Date: 14th March 2017 at 9:47pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City produced another stunning comeback to defeat National League leaders Lincoln City 2-1 in their FA Trophy semi-final first-leg at Bootham Crescent.

The Minstermen were comfortably off the pace during the opening half in which the visitors took an early lead through Lee Angol’s fourteenth-minute penalty.

However, the hosts were a totally different proposition following the introduction of Aidan Connolly at the break, and former Imps striker Vadaine Oliver soon headed them level.

And York were to sensationally forge in front when substitute Adriano Moke’s 69th minute effort was deflected in by Connolly to secure an absolutely thrilling victory.

Manager Gary Mills made three changes with weekend goalscorer Yan Klukowski [calf] and on loan Cheltenham Town duo Daniel Parslow [illness] and Asa Hall [illness] ruled out. Moke was also dropped to the bench with Shaun Rooney, Danny Holmes and Scott Fenwick recalled. Lincoln showed nine alterations to the side defeated by Arsenal in their FA Cup quarter-final.

The visitors had an immediate Joel Ward 25-yard effort deflect through to Kyle Letheren while Angol was similarly threatening as Hamza Bencherif conceded a second early corner. Adam Marriott soon had another attempt from distance towards the Welsh keeper.

But Lincoln still went in front inside the quarter-hour with Bencherif’s illegal challenge on Angol inside the area allowing the on loan Peterborough United striker to claim his fourth goal in just two starts from the penalty spot.

On loan Burnley winger Josh Ginnelly curled a free-kick wide and stand-in skipper Sam Habergham was also too high from long-range. Jon Parkin tried a weak 30-yard reply bouncing harmlessly towards debutant keeper Neil Etheridge.

Billy Knott’s corner was then glanced over by Jamie McCombe at the near post and Letheren blocked at the feet of Ward as the visitors continued to totally dominate the action.

Connolly replaced Fenwick for the start of the second-half and there were early shouts for handball by veteran defender McCombe on the edge of the area.

Wood soon drilled across the face of goal for the visitors, but Callum Howe cleared ahead of Connolly before their lead was cancelled out when Oliver headed in Amari Morgan-Smith’s 53rd minute cross.

Substitute Connolly was then almost on the end of another Morgan-Smith delivery as the home side were appearing a totally different outfit from the opening forty-five minutes.

However, Habergham’s cross flashed dangerously across goal after Moke had replaced hamstring-victim Alex Whittle. But the York substitute was suddenly racing away from a rapid Letheren throw and his shot deflected in off fellow replacement Connolly.

The lively Connolly next struck wide and Bencherif covered well to meet Angol at the other end. On loan Angol also headed at the keeper and Letheren in turn gathered Ward’s fifteen-yard drive before turning over from substitute Luke Waterfall – although a goal-kick was awarded.

And Letheren then made a superb 87th minute save to deny late replacement Matt Rhead’s header, while Oliver broke away during six minutes of added time but couldn’t find the supporting Parkin.

York City: Letheren, Rooney, Bencherif, Newton, Holmes, Heslop, Fenwick (Connolly 46), Whittle (Moke 65), Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Oliver

subs (unused): Simpson, Walton, Fielding

Goals: Oliver (53), Connolly (69)

Lincoln City: Etheridge, Wood, McCombe (Waterfall 80), Howe, Habergham, Ward, Knott (Power 71), Whitehouse, Ginnelly, Marriott (Rhead 71), Angol

subs (unused): Muldoon, Hawkridge

Goals: Angol (pen 14)

Ref: A. Backhouse

Att: 3,294 (1,358 Lincoln)