Date: 23rd December 2017 at 5:35pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City’s decline continued with another shocking display producing a 3-2 victory for injury-hit promotion hopefuls Blyth Spartans at Bootham Crescent.

The visitors should actually have won by a far greater margin after totally outclassing absolutely shambolic opposition.

Spartans were rewarded with first-half goals from Sean Reid (pen) and substitute Adam Wrightson, either side of a controversial Jon Parkin spot-kick.

But Greg Rutherford deservedly extended their supremacy before Parkin’s late second only flattered the woeful hosts.

Manager Martin Gray had recalled attacking duo Amari Morgan-Smith and Aidan Connolly at the expense of James Gray and injured skipper Sean Newton.

The visitors were notably missing their two leading goalscorers in Dan Maguire and Dale Hopson, and they were to suffer another couple of unfortunate injury blows during the opening half.

However, skipper Robbie Dale sent an early attempt wide before Kieran Green’s shot was deflected over, that ahead of centre-back Ryan Hutchinson leaving the action early.

York, uncharacteristically attacking towards their favoured home end after being turned around at the kick-off, had their first serious threat midway through the opening half with on loan Middlesbrough prospect Sean Patttison flashing an effort wide.

But it was their visitors going ahead when Daniel Rowe, who endured an absolutely torrid afternoon, brought down the always influential Dale and Reid sent former Blyth keeper Adam Bartlett the wrong way from the penalty.

However, that was cancelled out just five minutes later when Connolly was adjudged as taken down inside the area by Nathan Buddle and Parkin converted his spot-kick. But the travelling players remained furious at the award.

Troubled City weren’t level for long, though, as David Atkinson too easily split the home rearguard and the diminutive Wrightson calmly restored the advantage.

Blyth then suffered yet another injury setback with Damen Mullen limping off, before Pattison, Adriano Moke and Connolly efforts were absolutely no danger.

The visitors could even have had another with Rutherford almost turning in Wrightson’s dangerous cross, although Morgan-Smith raced onto a long ball in the opposite direction but wastefully struck an upright.

Home right-back Rowe received a yellow card for his challenge on Dale at the start of the second-half. He was immediately replaced by Josh Law.

Spartans goalscorer Wrightson was once again threatening as Moke made a recovering challenge, while Green couldn’t get enough contact from their next opportunity.

Defender Hamza Bencherif flicked towards goal in reply following David Ferguson’s cross and after Parkin’s speculative hoisted effort. Connolly also sliced well off-target before Gray was introduced for on loan midfielder Sean McAllister.

Boos were now sounding from the home supporters with still around twenty minutes remaining.

And Spartans only increased the despondency when soon adding their third goal, Rutherford’s tame attempt escaping Bartlett after Jarred Rivers was initially dragged back by Ferguson.

Wrightson also lifted narrowly over for the dominant visitors and Rutherford’s shot was soon deflected behind, while Rivers should really have made it four as Bartlett blocked.

Veteran marksman Parkin at least pulled a late goal back at the second attempt from Bencherif’s long ball forward after initially being denied by goalkeeper Peter Jameson.

Meanwhile, Dale crashed a fine 25-yard effort against the post at the other end, while Connolly replied narrowly wide – but any reward would have been a total injustice.

York City: Bartlett, Rowe (Law 48), Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson, McAllister (Gray 65), Moke, Pattison, Connolly, Parkin, Morgan-Smith (Smith 90)

subs (unused): Parslow, Simpson

Goals: Parkin (pen 29, 88)

Blyth Spartans: Jameson, Atkinson, Buddle, Hutchinson (Wrightson 15), Liddle, Reid, Mullen (McTiernan 37), Rivers, Green, Dale, Rutherford (Laidler 84)

subs (unused): I. Watson, MacDonald

Goals: Reid (pen 25), Wrightson (35), Rutherford (73)

Ref: J. Matthews

Att: 2,751 (390 Blyth)