Date: 10th February 2018 at 5:05pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City defeated National League North leaders Salford City 1-0 despite returning marksman Jon Parkin missing a second-half penalty at Bootham Crescent.

Aidan Connolly’s overhit cross had already diverted in off the far post prior to the break as the hosts maintained only their second clean-sheet under manager Martin Gray.

There were earlier a couple of changes with 25-goal Parkin restored alongside on loan Middlesbrough midfielder Alex Pattison. Fellow loanee Raul Correia reverted to the bench and Connor Smith missed out entirely.

The Minstermen were forced to attack towards the David Longhurst Stand in the opening half and the reintroduced Pattison was soon scampering in that direction after charging down possession.

But it was visiting skipper Liam Hogan, already responsible for three goals against York this season, with a first effort straight at Adam Bartlett from outside the area. Tom Walker then struck into the side-netting after a quick exchange of passes with Ibou Touray, next crossing for latest recruit Nathan Arnold to head inches wide.

Diminutive Connolly’s reply from distance proved only wayward, that ahead of Bartlett racing out to deny Jack Redshaw following an underhit back-pass by Simon Heslop. York were in turn claiming for a penalty for a challenge on skipper Sean Newton, although it was Louis Maynard then hoisting over as the visitors continued to threaten.

Nevertheless York still went ahead with the half-hour approaching, Connolly’s overhit cross fortunately locating the far upright and then deflecting in.

However, Parkin immediately glanced Walker’s free-kick inches wide of his own goal, while the visitors saw a couple of efforts from Hogan and Maynard desperately cleared off the line at a corner, the first of those by David Ferguson.

Seeking a first goal in four appearances, Parkin then sent an overhead kick behind and also turned in Newton’s corner – but it was flagged offside. Moments later, Parkin forced Max Crocombe into blocking with his legs before Newton saw a further effort ruled out for a push – and Bartlett easily gathered from Nick Haughton ahead of the break.

Carl Piergianni received the first caution of the game when taking out Connolly upon the restart, before centre-back colleague Hogan limped out of the action and was replaced by Danny Livesey.

Back in favour Heslop volleyed over from the edge of the area, with Michael Nottingham turning Walker’s reply behind and Adriano Moke striking wide at the opposite end. Parkin also delivered a 25-yard free-kick directly at Crocombe.

York missed a superb chance to double their advantage when Parkin was pushed by Walker inside the area at Connolly’s 64th minute cross, but his penalty crashed back off the crossbar.

Centre-back Piergianni subsequently headed a corner straight at Bartlett, who immediately released Pattison down the right and Connolly’s resultant effort was brilliantly turned aside by Crocombe.

His opposite number Bartlett smothered after a double substitution from the visitors, while Gus Mafutu was comfortably high and Walker much too close to the former England ‘C’ keeper in the search for an equaliser.

The still goalless James Gray replaced Moke with just over five minutes remaining, and almost delivered for Parkin before Daniel Parslow came on for Connolly as the leaders threw extra men forward during the closing moments – including their goalkeeper at a couple of late corners.

York City Bartlett, Brown, Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson, Moke (Gray 84), Heslop, Newton, Pattison, Connolly (Parslow 88), Parkin

subs (unused): Almond, Simpson, Correia

Goals: Connolly (27)

Salford City: Crocombe, Nottingham, Touray, Maynard, Piergianni, Hogan (Livesey 53), Walker, Mafuta, Arnold, Redshaw (Dudley 70), Haughton (Phenix 70)

subs (unused): Shelton, Askew

Ref: P. Brown

Att: 3,366 (341 Salford)