Brave effort not enough
Mon 12th Nov 7.45pm
Substitute Jamie Reed scored twice but York City ultimately paid for the first-half sending-off of midfielder Scott Kerr following a 4-3 extra-time defeat at AFC Wimbledon in their FA Cup first round replay.
Kerr was awarded a second yellow card after a late challenge in the build-up to Charlie Strutton cancelling out goalkeeper Seb Brown punching a Danny Kearns corner into his own net.
Strutton added his second with twelve minutes remaining until Reed dramatically levelled in the final minute of normal time and only moments after his late introduction.
But having already played for almost an hour with only ten-men, the visitors understandably tired during extra-time and Byron Harrison and Jack Midson added further efforts before Reed scrambled in his second of the evening just before the end.
However, York should have already had the game well sewn-up by half-time after both Lanre Oyebanjo and Jason Walker missed excellent chances while Oyebanjo and Matty Blair each struck the woodwork.
Walker also saw a header cleared off the line and all this after the visitors were denied a clear penalty when Walker was bundled down inside the area by Matt Mitchel-King - with Kerr being given a costly first yellow for his protestations.
Manager Gary Mills earlier recalled Daniel Parslow at right-back and pushed Oyebanjo into midfield to cover for the unavailable Alex Rodman. The hosts made seven changes from the weekend, with the late withdrawal of winger Luke Moore certainly not helping their cause.
Parslow was actually required to take treatment for an early knock to his ankle but he might have been celebrating as early as eight minutes when Walker tried to usher the ball out for a corner and was blatantly shoved over inside the area by Mitchel-King. Referee Keith Stroud somehow awarded a goal-kick and immediately cautioned Kerr for arguing against the decision.
Walker then had a shot charged down after Oyebanjo's long throw was headed on by Clarke Carlisle before a superb run and cross from Kearns was met by a diving header over the bar by Oyebanjo as an open goal beckoned. It wasn't the first time that York were to waste a glorious opportunity.
Rashid Yussuff drilled wide when Carlisle accidentally cleared straight into the face of the unfortunate Parslow while Dons midfielder Steven Gregory was booked for a late tackle on Ashley Chambers. Gregory was actually hugely fortunate not to be dismissed after soon producing another couple of reckless challenges.
The Minstermen were appearing much the better side and Oyebanjo strode forward with intent and his tremendous right-footed shot was met by a flying save by Brown. Kearns then had another effort deflected wide, and it was from his subsequent corner that the visitors deservedly went ahead as Brown punched into his own net under challenge from Carlisle.
That advantage could have been doubled six minutes later with the tricky Kearns cutting in from the left and drilling against the crossbar before Blair headed the follow-up into the grateful arms of Brown.
Yussuff had a free-kick deflected wide in reply, but his side were still to equalise when Kerr conceded possession just outside his own area and then flew into a recovery challenge on Yussuff while Strutton fired low inside Michael Ingham's near post. To compound his error Kerr was promptly shown a second yellow card.
York responded by moving Parslow across into the holding role and swapping Oyebanjo into his regular right-back position.
Despite their numerical disadvantage the visitors continued to come forward and a glorious crossfield pass from the excellent Jamal Fyfield was met by Walker heading across goal and wide when he should really have found the target.
Blair was next to threaten with a jinking run and cross from the left which was cleared before Kearns' corner was helped on at the near post by Chris Smith and Walker's header was desperately hooked off the line by Warren Cummings.
There was still enough time remaining in the first-half for the visitors to hit the woodwork again. This time Dons' goalkeeper Brown cleared against his own defender and Chambers squared for the slightly off-balance Blair to hoist against the crossbar from the edge of the area with an open goal waiting.
The second-half was never to prove as lively, at least until the closing seconds of the contest and after AFC Wimbledon had started to take a firm grip on proceedings just after the hour-mark.
Their right-back Jim Fenlon soon dragged wide from 25-yards following an early corner, but back came their opponents with Walker having another shot charged down and Brown parrying an angled drive from the lively Kearns. Chambers also had a free-kick deflected wide while Kearns' deep corner fizzed agonisingly across goal with Walker arriving at the far post.
The Dons made a double-change on the hour and immediately they began to appear much brighter. Midson and Christian Jolley both sent tame efforts straight at Ingham, until Strutton caught Smith for pace from a long ball headed forward and slotted into an empty net after Ingham had initially blocked.
The Minstermen immediately went back up the pitch and Chambers drove narrowly over from a swift break. But they were now appearing increasingly weary and Wimbledon passed up two great opportunities to settle the contest once and for all.
First Jolley surged into the area with the referee playing advantage despite an assistant's raised flag and Ingham blocked bravely. Two minutes later full debutant Strutton held off the challenge of Fyfield and pulled wide of the left-hand post as his hat-trick beckoned.
There was now less than five minutes to go and Blair blazed well over for the visitors before manager Mills threw on his final card in the shape of Reed with the clock showing 89 minutes.
Reed had already scored the goal in the first game after coming on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw at Bootham Crescent. And within thirty seconds the ball was in the back of the Dons' net when Ingham's long free-kick was headed back across by Carlisle and Reed took two excellent touches - with his second slipping the ball just inside the near post.
Moments later the visitors could even have taken it when another substitute, Oli Johnson, skipped past the keeper and squared for Blair to be only denied what appeared a certain winner by a desperate late challenge.
Despite their late reprieve York were clearly the more tired side and that was to show during the additional thirty minutes.
Carlisle soon had to block a powerful early drive from Cummings, whose next cross took a fortunate deflection off the shin of substitute Harrison as Carlisle attempted to head clear and squeezed inside the near post to regain the lead.
Two minutes later the ten-men were caught once more as their opponents were finally using the full width of the pitch. Cummings delivered again from the left and Strutton headed back for the unmarked Midson to poke into the net from six-yards.
It was now surely all over for York as they bravely pushed Smith into attack for the remainder of the contest. He soon produced a diving header over the bar from another Kearns free-kick before then glancing wide from the same player.
York's skipper was certainly giving it absolutely everything to rescue his side and next found himself out on the left flank - from where his cross was met by a deflected Chambers snapshot which grazed the outside of the far post - the third time the unlucky visitors had been denied by the woodwork.
Time was almost up as the Minstermen came forward yet again and Fyfield's long cross had Carlisle challenging advancing keeper Brown and Reed forcing the loose ball over the line.
Wimbledon substitute Stacey Long curled a free-kick over in reply but his side had just about made the most of their breaks on the night to confirm a meeting with either MK Dons or Cambridge City in the next round.
AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Fenlon (Osano 62), Mitchel-King, Mambo, Cummings, Jolley, H. Johnson (Harrison 61), Gregory, Yussuff (Long 42), Midson, Strutton
subs (unused): Jaimez-Ruiz, Harris, McNaughton, Antwi
Goals: Strutton (34, 78), Harrison (97), Midson (99)
York City: Ingham, Parslow (Reed 89), Carlisle, C. Smith, Fyfield, Kerr, Oyebanjo, Kearns, Blair, Walker (O. Johnson 84), Chambers
subs (unused): Musselwhite, McGurk, Doig, Potts, Challinor
Goals: Brown OG (22), Reed (90, 119)
Ref: K. Stroud
Att: 1,954 (210 York)