkeeper Brendan Moore advanced, while Aman Verma volleyed harmlessly towards opposite number Letheren.

Home front duo Parkin and Murphy soon picked up rapid cautions and joined United’s Courtney Richards in referee Antony Coggins’ notebook, with Murphy next curling a 25-yard free-kick over ahead of the break.

Bottom-of-the-table City pushed strongly immediately upon the restart while playing towards their favourite end of the ground.

Sean Newton proved too high with a long-range free-kick and Nti’s low drive was straight at Moore following decent approach work involving his two forward colleagues.

Parkin then couldn’t quite reach an inviting delivery from Heslop before volleying another attempt over the crossbar from Murphy’s neat assist.

York were again denied when Parkin on-the-turn witnessed his shot being superbly tipped over by Moore following a cross by Nti, who was then replaced by bright youngster Callum Rzonca.

Newton soon headed onto the crossbar from Rzonca’s corner, with Shaun Rooney’s follow-up scrambled off the line by Richards before an attempted defensive clearance also caught the woodwork.

The Minstermen were absolutely dominant and midfielder Danny Holmes next lashed over before Newton did likewise with a first-time effort; although there was a sudden escape at the other end with Letheren saving at point-blank range from Nathan Blissett after David Fitpatrick’s corner was helped on.

However, City were again thwarted by the woodwork with Parkin looping a header onto an upright, while Murphy also poked wide of the near post before then curling another shot too close to Moore.

Torquay defender Gerring was later booked for dragging back Murphy, while determined work from the marauding Rooney soon earned his side another corner with only around five minutes remaining.

Murphy was then released on goal and appeared a certain goalscorer – but only succeeded in finishing into the side-netting; before advanced on loan defender Aarran Racine volleyed over and Richards sent a late chance wide at the other end.

York City: Letheren, Rooney, Klukowski, Racine, Heslop, Holmes, Moke, Newton, Nti (Rzonca 62), Parkin, Murphy

subs (unused): Fry, Dixon, Woodland, McDaid

Torquay United: Moore, Rowe-Turner, Gallifuoco, Sparkes, Gerring, Richards, Verma, McGinty, Fitzpatrick (Rooney 84), Blissett (Chaney 79), Reid (Williams 57)

subs (unused): Ward, McCoulsky

Ref: A. Coggins

Att: 2,272 (157 Torquay)