Smith strikes late for York

A LAST minute goal from Chris Smith denied the Shaymen a deserved victory after another decent pre-season run out at the Shay last night.

Town had been forced to defend for spells in the second period but they looked likely to hold onto the lead they were given courtesy of Danny Lowe’s first half piledriver.

However, it wasn’t to be as Smith headed powerfully past Eastwood in the game’s final action to claim a share of the spoils.

Town boss Neil Aspin introduced trialist strikers Andy Fowler and Scott Spencer while James Dean was given a more than useful 75 minutes and Harry Winter’s return after a year’s lay-off with 15 minutes to go was greeted with huge acclaim by the majority of the 807 spectators in the stadium.

York knocked the ball around with the confidence of a side from a higher division but were unable to produce a finish as Jamie Reed failed to get on the end of a long kick from keeper Michael Ingham and James Fyfield misread the same player’s lateral run into the box minutes later.

However, it was Town who created the first attempt on goal when Dean picked the ball up on the edge of the area and his shot forced Ingham into making a save.

York continued to pose a threat with Fyfield’s daisy-cutter easy for Simon Eastwood before Reed wasted the ever dangerous Adriano Moke’s good work by screwing his shot wide.

It was midway through the half whenTown finally broke the deadlock with an excellent goal. Fowler controlled the ball on the edge of the box and chipped it into Dean who got the faintest of touches to send it across the area. The defender hesitated and Lowe steamed in to drill home.

Scott McManus then had to react quickly to get to the ball ahead of Reed following good work from James Meredith and Matty Blair before Moke pushed the ball too far ahead when he looked to have the beating of the Town defence.

A long throw then almost caused confusion before Eastwood was able to gather then Aaron Hardy had to be brave to clear from Reed.

Lowe stung Ingham’s hands with a 30 yard free-kick after Fowler had been fouled as the Shaymen finished the half on top.

Spencer was brought on to partner Dean up front in the second period and it was Town who continued their momentum with Tom Baker an energetic presence in midfield while Liam Hogan embarked on a long run which deserved a better outcome.

As expected, York worked their way back into the game and Blair, along with the travelling support, thought Eastwood had carried the ball over the line when dealing with a looping ball under his crossbar.

The visitors enjoyed a purple patch with Blair firing wide but the Town defence remained resolute and produced another chance with Liam Needham heading over from a corner after another substitute, Simon Garner, had seen an effort blocked.

York should have levelled when Michael Potts shot straight at Eastwood before Spencer almost doubled the advantage with a curling shot which Ingham just managed to tip over.

Jason Walker then saw a decent effort forced away for a corner as York summoned up one final effort and that graft finally paid off with Smith heading powerfully home at the death.

FC Halifax Town: Eastwood, Hardy, Lowe, Hogan, Haggerty, McManus, Foster, Baker, Dean, Fowler, Needham. Subs: Senior, Holland, Garner Gray, Toulson, Spencer, Winter, Hogan.

York City: Ingham, Oyebanjo, Meredith, Parslow, Smith, Kerr, Moke, Fyfield, Henderson, Reed, Blair. Substitutes: Potts, Walker, Chambers, McLaughlin, Allan, Binns, Musselwhite.

Referee: C Kavanagh.

Attendance: 807