Date: 21st February 2017 at 9:37pm
Written by: Vital York City

Two players with previous York City connections and a third ironically named York handed the Minstermen a crushing 3-1 defeat as play-off hopefuls Gateshead completed a league double at Bootham Crescent.

Former trialist Danny Johnson struck inside a minute and Wembley-twice favourite Patrick McLaughlin added a late first-half penalty following Vadaine Oliver being on target at the other end. Wes York later wrapped it up with fourteen minutes remaining.

Manager Gary Mills earlier made a couple of changes from the weekend with Shaun Rooney and Danny Holmes returning in a revised formation. Adriano Moke and Lanre Oyebanjo dropped to the bench while converted defender Yan Klukowsi was again restricted to the sidelines with a calf injury.

But in-form Gateshead disastrously went in front inside a minute with Johnson’s low shot from distance catching out Kyle Letheren at his near post.

Sean Newton immediately dragged wide in reply with his side uncharacteristically playing towards their favoured home end in the opening half. He also lashed another attempt behind from the edge of the area following Amari Morgan-Smith’s lay-off.

Goalscorer Johnson forced Letheren into sudden action again, but the hosts were back level on fourteen minutes as Oliver drilled in after Jon Parkin helped on Daniel Parslow’s free-kick.

Hamza Bencherif then looped an effort towards goalkeeper James Montgomery, who also turned over Newton’s header from Alex Whittle’s cross. Parkin was next wayward from distance.

Referee Martin Coy suddenly held a second conversation with Gateshead manager Neil Aspin before McLaughlin was too high for them on the break.

But Coy then awarded the persistently time-wasting visitors a penalty when Oliver was adjudged to have fouled George Smith inside the area and McLaughlin netted from the spot.

Defender George Smith soon avoided worse than a yellow card for a high challenge before Bencherif headed over Newton’s resultant free-kick at the end of a frantic opening period.

To their credit Gateshead pushed early in the second-half and goalscorers McLaughlin and Johnson both saw attempts. Moke therefore replaced Rooney as part of a formation change and was soon joined by Aidan Connolly at the expense of Parkin.

However, activity was far more leisurely than the opening forty-five minutes; that was until ex-Wrexham forward York broke away following Jordan Burrow’s pass on 76 minutes for a clinching third goal.

Ex-City man Jamal Fyfield had a later free-kick blocked by Letheren before Oliver – who was soon to be cautioned – glanced Connolly’s replying cross wide as the hosts otherwise fashioned absolutely nothing.

York City: Letheren, Bencherif, Holmes, Parslow, Rooney (Moke 55), Heslop, Newton, Whittle, Oliver, Parkin (Connolly 60), Morgan-Smith

subs (unused): Oyebanjo, Fenwick, Simpson

Goals: Oliver (14)

Gateshead: Montgomery, Bolton, Hogan, M. Smith, Fyfield, G. Smith (Brundle 83), Mafuta, McLaughlin, York, Burrow, Johnson (Beere 70)

subs (unused): Ajala, MacDonald, Hannant

Goals: Johnson (1), McLaughlin (pen 44), York (76)

Ref: M. Coy

Att: 2,320 (184 Gateshead)