York city 2 Newport 1: McGurk injury blow takes the gloss from Minstermen’s victory

YORK City maintained their push for a promotion play-off place with this victory over a good Newport team, who have outside hopes of going up.

York owe their current seventh position mainly to having had an outstanding defence all season as goals have been in short supply at the other end.

The defensive qualities were again in evidence as Chris Smith and Danny Parslow made crucial tackles and clearances in addition to Michael Ingham making two fine saves.

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This is not to give the impression that York were under the cosh for they had more of the play and fully deserved the three points.

After a moderate first half with few scoring chances, the game turned York’s way on 48 minutes when Michael Rankine, who had missed a penalty in Tuesday’s draw with new champions Crawley, scored from the spot after he had been pushed by Chris Todd.

Rankine, often a handful for the Newport defence, provided the centre for Jamie Reed on 70 minutes to make it 2-0 with a fine glancing header into the corner.

The fine line between success and failure was then demonstrated when Rankine hit Glyn Thompson’s right-hand post in the third minute of stoppage time. What might have been 3-0 became 2-1 within 30 seconds as Thompson’s huge clearance saw Jamie Collins nip in between Smith and Ingham to force the ball home.

York had to play the last eight minutes with 10 men, having used their three substitutes before David McGurk (ankle injury) was carried off.

Manager Gary Mills said: “That was a tough game. We had to make sure we were solid and our back four and goalkeeper were absolutely outstanding. We are set for an exciting end to the season.”

York City: Ingham; Parslow, McGurk, C Smith Meredith; Darville, J Smith (Mackin 65), Kerr; Reed (Chambers 81), Rankine, Till (Carruthers 46). Unused substitutes: Constantine, Boucaud.

Newport County: Thompson, Bignot; Warren, Todd, Hughes; Knights (Odubade 61), Collins, Rose, Morgan (Foley 72); Griffin, Lennon. Unused substitutes: Rogers, Farmer, Miller.

Referee: D Bond (Burscough).

Man of the match: Chris Smith.