Morecambe 1 York City 1: York denied late on but give Wilcox cause to be pleased

York's Russ Penn fires wide.
York's Russ Penn fires wide.
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A FIRST point for Russ Wilcox and a move out of the League Two relegation zone.

Before kick-off last night, the new York City manager would surely have taken both if they had been offered.

Come the final whistle, however, Wilcox cut a frustrated figure after seeing his new charges come within 60 seconds of collecting all three points.

A dramatic 94th-minute equaliser by Jack Redshaw rescued a point for Morecambe that, on the balance of play, the promotion-chasers did not merit.

York had, but for a brief spell early in the second half, been the better side and had justice been served then Michael Coulson’s opener 13 minutes from time would have been enough to claim only their second victory of the season.

York were hugely improved on Wilcox’s first game, Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Shrewsbury Town.

Neat and tidy on the ball, the Minstermen combined attacking verve with dogged defending throughout.

And while the 161 hardy souls who followed their team to Morecambe on a bitterly cold night left bemoaning the last-gasp equaliser by the hosts, they will surely also have been buoyed by the manner of York’s display.

The tail-end of Hurricane Gonzalo, which had caused havoc in Bermuda before crossing the Atlantic, ensured the Lancashire coast took something of a battering yesterday.

By kick-off, the wind speed may have dipped slightly but not enough to mean it was not going to impact on play.

York’s response was to try to keep the ball on the floor as much as possible and the tactic worked well in the first half.

Neat passing needs an outlet, of course, and York had this through over-lapping right-back Marvin McCoy, who caused untold problems for the home defence in those opening 45 minutes.

McCoy brought a flying save from Barry Roche after one sweeping move that had seen York race 70 yards in a matter of seconds, and the full-back also had a cross turned just wide on the volley by Jake Hyde.

Hyde, a summer signing from Barnet, also went agonisingly close just before the break as his shot on the turn dribbled wide following a knock-down from John McCombe.

Morecambe, in contrast to the slick passing of the visitors, laboured in the first half but Michael Ingham did have one save of note to make when clawing away Paul Mullin’s shot on 27 minutes. That apart, though, the play-off hopefuls offered very little in attack until the introduction of Jack Redshaw early in the second half.

Suddenly, where before the Shrimps had looked leaden-footed and clumsy on the ball, they now possessed something of a swagger on the ball.

A sweeping move just before the hour saw York opened up by a couple of incisive passes and Redshaw, collecting the ball just outside the penalty area, unleashed a ferocious shot that cannoned against a post. From the resulting corner, Andy Parrish headed just over and it was clear that the momentum was in danger of swinging the way of the hosts.

York’s response was admirable, a neat one-two between Russell Penn and Michael Coulson ending with the former curling an effort wide when well positioned.

Lindon Meikle then showed tremendous tenacity to wriggle his way through on the right before his attempted cross was put behind.

Moments later and after Morecambe had failed to clear the resulting corner, Lowe had a shot that Roche was fortunate to keep out after making a total hash of his first attempted save.

It was a let-off for Morecambe but one that proved only temporary with York going ahead just a minute or so later.

Incisive play at pace was what created the opening as the home defence was left flat-footed by a delightful turn that was followed straight away by Coulson firing into the bottom corner of the net.

That looked like being that and it would have been but for Redshaw, who after having a couple of late efforts that flew wide struck three minutes and 33 seconds into stoppage time to break York hearts.

Morecambe: Roche; Beeley, Hughes, Parrish, Widdowson; Amond (Sampson 80), Fleming, Kenyon, Ellison; Devitt (Redshaw 54); Mullin (Barkhuizen 72). Unused substitutes: Jones, Edwards, Wright, Williams.

York City: Ingham; McCoy, McCombe, Lowe, Ilesanmi; Meikle, Penn, Montrose (Platt 75), Coulson; Brunt, Hyde. Unused substitutes: Mooney, Parslow, Summerfield, Straker, De Girolamo, Hirst.

Referee: A Haines (Tyne & Wear).