YORK City chief Russ Wilcox admitted his side’s draw with fellow trugglers Carlisle was a “desperate” game of football.
The Minstermen have won just two games at Bootham Crescent all season following back-to-back goalless stalemates on their heavily-sanded and well-criticised pitch.
But, with Tranmere losing, both teams did move three points clear of the drop zone after sharing the spoils.
Delivering his verdict, Wilcox said: “Both teams were desperate for points and it was quiet a desperate game. We had two cleared off the line and looked the most likeliest team to score but it was a scrappy and horrible match and, when that’s the case, you want to come away with the points then nobody looks at the performance, but that didn’t happen.”
Carlisle shaded the first-half proceedings but Charlie Wyke headed the best chance straight at goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik from on-loan Bradford City midfielder Jason Kennedy’s free-kick.
After the break, York were more threatening with Michael Coulson forcing goalkeeper Dan Hanford into his first save of the match on 50 minutes.
Coulson and Emile Sinclair then saw scrambled efforts cleared off the line in quick succession by Danny Grainger and Sean O’Hanlon.
By then, on-loan Tottenham striker Shaq Coulthirst had been given his York debut from the bench and his lively showing is expected to be rewarded with a start against Bury at Bootham Crescent tomorrow night.
York City: Olejnik; McCoy, Lowe, Zubar, Ilesanmi; Coulson, Penn, Halliday, Carson (De Girolamo, 85); Hyde (Coulthirst, 56), Sinclair. Unused substitutes: Ingham, Platt, Montrose, McCombe, Meikle.
Carlisle United: Hanford; Young, Archibald-Henville, O’Hanlon, Grainger; Potts (Corry, 64), Kennedy, Griffith (Paynter, 72), Dempsey; Rigg, Wyke (Beck, 83). Unused substitutes: Amoo, Meppen-Walter, Brough, Spiegel.
Referee: P Miller (Flitwick).
Man of the match: Sean O’Hanlon.