York collapse in late shambles
Sat 2nd Feb 3pm
York City suffered a sixth home league defeat of the season after Morecambe completed a crushing 4-1 victory at Bootham Crescent.
The Minstermen are now seventeenth in the table and eight points clear of relegation but their record of only four victories in fifteen home games this season leaves them anxiously looking over their shoulder.
Morecambe took the lead midway through the opening half courtesy of Lewis Alessandra. But Jason Walker soon grabbed his ninth goal of the season from the penalty spot to level against his former club.
However, a dreadful mistake from goalkeeper Michael Ingham with sixteen minutes remaining allowed Kevin Ellison to reclaim the lead and substitute Jack Redshaw scored two late goals to complete the rout.
Manager Gary Mills earlier handed a debut to on loan Swansea City defender Curtis Obeng while fellow newcomer David McDaid was included on the bench.
And Obeng soon delivered for Matty Blair to flick wide while Patrick McLaughlin saw a driven effort blocked after Ingham had already collected a looping Gary McDonald effort.
But the hosts had a real chance on nineteen minutes when Alex Rodman hesitated inside the area following good work between Blair and Walker before Scott Kerr drilled wide from distance.
Morecambe suddenly showed their own threat when Ellison broke clear until being denied by Ingham, although the former Northern Ireland international could do nothing when Ellison won a header from Andrew Parrish's cross and Alessandra steered across goal to open the scoring.
However, York were level five minutes later when skipper Chris Smith was adjudged to have been fouled by Nick Fenton just as Blair was heading in McLaughlin's corner. Walker drove his penalty high into the net to equalise.
Blair then had a dangerous cross cleared just ahead of the arriving Michael Potts before heading over another whipped delivery from Obeng.
Former Grimsby Town defender Fenton headed over from the second of two quick corners in reply while York midfielder Potts saw an effort deflect through to the keeper in first-half added time.
The Minstermen were attacking towards their preferred home end in the second half but it was their opponents starting much the better with Ingham saving a 25-yard shot from Will Haining. McLaughlin was though denied by a timely block following a Blair cross at the other end while Ellison blasted the ball into the net via the crossbar for the visitors from an offside position
York wasted a great opportunity midway through the second-half when keeper Barry Roche missed McLaughlin's corner but Daniel Parslow's attempted conversation lacked enough force and allowed Haining sufficient time to hack off the line.
Mills introduced new striker McDaid for Potts a couple of minutes later but it was the visitors replacing their marksman Alessandra with eight-goal Redshaw that was to prove the more significant decision.
Nevertheless Northern Ireland Under-21 international McLaughlin sliced another chance wide before his side conceded three times during a calamitous final sixteen minutes.
A dreadful mistake from keeper Ingham as he chased out to completely miss his clearance presented Ellison with an open goal as the visitors were gifted the advantage.
An immediate double substitution from their opponents then witnessed the arrival of Jamal Fyfield and John McReady at the expense of McLaughlin and Rodman. Defender Smith soon had a drive blocked after being permanently pushed forward into attack while Blair headed over another Obeng cross.
But Chris Holroyd broke away for the visitors with three minutes remaining and substitute Redshaw followed up to score after Ingham had already blocked from Ellison.
The situation grew even worse moments later when Redshaw escaped again and drew Ingham for his second of the afternoon - although by then many of the disgruntled home fans had already vacated the stadium.
York City: Ingham, Obeng, Smith, O'Connell, Parslow, Kerr, Potts (McDaid 67), McLaughlin (Fyfield 81), Blair, Walker, Rodman (McReady 81)
subs (unused): Musselwhite, McGurk, Challinor, Reed
Goals: Walker (pen 28)
Morecambe: Roche, Fenton, Haining, McCready, Parrish, Williams, Drummond, McDonald, Alessandra (Redshaw 70), Holroyd (Burrow 90), Ellison
subs (unused): Arestidou, Doyle, Reid, Mwasile, McGowan
Goals: Alessandra (23), Ellison (74), Redshaw (87, 90)
Ref: R. Clark (Northumberland)