York City 1 AFC Wimbleson 1: Confident Minstermen setting their sights high on two fronts

York sub Jamie Reed slides the ball into an open net to score
York sub Jamie Reed slides the ball into an open net to score
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it should come as no surprise that confidence in the camp is high after two triumphs at Wembley in recent months.

Yet even the most ardent York City supporter would not have been thinking about a promotion push in their first season back in the Football League.

That is not how Gary Mills’s FA Trophy and Conference play-off winners see things, however.

Asked if he would settle for being knocked out of the FA Cup by AFC Wimbledon as long as they could secure three points in Saturday’s League Two meeting against the same opposition, goal-scorer Jamie Reed was having none of it.

“I don’t think a defeat is something we want to contemplate either way. There is no reason why we can’t beat them both times,” said Reed, who came off the bench in the 59th minute and netted four minutes later.

“As a team we have done relatively well and are just a few points off the place we want to be – the play-offs or even automatic.

“We definitely thought we could be up there at the start of the season. Looking at the squad that we have got there is no reason why we can’t push on and do what Crawley did last season and what other teams have done in previous years when they have come into the league.

“The gaffer has always been positive from the moment I came here. We want to push on as far as we can in both the FA Cup and the league.”

Mills has described the striker, whom he plucked from Bangor City in January, 2011, as an impact player but the 25-year-old wants to get rid of that tag as soon as possible.

Reed, who came off the bench in both Wembley outings in May, said: “It’s not something I want to be known as really as I have also scored when I have started and I have done well when I have started. I have obviously not had my chance this season but, hopefully, I can push on from here now.

“I have just to keep my head down, work hard in training and hope the gaffer takes notice. Today he gave me a chance and showed his faith in me and it worked. That’s something I have to keep working on and repay his faith and be rewarded with a few more starts.”

Reed had his first goal of the season laid on a plate by Jason Walker, who bundled Yado Mambo off the ball following a poor clearance by Seb Brown before bearing down on goal, drawing the goalkeeper and squaring for his partner to tap home.

It finally broke the deadlock following a frustrating first half for York, who elected to play with the setting sun on their backs in an attempt to blind the opposition into submission. They forced eight corners in that half as the visitors shuttled back but only went close once when a cross from Danny Kearns skimmed the bar.

Wimbledon, so porous early season, had defended in depth and had almost taken advantage of their one opportunity close to the break when Jack Midson burst through only to see his drive saved by the legs of Michael Ingham.

To their credit, the visitors adopted a more attacking approach in the second half, immediately bringing on striker Byron Harrison and it made for a better spectacle.

Reed commented: “I don’t think it was a matter of breaking them down. We had been playing well and we obviously looked the stronger team and felt it was only a matter of time before we scored and it just happened to be when I came on that we got the goal – a tap-in for me really as Jason did all the hard work.”

“Unfortunately we did not manage to hold on due to an unlucky deflection but we are in the hat and the main aim before the game was to be still in the draw for the second round.”

The reason why a replay is necessary a week tomorrow is down to Wimbledon’s 80th-minute equaliser, some poor finishing from the Minstermen and some inspired goalkeeping from Brown.

Ingham, too, had pulled off a great block from Luck Moore straight after York’s opener but he was left flat-footed as Wimbledon substitute Charlie Strutton struck a low free-kick which deflected off the wall and finished in the net off the base of the post.

Walker should have atoned for failing to hit the target with a header from a corner by Kearns straight after the Minstermen had gone in front but their 13th flag kick of the game proved unlucky.

Kearns swung it in, Chris Smith flicked it on and Walker produced a fierce header only to see Brown go full length to his right to push the ball away to leave the 285 travelling support behind the goal to celebrate their side having earned a replay.

“In an ideal world you want to see the tie off at home don’t you?” was Mills’s reaction to having to face a long trip south.

“It’s another game and they are coming thick and fast with Northampton on Tuesday and then Wimbledon here on Saturday and away on Tuesday. We will forget about this now, look forward to the draw and then get ready for the league games which are massive for us.

“To be fair, Wimbledon defended superbly. There were some great balls which went into their six-yard box but they got on the end of them and you have to give them credit for getting the result that they wanted.”

York City: Ingham, Parslow, Carlisle, C Smith, Fyfield; Kearns, Kerr, McLaughlin (Reed 59); Blair, Walker, Chambers (Johnson 90). Unused substitutes: Musselwhite, Oyebanjo, McGurk, J Smith, Challinor.

AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Fenlon (Osano 74), Mambo, Antwi, Cummings; Gregory; Jolley, Yussuff, Harris (Harrison 46); Midson, Moore (Strutton 74). Unused substitutes: Mitchel-King, McNaughton, Johnson, Jsaimez-Ruiz.

Referee: R Clark (Northumberland).