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City end pre-season unbeaten with Notts County win

By Bradley Saxton | 7th August 2021
Match Result
Notts County Logo
Notts County
York City Logo
York City
Meadow Lane
Saturday 7th Aug - 15:00

Kurt Willoughby’s goal six minutes from time secured the Minstermen an impressive 3-2 victory over National League side Notts County at Meadow Lane in the club's final pre-season fixture.

Willoughby gave City the lead after 18 minutes, before two fortunate goals for the home side gave them the upper-hand at the break. Mark Beck equalised for City four minutes into the second half, before Willoughby’s fourth goal of pre-season ensured Steve Watson's men ended pre-season on a high.

Prior to kick-off, the Minstermen had enjoyed an unbeaten pre-season schedule, including wins over Newcastle United and Middlesbrough.

Last season’s National League semi-finalists went into this game also on the back of a strong pre-season, with wins coming away at Coalville Town, AFC Telford and Boston United.

Steve Watson made six changes to the York side that recorded a 1-0 win away at Ossett United on Tuesday night, as Clayton Donaldson, Sean Newton, Peter Jameson, Paddy McLaughlin, Olly Dyson and Akil Wright all returned to the starting eleven ahead of kick-off.

The home side enjoyed early spells of possession and a handful of set-pieces, but they failed to create any chances, allowing Jameson to easily collect the ball on every occasion.

Kairo Mitchell cut in from the left-hand side for the home side, drawing Jameson into a low save at his near post, before Willoughby headed inches wide of Sam Slocombe’s right-hand post after 16 minutes, after a good ball in from Mackenzie Heaney on the left.

It was the away side who took the lead two minutes later, when Willoughby scored from an acute angle, after having the ball played to him minutes after Beck had an initial effort kept out off the line.

The lead didn’t last long though when the home side found themselves an equaliser after 28 minutes in controversial style. Cal Roberts cut inside from the right, before unleashing a curling effort which hit the bar, but appeared to bounce on the goal line. The goal was awarded by the linesman’s flag, whilst City appealed to the referee.

York found themselves behind after 37 minutes, when Joel Taylor’s cross from the left flank flew over the head of Jameson into the far bottom corner from the tightest of angles, after taking a deflection off Michael Duckworth on the process.

City started the second half brilliantly and levelled the game after 50 minutes through Beck, but credit had to go to McLaughlin. The stand in left back did very well to cross the ball in from the left before the ball went out of play, Beck then met the ball at the far post with a powerful header to finish beyond Slocombe.

The away side continued to look good going forward on the ball and went in search of their third goal of the afternoon. Substitute Michael Woods found himself in acres of space in the edge of the box, before unleashing a left-footed effort straight at the hands of Slocombe, which was parried by the Notts County goalkeeper.

Kyle Wootton forced Jameson into a low smart save from close-range before Newton got in the right place at the right time to divert another effort from Roberts out for a corner.

Steve Watson’s side won the game with six minutes to go when Willoughby ran onto a brilliantly flicked header from Beck, before finishing low across goal to give the Minstermen the lead for the second time in the game.

The late goal delighted the travelling City supporters, giving them optimism heading into the National League North opener next weekend.

York will start their new league campaign against Kidderminster Harriers at the LNER Community Stadium next Saturday (3pm kick-off).


Notts County: Slocombe, Kelly-Evans (Nemane 61’), Brindley, Cameron (C), Chicksen (Rawlinson 46’), Taylor, Francis, Palmer, Roberts (O’Brien 75’), Wootton, Mitchell (Sam 61’)

Unused Subs: Brooks, Rodrigues


York City: Jameson, Duckworth (Hopper 72’), Fielding, Newton (C), McLaughlin, Wright, Dyson, Heaney, Beck, Willoughby, Donaldson (Woods 56’)

Unused Subs: Campbell, Haase, Trialist A, Jones, Degruchy, Knowles


Attendance: 2095 (167 away supporters)

Referee: Martin Fryer

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