York City 2 Chorley 1: Minstermen edge closer to promotion in play-offs

York City took a step closer to sealing their return to the fifth tier of English football when they beat Chorley 2-1 on Wednesday evening.

That victory, in front of a crowd of 6,394 in their National League North play-off eliminator, sets up a semi-final showdown at Brackley this weekend and leaves the Minstermen needing just two more wins for promotion.

John Askey’s team didn’t have things all their own way, but they were fairly comfortable in the end as the Magpies failed to recover from goalkeeper Matt Urwin’s horrific blunder at the start of the second period.

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Roared on by the home faithful, City got their noses in front in the 10th minute when Scott Leather mistimed a header and the ball broke kindly for Lennell John-Lewis. Gifted a clear run on the away goal, the centre-forward made no mistake as he lifted an instinctive finish high into the air, over Urwin and underneath the cross-bar.

York City

York failed to really build on that early breakthrough, allowing Chorley to feel their way back into proceedings and eventually level matters on 25 minutes. A free-kick was headed back across goal by Mike Calveley and Connor Hall was able to sneak in at the far post and finish from close range.

With the visitors shading proceedings, it took until the closing minutes of the half for City to threaten a response, Urwin brilliantly pushing away a Mitch Hancox effort which looked destined for the top corner.

But the Minstermen did re-take the lead three minutes after the resumption as Maziar Kouhyar’s ball over the top was somehow missed by Urwin, gifting Hancox the opportunity to place the ball into an empty net.

City managed the game reasonably well from that point onwards and the visitors’ only genuine chance to bag a equaliser arrived when possession was turned over and Calveley slipped the ball into the path of Hall, who cleared the cross-bar from an extremely inviting position.

York: Jameson, Kouogun, Sanders, Barrow, Kouhyar (Willoughby 82), Wright, Dyson, McLaughlin, Hancox, John-Lewis (Brown 90), McKay (Donaldson 62). Unused substitutes: Whitley, Woods.

Chorley: Urwin, Henley, Leather, Baines, Blakeman (Halls 67), Whitehouse (Holmes 77), Calveley, Tomlinson, Sampson, Alli (Ustabasi 77), Hall. Unused substitutes: Blyth,Shenton.

Referee: J Westgate (England).