Date: 29th April 2017 at 3:13pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City have been disastrously relegated from the National League after a 2-2 draw with Forest Green Rovers at Bootham Crescent.

Two more goals from veteran striker Jon Parkin simply weren’t enough as defensive frailties had twice allowed German-born forward Omar Bugiel an ultimately costly double.

The Minstermen actually came within moments of a reprieve with neighbours Guiseley only equalising in the final minute against Solihull Moors, who had already missed a first-half penalty.

Braintree Town are similarly relegated following their 2-0 loss at Aldershot Town, in addition to the previously confirmed North Ferriby United and Southport.

There was a warm minute’s applause prior to kick-off as respect was paid to former Press journalist and City reporter Malcolm Huntington, who sadly died earlier this week.

Manager Gary Mills had made a single-change with Sam Muggleton handed a debut in place of Alex Whittle, who dropped out completely after missing training during the week. Former Rovers midfielder Yan Klukowski returned on the bench.

Attacking towards their favoured home end during the opening half, York appropriately began at a rapid tempo and Parkin’s volley from the edge of the area was turned behind by goalkeeper Sam Russell. Debutant Muggleton then incredibly twice struck the crossbar direct from throw-ins, with Vadaine Oliver hoisting over from the second of them.

But it was their opponents suddenly taking the lead from their first attack as Dan Wishart left Asa Hall and provided the opportunity for Bugiel to side-foot beyond Scott Loach. Wishart next drove wide for the visitors.

York should really have equalised, though, as Parkin’s low cross was wastefully lifted over by the sliding Oliver at point-blank range. Keanu Marsh-Brown replied wide from an angle.

Former Rovers striker Parkin’s free-kick from just outside the area was next deflected behind and Sean Newton drove speculatively from distance.

However, skipper Simon Heslop suddenly seized possession and released Parkin to expertly slot an equaliser past Russell with just over half-an-hour played.

But Rovers were instantly back in front when Fabien Robert allowed Bugiel to poke his second goal of the afternoon wide of Loach, that without the relegation-threatened side even touching the ball.

Back came the hosts with Muggleton’s effort from the edge of the box being saved by Russell while Shamir Mullings replied wide of the near post.

Newton blasted over for the home side with the interval fast approaching, although two-goal Bugiel still fired directly at Loach after decent work from Mullings.

The Minstermen went close straight upon the restart as Hall’s deflected shot was turned away by Russell. But they didn’t have to wait for long with Parkin cleverly back-heeling into the net after Amari Morgan-Smith returned at the back post from Muggleton’s long throw.

Parkin’s 25-yard free-kick was soon wide and Russell then superbly blocked Hall’s close-range header with his legs, while Muggleton’s cross-shot was deflected behind as the hosts were now dominating.

Striker Oliver could in turn only find Russell from an angle when breaking on the left, before his header lacked sufficient force to properly trouble the keeper. Wishart’s response was comfortably wayward and Emmanuel Monthe’s strike deflected behind.

Heslop’s cross was then met by Oliver’s glancing header towards Russell, and the York captain also curled narrowly over just as desperate news was breaking of a last-minute Guiseley equaliser.

Goalkeeper Loach was therefore sent forward for a trio of late set-pieces with City now crashed back into the bottom four, but second-half midfielder Newton could only blaze wide from Muggleton’s long throw deep into added time.

Moments later and the final whistle was greeted only by absolute stunned silence.

York City: Loach, Parslow, Bencherif, Newton, Holmes, Heslop, Hall (Fenwick 89), Muggleton, Morgan-Smith (Connolly 89), Parkin, Oliver

subs (unused): Klukowski, Moke, Letheren

Goals: Parkin (33, 48)

Forest Green Rovers: Russell, Monthe, Ellis, Traore (Tilt 60), Marsh-Brown (Kelly 60), Bennett (Mehew 73), Noble, Wishart, Mullings, Robert, Bugiel

subs (unused): Cooper, Lefebvre

Goals: Bugiel (6, 35)

Ref: T. Bramall

Att: 3,984 (113 Forest Green)