O'Flynn's late strike earns Grecians a point
So on a dull and overcast afternoon the football did little to brighten things up as City scraped a 1-1 draw against York City with a late equaliser in front of 4092 supporters. City lined up: Krysiak; Woodman, Baldwin, Coles, Amankwaah; Davies, Bennett, Oakley, Sercombe; O'Flynn, Cureton.
It took a full fifteen minutes for City to weather York's near dominance of the opening exchanges and carve an opportunity, but as would be the case so often during the afternoon, in the end it amounted to very little. From a York corner the ball was cleared up field and with defenders marshalling Cureton, Clarke Carlisle had a simple header to snuff out any break.
However, all he succeeded in doing was to head it straight into Cureton's path who wasted no time in setting O'Flynn away sacampering down the left. Unfortunately the pass was overhit by the merest margin bring to a premature end a very promising break. Minutes later a Sercombe corner from the right was flicked on at the near post by O'Flynn to Coles who drilled high over the bar from close range.
Midway through the half York finally made their possession show with their first meaningful attack of the game ending with a fierce swerving drive from Daniel Parslow that Krysiak dealt with comfortably. On the half hour Oakley and Amankwaah exchanged passes down the right before Amankwaah played the ball inside to Sercombe who fluffed his lines somewhat with a scuffed attempt at a chip to the far corner that bounced harmlessly wide.
Sercombe then set off on a full barrelled run down the right after the linesman missed him being marginally offside by about ten yards where he then surged into the box before cutting the ball low across the box to the rushing Davies coming in at the far post. Sadly Davies' slide saw him get under the ball as he somehow managed to crash the ball way over the bar from inside the six yard box with an open goal at his mercy.
The start of the second half did City no favours at all with Sercombe limping off after only two minutes from a knock picked up in the first to be replaced by Doherty, then a couple of minutes later York took the lead with the first classy move of the game. Jonathan Smith played a superb no look reverse ball back across the front of the area to Michael Coulsen with more time and space than he really should have been allowed.
He advanced to just inside the box as Krysiak rushed out to narrow the angle, then simply guided the ball low to Krysiak's left and into the far corner of the goal to give the visitors a deserved 1-0 lead. O'Flynn came close to reducing arrears with a good looking header at the near post from Davies trickery down the left, but it drifted inches the wrong side of the post.
Cureton then made way for Chamberlain on the quarter hour but City's stuttering performance continued as demonstrated midway through the half when Amankwaah's mis-hit pass hit Bennett who's deflected shot was straight at the keeper. On 24 minutes Baldwin made way for Moore-Taylor, then two minutes later Doherty played a ball inside to Davies who hit a fine drive with the outside of his boot that swerved into the keeper's midriff from 20 yards. Woodman then let fly with a snapshot out of the blue from range that the Flybe Stand thought in, but it was into the side netting instead.
But salvation eventually came with seven minutes remaining, and from rejuvinated striker O'Flynn who fully deserved his equaliser from a fine finish. Oakley controlled the ball well down the left side before drilling a low cross to the near post. O'Flynn nipped in and opened himself up to glance a stylish side footer across the keeper and into the far corner to make it 1-1. City then began to lay football and finally put the visitors under pressure for the first time properly during the game and very nearly found the winner in the 41st minute.
The impressive Chamberlain scampered down the left and into the box with defenders and keeper converging. With O'Flynn racing into the box unimpeded screaming for the ball, Chamberlain either went for glory with a shot himself or tried to play it across to O'Flynn with an open goal at his mercy, but we'll never know as Chamberlain's effort was snuffed out at source leaving O'Flynn and the crowd groaning in frustration at a golden opportunity missed. It wasn't quite over yet though, as in stoppage time York earned a corner in front of their own fans.
The ball was hoisted to the far post where a York player rose highest to plant a firm downward header to the base of the post. Looking all the world a goal, Krysiak plunged to his right to deflect the effort at point blank range with a superb save earning City a very hard fought for point. And it was a good job he did too, as that could so easily have been the fourth home defeat of the season from five games played - stark contrast to the three straight wins enjoyed away from the Park.
But it wasn't, it was a very valuable point that on another day could have been all three, however that would have been a complete injustice to York, who pretty much dominated every aspect of the game today. It does show, however, just how resilient we are and just how unwilling we are to give the opposition an easy three points. It's also five league games unbeaten since that opening day defeat which sees us sat quite prettily in fourth spot on thirteen points alongside Fleetwood and Port Vale, and just behind leaders Gillingham.
So let's see if we can go one better on Tuesday and clock up our second home win of the season when Wycombe are the visitors. We then go to Southend before second from bottom Bristol Rovers round off the month. Plenty to look forward to then, see you all on Tuesday - I can't wait.