Stevenage Borough 1 York City 0: Minstermen in gear for tilt at the Hatters

YORK CITY should go into Thursday's home play-off semi-final, first leg against Luton Town with confidence after a fine display at Stevenage.

Although they lost to the champions because of a defensive blunder, York were the better side in the second half and had the Stevenage defence, which has conceded only two goals in 15 matches, at full stretch.

York manager Martin Foyle rested regular first-teamers Michael Ingham, Ben Purkiss and Richard Brodie with the game against the Hatters in mind and began with only one recognised striker. But the changes did not have a detrimental effect, Alex Lawless playing up front alongside Michael Rankine and doing well.

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A mix-up between Josh Mimms and Danny Parslow, who left Chris Beardsley's cross to each other, saw David Bridges head home unchallenged on 35 minutes.

York dominated from that point and only a brilliant save by Chris Day from Chris Carruthers following Parslow's centre prevented an equaliser. They finished with three strikers after Brodie and Michael Gash had come on.

York have three games between them and a return to the Football League from where they were relegated in May 2004.

Foyle said: "We battled well and dominated the second half. One free header cost us the game, but there were a lot of positives to take away. We have drawn with Luton twice so we have every chance."

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Stevenage Borough: Day; Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Laird; Drury, Bostwick, Bridges (Odubade 54), Byrom; Beardsley (Wilson 59), Griffin (Sills 53). Unused substitutes: Bayes, Long.

York City: Mimms; Parslow, Graham, McGurk, Meredith; Harsley (Smith 66), Barrett (Gash 66), Mackin, Carruthers (Brodie 79); Rankine, Lawless. Unused Substitutes: Pacquette, Clarke.

Referee: J Farries (Oxfordshire).

Man of the match: Luke Graham.