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First friendly ends in narrow defeat

By Bradley Saxton | 8th July 2022
Match Result
York City Logo
York City
Middlesbrough Logo
LNER Community Stadium
Friday 8th Jul - 19:00

The Minstermen began life under new ownership with a narrow 3-2 defeat against Championship side Middlesbrough in their 2022/23 pre-season opener.

It was the first opportunity for the supporters to see the players wear the new centenary home kit, as the club marks the 100th anniversary since the football club were established.

Chris Wilder’s Middlesbrough side travelled to the LNER Community Stadium in their second pre-season fixture of the new season hoping that they could secure another victory, after achieving a comfortable 5-0 win over North-East side Bishop Auckland last weekend.

New club chairman Glen Henderson received a warm welcome in front of the supporters ahead of kick off, after he bought the club last week alongside the supporters trust.

John Askey named two different sides for each half against Boro, giving a mixture of new signings and youngsters minutes against the second tier side.

York started the game with ten new signings in the starting eleven, with Scott Boden and Luke James leading the line for the first forty-five minutes.

New signing Ryan Fallowfield missed out of the side, alongside fellow right back Michael Duckworth and midfielder Paddy McLaughlin.

It didn’t take the visitors long to take the lead in North Yorkshire as they broke the deadlock after only five minutes. Josh Coburn made a lovely break down the left-hand side before crossing the ball centrally for Sonny Finch at the far post, who swept the ball home into the back of the net beyond City keeper Ethan Ross.

Ross was called into many saves during a tight first half at the LNER Community Stadium, denying Riley McGree, Matt Crooks and Darragh Lenihan as Middlesbrough went in search for a second goal.

Askey made eight changes at half time and reverted the side back into their usual 4-3-3 formation as the looked for a way back into the game.

Moments after coming onto the field at the break, substitute goalkeeper Ryan Whitley was forced into action as he got down low to deny Duncan Watmore from close-range, but he was unable to keep out an effort from Callum Kavanagh minutes later as he made it 2-0.

The Middlesbrough substitute was in the right place at the right time to sweep the ball home into an empty net, after he received the ball inside the penalty area after a deflected shot fell into the path of the onrushing midfielder.

Four minutes later the home side found themselves a way back into the game with a superb header from new signing Manny Duku. The forward rose highest inside of the penalty area to meet a looping cross into the area, he powered his header into the top-left corner of the goal, leaving Middlesbrough goalkeeper Luke Daniels rooted to the spot.

Cavanagh made it 3-1 to the visitors with only seven minutes left on the clock. A ball in from the right-hand side found the midfielder at the far post, who headed home from close-range beyond an outstretched Whitley as it looked like the Championship side would secure a comfortable victory in North Yorkshire.

With a minute to go, the Minstermen scored their second goal of the evening to pull the game back to 3-2. Alex Hurst beat his man on the left, he crossed low and hard across the face of goal and the ball deflected off a Middlesborough defender and flew into the back of the net.

It was a much-better second half performance from the Minstermen, but they unfortunately fell to a 3-2 defeat after giving it a real good go against a good side.

City are back in action next Saturday afternoon when they take on Bradford City in their second pre-season fixture of the new season (3pm kick-off).


York City: Ross (GK) (Whitley 46’), Kouogun (Kerr 46’), Sanders, Crookes, Mafuta (Greaves 46’), Dyson (Dale 84’), Burgess (Kouhyar 46’), Hancox (Duku 46’), Whittle (Trialist A 46’), Boden (Hurst 46’), James (John-Lewis 46’)

Goals: Duku (69’), Own Goal (89’)


Middlesbrough: Roberts (GK) (Daniels 46’), Giles (Fry 46’), Smith (McNair 46’), Bilongo (Bola 46’), McGree (Jones 46’), Finch (Dodds 46’), Hackney (Howson 46’), Dijksteel (Coulson 46’), Coburn (Tavernier 46’), Crooks (Kavanagh 46’), Lenihan (Watmore 46’)

Goals: Finch (5’), Kavanagh (65’, 83’)


Attendance: 4,198 (1,310 away supporters)

Referee: Ross Joyce

Waitrose & Partners Man of the Match: Alex Hurst

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