Report: York City 1 Exeter City 2
Jimmy Keohane underwent a rite of passage – his first goal as a professional footballer – to help Exeter City to a 2-1 win at Bootham Crescent.
The Grecians were possibly a touch fortunate to have gone ahead before the quarter-hour mark, as Alex Rodman turned the ball into his own net. However Michael Potts levelled shortly after for the hosts when presented with a tap-in.
However a much-improved performance in the second half – and a well-deserved goal for the Irishman – allowed City to take a fifth straight away victory.
City manager Paul Tisdale made a single enforced change to his starting XI ahead of the fixture against the Minstermen. Jamie Cureton had to sit out the first game of his suspension, meaning Tommy Doherty made his first appearance since getting injured against Rotherham. Elliott Chamberlain took his vacated seat on the bench.
The Minstermen were the first to create a chance as space opened up ahead of Patrick McLaughling, but he fired well over the bar.
McLaughlin again had an effort after a spell of concerted pressure from York. This time a ball was laid into him from the right to hit first time, but it spun over the bar.
City were under a lot of early pressure and might have gone behind following a sustained spell of possession. A corner from the right wasn’t effectively dealt with by Exeter and a second ball in was met by Daniel Parslow, but he nodded inches wide.
So it came slightly against the run of play when City broke the deadlock in the 14th minute. Despite all the neat passing on the deck in the opening exchanges, it was a direct piece of play which gave City the lead.
Keohane, running from the half-way line, made a beeline for the box and skipped past two defenders. As he tried to slot in John O’Flynn, Rodman was scrambling back for York and could only smash beyond his own goalkeeper.
The lead was shortlived, however, as York levelled just five minutes later. Michael Potts was presented with an easy tap-in after Artur Krysiak had made a brave low save from an initial effort, and he restored parity for the hosts.
City went back on the hunt, and might have re-established a lead when Alan Gow’s turn of pace bought a freekick just outside the box. He stepped up to shoot himself, but Michael Ingham adjusted to push over the crossbar.
Steve Tully became the first man to have his name taken by the official, as his caught McLaughlin as he tried to spin away to break.
York were directing a lot of traffic down their left channel and they nearly made City pay when Jason Walker skipped clear to cut back from the byline, but Doherty made a timely interception for Exeter.
And Walker again had an effort from a dead-ball before the interval, but his free-kick flashed wide of Krysiak’s right-hand post.
Half-time: York City 1 Exeter City 1
Tisdale made a half-time substitution to try to shore up the Grecians’ right flank. Doherty was withdrawn to be replaced by Kevin Amankwaah – Tully went into midfield, with Amankwaah dropping into the right-back slot.
And that switch paid dividends very soon after. Tully, in his advanced role, stole in on the full-back to win possession well upfield, and he slotted in the substitute on the overlap. Amankwaah’s cross in just evaded the head of John O’Flynn but Keohane was alert at the back post to steady himself and net his first goal in professional football.
It could have been a third soon after when O’Flynn won the ball in the box and shot from a tight angle. His shot was very well held by Ingham though, despite the striker getting plenty behind the ball.
As the game ticked on, the home fans at Bootham Crescent were becoming increasingly frustrated, as City’s second-half tempo was relentless. Arron Davies was then called on to replace Gow, possibly as a result of a knock that the Scotsman took in the first half.
With Exeter controlling the match, York almost levelled completely against the run of play. A ball in behind City’s defence sent Matty Blair running in on goal, but Krysiak came off his line and made himself big, forcing Blair to loop his shot wide.
The Minstermen had another chance soon after when a diagonal ball found the run of Lanre Oyebanjo on the left-hand side of the box, but Craig Woodman arrived on the cover to make an outstanding block.
Krysiak had been commanding his area well, and he had to be alert to pick off McLaughlin’s low cross from the left when there were plenty of bodies around him.
York were pressing for an equaliser and goalkeeper Ingham – up for a corner – almost gained an assist with a firm header but it was put behind.
O’Flynn had a chance to put the result beyond doubt in the dying seconds but he curled his effort wide.
It mattered little though, as the referee sounded his whistle to the delight of the travelling fans.
Full-time: York City 1 Exeter City 2
York City: Ingham; Parslow, McGurk, Smith, Fyfield (Oyebanjo 64); Potts (Reed 83), Kerr, McLaughlin; Rodman, Walker (Allan 75), Blair. Subs (not used): Musselwhite, Reed, Bullock, Platt, Challinor.
Goal: Potts (19).
Exeter City: Krysiak; Tully, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman; Doherty (Amankwaah h-t), Bennett, Oakley; Keohane, Gow (Davies 66); O’Flynn.
Subs (not used): Evans, Dawson, Chamberlain, Reid, Moore-Taylor.
Goals: Rodman (og, 14), Keohane (53).
Attendance: 3,506 (214 away).
Referee: T. Harrington