Minstermen blow aside Rovers challenge
Sat 15th Dec 3pm
York City romped to a comfortable 4-1 victory over struggling Bristol Rovers after scoring three times during a frenetic six-minute spell in the first-half at Bootham Crescent.
Ashley Chambers had an early cross headed past his own goalkeeper by Rovers defender Garry Kenneth before twice netting himself either side of a fine Jason Walker volley as the hosts led 4-1 at the break.
On loan Bolton Wanderers striker Tom Eaves had earlier equalised before York suffered a serious blow just ahead of the interval when midfielder Patrick McLaughlin was carried off with concussion.
Home goalkeeper Michael Ingham was called upon to deny German midfielder Fabian Broghammer following an early mistake from skipper Chris Smith before the contest sensationally burst into life on fourteen minutes. Chambers whipped in a cross from the left with former Dundee United defender Kenneth glancing a header beyond his own keeper.
But Rovers were level within a minute when Eaves took advantage of slack defensive work between Jamal Fyfield and Chris Doig and drove past Ingham from the edge of the area. However, they weren't on equal terms for long as their opponents immediately swept down the other end with Walker freeing Matty Blair to cross for Chambers to head past Sam Walker.
Fyfield almost released Chambers again until the Minstermen incredibly claimed their third goal in six minutes with Walker superbly volleying into the corner from twelve-yards following an excellent build-up.
York added a fourth with McLaughlin supplying a lovely through pass on 34 minutes and Chambers showing his composure to chip wide of Walker in the visitors' goal for his eighth of the season.
There was then a long delay just before the break after McLaughlin was hurt when almost releasing Fyfield. The Northern Ireland Under-21 international was eventually carried off and replaced by the returning Jonathan Smith, although another defensive mistake from namesake Chris Smith ended with Ingham tipping over from Joe Anyinsah in the final action of a very eventful opening half of action.
Chambers missed the chance of a hat-trick early in the second-half when failing to control Scott Kerr's threaded pass before sending a long-range effort straight at the keeper. York then handed a debut to teenager Tom Allan as replacement for the limping Doig - and he soon witnessed Eaves only finding the side-netting from a narrow angle after going around Ingham, who also blocked well with his feet before Tom Parks headed over.
The second-half was certainly failing to recapture the mood of the opening period as the hosts were attacking towards their own supporters. Substitute Jonathan Smith did have a close-range effort blocked following Michael Potts' free-kick and later struck inches wide from Fyfield's cross after fellow replacement Alex Rodman had already driven straight at Walker. Meanwhile, York goalkeeper Ingham again blocked well from Michael Smith at the other end.
York City: Ingham, Parslow, C. Smith, Doig (Allan 56), Fyfield, Kerr, Potts, McLaughlin (J. Smith 45), Blair, Walker, Chambers (Rodman 65)
subs (unused): Musselwhite, McGurk, Bullock, Reed
Goals: Kenneth OG (14), Chambers (16, 33), Walker (19)
Bristol Rovers: Walker, Woodards (M. Smith 46), Kenneth, Branston (Richard 89), Parks, Broghammer, Paterson, Lund (Clucas 46), Clarkson, Anyinsah, Eaves
subs (unused): Gough, Norburn, Harrison, Riordan
Goals: Eaves (15)
Ref: P. Tierney (Lancashire)
Att: 3,109 (282 Bristol Rovers)