Date: 31st March 2018 at 5:12pm
Written by: Vital York City

Substitute Connor Smith came off the bench to grab his first senior goal as York City recovered for a 1-1 draw with Chorley at Bootham Crescent.

The former Hartlepool United winger was on the mark with eighteen minutes remaining after the visitors had taken an early lead through Alex Newby – their only effort of the opening half.

Forward duo Alex Kempster and Louis Almond both failed to overcome midweek knocks, which allowed latest match-winner James Gray and on loan Raul Correia to be recalled – and seventeen-year-old Flynn McNaughton’s introduction to the bench.

Chorley selected former City striker Jason Walker from the start following his recent Lancashire County Cup semi-final winner against Lancaster City.

It was a scrappy opening characterised by too many misplaced passes, until Alex Pattison suddenly lost possession and Newby’s 25-yard strike located the top corner via the underside of the crossbar despite claims of a foul.

Josh Law struck a free-kick high after David Ferguson was brought down while Adriano Moke soon replaced the struggling Pattison, who had earlier been doubtful due to a midweek ankle problem.

Correia was next only weak from an acute angle before Ferguson saw a header tipped over by Matt Urwin, while Gray’s shot was charged down and Aidan Connolly’s free-kick comfortably gathered after being fouled.

The quality was still decidedly poor from both sides, although Correia missed a golden close-range opportunity to equalise when blazing over after Connolly pulled the ball in his direction.

Law then delivered another free-kick behind following Gray being pushed on the edge of the area. Sean Newton also drove wide from around twenty-yards after Moke’s cross was badly miskicked.

The Minstermen certainly required much better going towards their favoured home end during the second-half; Moke soon made a progressive break after the visitors had earned their first two corners of the game before goalscorer Newby hoisted over.

Substitute Moke continued his lively opening to the second period with a couple more decent surges upfield, while Jonny Burn notably covered the advancing Marcus Carver.

Smith replaced midweek marksman Gray on the hour and immediately delivered an inviting cross towards the far post – but there was no available taker. Youth-team striker McNaughton soon joined him on the pitch and was quickly involved as Connolly screwed comfortably wide.

Law’s delivery next almost released the well-placed Smith before his later free-kick was sliced over by Newton as the threat was noticeably increasing.

And York were to deservedly equalise as Ferguson’s 72nd minute cross was tapped in at the far post by substitute Smith despite claims of offside.

The hosts were looking much the better, although then served a reminder as Carver produced their opponents’ second effort on target when drilling straight at Adam Bartlett before Daniel Parslow recovered well to deny substitute Delial Brewster.

Connolly twice dragged wide and goalscorer Smith also screwed behind during the closing moments, with Hamza Bencherif covering well on a couple of separate occasions before Smith headed over Law’s cross in added time.

York City: Bartlett, Burn, Parslow, Bencherif, Law, Pattison (Moke 16), Newton, Ferguson, Connolly, Gray (Smith 61), Correia (McNaughton 64)

subs (unused): Brown, Simpson

Goals: Smith (72)

Chorley: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Hughes, Newby (Brewster 79), O’Keefe, Carver, Walker (Gregory 87), Cottrell

subs (unused): Molyneux, Burgess, Wilson

Goals: Newby (11)

Ref: P. Brown

Att: 2,721 (263 Chorley)