Date: 7th October 2017 at 5:01pm
Written by: Vital York City

New manager Martin Gray was able to celebrate a late 2-1 victory against third-placed Brackley Town in his opening game in charge at Bootham Crescent.

Striker Jon Parkin scored twice to take his overall tally for the season to eight, with his superb free-kick winner only arriving inside the final five minutes.

The veteran marksman had already headed the hosts in front midway through the first-half, but Aaron Williams equalised with around twenty minutes remaining.

Gray earlier made four changes from the side knocked out of the FA Cup last week, with Luke Simpson, Aidan Connolly, Josh Law and new signing David Ferguson replacing Jon Worsnop, Theo Wharton, Jassem Sukar and the injured Alex Whittle.

Missing out completely were Louis Almond, Connor Smith and Sam Muggleton, while the visitors were without leading goalscorer Jimmy Armson and former York defender Luke Graham due to his wife going into labour.

Main talisman Parkin glanced an early Law free-kick wide after debutant Ferguson was fouled, while Lee Ndlovu was too rapid for Hamza Bencherif until running out of room at the other end.

Skipper Sean Newton in turn saw a long-range attempt deflected behind before Daniel Parslow headed onto the roof of the net from the resultant corner.

Amari Morgan-Smith next had another header turned over by keeper Daniel Lewis from Connolly’s cross, although the hosts were still to move in front midway through the opening half; Newton delivered a third corner in quick succession and Parkin headed in from close-range after Parslow flicked on at the near post.

Brackley were mainly threatening via the long throws of Connor Franklin and Parkin importantly headed away from underneath his own crossbar prior to the break.

Williams immediately had an angled effort parried by Simpson upon the restart before also being denied by Bencherif’s timely block.

The visitors were noticeably having the better of things – and Ndlovu was comfortably wide ahead of Felix replacing the tiring Connolly with just over an hour completed.

Home keeper Simpson then made an instinctive save to thwart Alex Gudger, but was later beaten by Williams’ cross-shot after Parslow was caught out with twenty minutes remaining.

New boss Gray reacted immediately with sixteen-year-old Ryan Edmondson being given a full debut at the expense of Morgan-Smith and Wharton soon also taking over from Adriano Moke.

However, with under five minutes remaining, Parkin smashed a tremendous 25-yard free-kick into the top corner after himself being pulled back, to secure crucial maximum points.

York City: Simpson, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Ferguson, Heslop, Moke (Wharton 74), Newton, Connolly (Felix 62), Parkin, Morgan-Smith (Edmondson 73)

subs (unused): Sukar, Worsnop

Goals: Parkin (21, 86)

Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Gudger, S. Byrne, Franklin, Dean, G. Walker (Tilney 90), J. Byrne (Lowe 46), Ndlovu, A. Williams, A. Walker

subs (unused): Diggin, Kaziboni, J. Williams

Goals: A. Williams (70)

Ref: T. Parsons

Att: 2,732 (37 Brackley)