Minstermen walking tall after victory
Tue 1st Jan 3pm
Striker Jason Walker helped York City to a welcome 3-0 victory against play-off chasing Burton Albion at Bootham Crescent.
Walker converted an early penalty after a foul on Alex Rodman before delivering a 36th minute corner turned in from point-blank range by Patrick McLaughlin. Matty Blair added a late third with a fine solo goal to settle any remaining doubt.
The Minstermen named an unchanged starting line-up as they attacked towards their favoured home end and actually went close early on. New corner-taker Walker delivered and goalkeeper Dean Lyness, who had already parried aside a Jamal Fyfield free-kick, only just managed to block on his line from McLaughlin before his opposite number Michael Ingham reacted well to gather Billy Kee's flick at his near post.
But York went ahead when on loan Rodman was adjudged to have been fouled by Marcus Holness after cutting inside the area on thirteen minutes and Walker blasted his penalty straight down the middle for his seventh goal of the season.
Burton immediately went down the other end and Ingham scrambled away a deflected Jack Dyer effort before their keeper Lyness required extended treatment after Rodman attempted to take advantage of a whipped Blair cross.
The hosts still increased their lead nine minutes before the break when Northern Ireland Under-21 international McLaughlin forced in from close-range when Lyness failed to deal with another teasing Walker corner.
The Brewers tried to respond during the closing stages of the first-half and there were timely clearances from both skipper Chris Smith and the recently restored David McGurk until Ingham tipped over Kee's looping header. The subsequent corner was eventually dealt with as Jacques Maghoma attempted to turn in near the line.
York were forced into a change at the break when goalscorer Walker was replaced by Jamie Reed. However, Scott Kerr soon had a 25-yard effort blocked at the expense of a corner. Michael Potts also hoisted over from outside the area following good work between Blair and Reed.
The visitors were though appearing more dangerous than in the opening half and Kee headed wide from one of a number of rising deliveries into the area. But their opponents slowly began to reclaim more possession and determined work from Potts allowed Blair to deliver a dangerous cross which was hastily cleared ahead of McLaughlin.
Even so it required a superb twice-clearance off the line from captain Smith to keep the two-goal lead intact midway through the half, while Blair served a warning of what was to come with a searching half-volley across goal following Potts' ball forward. Burton substitute Cleveland Taylor next forced a save from Ingham.
But the Minstermen finally sealed the contest with nine minutes remaining when Blair set-off on a superb individual break before lashing in from 25-yards - and immediately celebrated his achievement with an extravagant somersault.
York City: Ingham, Parslow, McGurk, Smith, Fyfield, Kerr (Bullock 85), Potts (Oyebanjo 88), McLaughlin, Blair, Walker (Reed 46), Rodman
subs (unused): Musselwhite, Allan, Platt, Challinor
Goals: Walker (pen 13), McLaughlin (36), Blair (81)
Burton Albion: Lyness, Webster, O'Connor (Taylor 52), Holness, Weir (McGrath 85), McCrory, Maghoma (Phillips 85), Dyer, Bell, Zola, Kee
subs (unused): Atkins, Palmer, Paterson
Ref: S. Duncan (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
Att: 3,863 (252 Burton)