YORK City moved to within one win of securing a League Two play-off place following a hard-fought victory over Bury.
Centre-back Keith Lowe’s first goal for the Minstermen on five minutes proved decisive and extended his team’s unbeaten run to a 15th game against a Bury team reduced to ten men on 81 minutes when Daniel Nardiello was sent off.
With eighth-placed Oxford losing to Scunthorpe, York know one victory from either of their last two games will guarantee a top-seven spot.
First up is mid-table Newport County at Bootham Crescent on Saturday and, with a trip to title hopefuls Scunthorpe wrapping up the regular season seven days later, City’s supporters will be hoping everything can be resolved this weekend.
Having witnessed his team take six points over the Easter period following the 1-0 Good Friday win at Oxford, a satisfied Nigel Worthington said: “Playing two important games in four days can drain you physically and emotionally but the lads have done exceptionally well.”
Lowe pounced to give York the lead from the first attempt of the afternoon when he met Will Hayhurst’s low corner and swept the ball past Brian Jensen.
Shortly afterwards, Calvin Andrew nearly opened his own account for the Minstermen but Jensen made a flying save from his 30-yard effort.
At the other end, John McCombe cleared off the line when Hallam Hope shot for goal after rounding Nick Pope.
On-loan Manchester City striker Hope also guided a 37th-minute chance wide after racing on to Pablo Mills’ through ball.
After the break, Pope lunged low to his left to keep out a well-struck Danny Mayor drive while McCombe blazed over from eight yards for the Minstermen.
Despite Nardiello seeing red for a second bookable offence, the visitors finished the game strongest. Pope saved a couple of Chris Hussey free kicks, Hope headed into the on-loan Charlton man’s hands and Danny Rose had one attempt saved before seeing a further 96th-minute volley flash wide as York rode their luck.
York City: Pope; Oyebanjo, Lowe, McCombe, Davies; Brobbel, Montrose, Penn, Hayhurst (Reed, 46); Andrew, Coulson (Bowman, 90). Unused substitutes: Jarvis, Platt, Allan, Ingham, McGurk.
Bury: Jensen; Jones, Mills (Cameron, 90), McNulty, Hussey; Mayor, Sedgwick (Rose, 59), Tutte (Platt, 74), Soares, Hope, Nardiello. Unused substitutes: Procter, Miller, Charles-Cook, Obadeyi.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland).
Man of the match: Keith Lowe.