Valiant York refuse to be denied
Sat 17th Nov 3pm
Recalled striker Jamie Reed struck an 89th minute equaliser as York City produced a sterling comeback to earn themselves a well-deserved 2-2 draw at high-flying Port Vale.
The Minstermen appeared set for a third successive defeat when trailing by a couple of goals at the interval. But on loan Alex Rodman claimed his first goal for the club after being set up by the lively Reed midway through the second-half.
And as the visitors continued to dominate the action they were deservedly rewarded when Reed was in the right place to level from a couple of yards out after skipper Chris Smith knocked down a late Jason Walker cross. However, there was still enough time remaining for Smith to clear a late Louis Dodds header from the line.
Manager Gary Mills earlier made three changes from the side defeated by AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup at the beginning of the week. Reed replaced Walker in attack and Chris Doig was preferred at the back to Clarke Carlisle. On loan striker Rodman was also recalled with Scott Kerr suspended following his recent sending-off, in an attacking looking line-up.
The visitors appeared especially comfortable during the opening half-hour in which seventeen-goal Tom Pope saw a header from Robert Taylor's cross easily gathered by Michael Ingham. Reed struck wide in reply after receiving a pass from Daniel Parslow before Rodman steered beyond the far post following a whipped delivery from Reed.
Despite being neat in possession and patient in their approach the visitors still went behind from their opponents' first attempt on goal. Richard Duffy escaped down the right and although Ingham saved well from Dodds the ball fell for Ryan Burge to smash home from eight-yards.
Boosted by that Dodds twice hoisted over while Reed replied by holding-off his marker and drilling wide from 30-yards. Rodman also sent a right-footed shot through to goalkeeper Chris Neal but it was the hosts extending their lead just before the break when a cross struck Smith inside the area. The referee awarded a penalty which Jennison Myrie-Williams calmly despatched into the corner.
However, York were still bright after the break and indeed proceeded to totally dominate the rest of the action. Danny Kearns worked himself into good space but his fierce cross was too high. The visitors soon made a change with Jon Challinor slotting in at right-back after replacing Chambers - with Oyebanjo pushing forward. He soon saw an effort deflected behind while Reed turned well and struck over the crossbar.
The Minstermen were totally dictating against their higher-ranked opponents and just seeking the final ball. That duly arrived on 67 minutes when Reed timed his pass perfectly for Rodman to avoid being caught offside and confidently finish past Neal.
York continued to press forward and Oyebanjo was denied by a crucial late challenge inside the area before Parslow headed Challinor's cross straight at the keeper. That prompted a double-change from the clearly worried hosts for whom Dodds struck across goal and recalled defender John McCombe headed over from a corner.
The visitors threw on Walker for the final stages and he soon saw an effort deflected narrowly wide, and although the corner was initially cleared the substitute then delivered for the advanced Smith to head down and Reed smashed home his first-ever goal at this level from point-blank range.
Port Vale: Neal, Yates, McCombe, McDonald, Duffy, Taylor (McAllister 74), Myrie-Williams, Shuker (Williamson 74), Burge, Dodds, Pope
subs (unused): Johnson, Davis, James, Lloyd
Goals: Burge (30), Myrie-Williams (pen 44)
York City: Ingham, Oyebanjo, C. Smith, Doig, Fyfield, Parslow, Blair, Kearns, Chambers (Challinor 56), Reed, Rodman (Walker 85)
subs (unused): Musselwhite, McGurk, Carlisle, Potts, McLaughlin
GOals: Rodman (67), Reed (89)
Ref: J. Simpson
Att: 5,380 (377 York)