Red Rewind: City reach final eight
The prolific Matty Blair scored his fifteenth goal of the season to send York City into the FA Trophy quarter-finals after a hard-earned 1-0 victory against Ebbsfleet United.
Blair forced in a left wing cross from the returning Jason Walker early in the second-half after a scrappy opening period at Bootham Crescent.
Walker then missed a last-minute penalty after Blair was adjudged brought down just inside the area.
The Minstermen next travel to Grimsby Town in the last eight of the competition - their fourth appearance there in five years.
Manager Gary Mills earlier made four changes and handed debuts to three of his latest signings, with Chris Doig, Erik Tonne and Ben Swallow all included from the start.
However, both sides appeared to suffer from their recent inactivity, especially during the opening forty-five minutes.
Blair had a first-time shot saved by Fleet keeper Preston Edwards early on and Callum Willock scuffed weakly as his opposite number Michael Ingham.
Debutant Swallow then dragged an effort across goal for the hosts before Blair's delivery was gratefully hacked clear by Paul Lorraine with Walker ready to strike.
York midfielder Patrick McLaughlin had a shot turned over by Edwards following a blocked header from the subsequent corner, while Jon Challinor cleared well after a James Meredith slip at the opposite end.
The lively Blair saw another effort deflected across goal after neat control before Liam Enver-Marum sent a free-kick into the defensive wall in reply.
The Minstermen went closer on the half-hour as McLaughlin's drive struck Lorraine after a decent run by Blair, although Meredith did well to deny Enver-Marum moments later before McLaughlin proceeded to miskick twenty-yards out.
But the hosts needed Ingham to save when on loan Fleet striker Gozie Ugwu threatened his bottom corner, while Ram Marwa's timely interception at the other end stopped McLaughlin getting onto the end of Tonne's through ball.
However, York wasted little time upon the restart when Walker's whipped cross from the left was helped on by Scott Kerr for Blair to join the former Barrow and Luton Town striker at the top of the scoring charts from close-range.
Back came the visitors with Joe Howe escaping down the left but his finish lacked conviction and provided Ingham with an easy catch.
The former Northern Ireland international was though seriously stretched soon after with a great save from Enver-Marum following a mistake by Doig.
Goalscorer Blair then drilled across goal before Tonne struck narrowly wide from thirty-yards, although Blair was again the danger as Edwards was forced to parry before the in-form forward headed straight into his arms from substitute Ashley Chambers' 70th minute free-kick.
The Minstermen suddenly appeared exposed seconds later as Meredith slipped but this time Challinor recovered well and Blair's cross from an immediate counter was cleared away.
Further good work from Blair almost set up another substitute Jamie Reed, but it was the visitors missing a real opportunity when Willock hoisted over from a fortunate deflection with only three minutes remaining.
York should have finally settled the contest as Blair was taken down by Howe in the final minute - with the referee ruling it as inside the area. Walker failed to find a comeback goal though and struck his penalty against the post.
Fleet were still just about in it and they sent keeper Edwards forward for a late corner after Enver-Marum's cross was deflected behind before their opponents broke away and Reed lashed over with Chambers up in support.
York City: Ingham, Challinor, Smith, Doig, Meredith (Parslow 84), Kerr, McLaughlin, Tonne (Chambers 63), Blair, Walker, Swallow (Reed 63)
subs (unused): Pilkington, Blinkhorn
Goals: Blair (48)
Ebbsfleet United: Edwards, Stone, Lorraine, Mambo, Howe, Phipp, Marwa, Enver-Marum, Willock, Ugwu, Pinney (Shakes 80)
subs (unused): McNeil, Smith, Barrett, Stadrinou
Ref: R. Clark
Att: 1,419 (20 Ebbsfleet)
Video Link: YorkCityTV