Solihull Moors 1 York City 2
The Automated Technology Group Stadium
Fri 14th Apr 3.00pm
York City only just survived a spirited comeback to clinch an absolutely priceless 2-1 victory against Solihull Moors at The Automated Technology Group Stadium.
Two first-half goals from Vadaine Oliver suggested it might be a comfortable afternoon while facing opponents who had lost their previous game 9-0. But Harry White curled in a superb free-kick in opening-half added time and the visitors then spent the vast majority of the contest simply hanging onto their lead.
The Minstermen were unchanged after finally dragging themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time in five months courtesy of their excellent 2-0 victory at Chester. Skipper Simon Heslop recovered from the virus that had threatened his inclusion.
Leading scorer Jon Parkin had seen an early attempt deflected away and midfielder Asa Hall's resultant corner was glanced wide. Parkin also sliced another effort off-target before Oliver poked behind when getting in ahead of on loan Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter. Simeon Maye swept comfortably wide in reply and White also missed out.
But York went in front when Amari Morgan-Smith was fouled on fifteen minutes and Parkin's free-kick found the inside of the post before Oliver followed-up for his eighth goal since returning to Bootham Crescent.
Goalscorer Oliver immediately despatched another attempt towards the keeper and Andy Brown's replying volley was massively wide. Parkin's ambitious 40-yard free-kick was next parried by Baxter while Hall and Parkin (again) both hoisted over.
The visitors appeared well in control but Morgan-Smith couldn't find sufficient momentum to seriously challenge the keeper, who was though beaten for a second time when Oliver struck into the bottom corner from twelve-yards after exchanging passes with Hall.
Recent goalscorer Danny Holmes' defensive header then forced Scott Loach into his first save of the afternoon and Heslop volleyed directly towards his opposite number Baxter. Joel Kettle in turn glanced a header wide from Nortei Nortey's free-kick.
Advancing wing-back Alex Whittle next had a shot turned away by Baxter at his near post following a neat one-two with Parkin. But Holmes was suddenly penalised in first-half added time and White despatched an excellent 35-yard free-kick into the top corner to reduce the deficit.
On loan midfielder Hall sent an early second-half effort wide for the visitors before Moors goalscorer White burst away and Loach turned his finish onto an upright. The former England Under-21 keeper soon denied the same player again and Nortei also glanced a header towards him.
Shaun Rooney replaced Holmes after almost an hour but was booked for coming on late as the fourth official wrestled with the electronic board. The Scot instantly committed a foul and could even have been walking straight back off.
York defender Hamza Bencherif looped a header over from Sean Newton's free-kick while White's dangerous reply was only narrowly wide. George Carline next blazed over and Brown headed an Ashley Sammons free-kick a matter of inches away as the hosts were still enjoying far more of the action.
Veteran striker Parkin was at least thwarted by Baxter from Newton's free-kick towards the other end; but Loach suddenly parried across goal before substitute Omari Sterling-James drilled into the side-netting with only five minutes remaining.
Skipper Heslop then picked up a late booking for a timely foul and Loach superbly denied White within the same duration of added time, as the visitors simply concentrated on desperately hanging on amidst a barrage of corners.
Had they not done exactly that they would have dropped straight back into the relegation zone with just three games remaining, such were the results elsewhere.
Solihull Moors: Baxter, Franklin (Sterling-James 79), Kettle, Sanusi (Sammons 67), Green, Maye, Byrne, Nortey (Afolayan 67), White, Carline, Brown
subs (unused): Acton, Shade
Goals: White (45)
York City: Loach, Parslow, Bencherif, Newton, Holmes (Rooney 57), Heslop, Hall, Whittle, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Oliver
subs (unused): Moke, Muggleton, Fenwick, Connolly
Goals: Oliver (15, 31)
Ref: S. Oldham