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Gaffer's verdict on derby defeat

7th April 2018
Match Result
York City Logo
York City
Harrogate Town Logo
Harrogate Town
Bootham Crescent
Saturday 7th Apr - 15:00

York City manager Martin Gray admitted that he was hurting after today's 2-0 defeat by neighbours Harrogate Town at Bootham Crescent.

Second half goals from Jake Wright and Mark Beck secured victory for second-placed Town after a promising first half display by the injury-hit Minstermen.

"It hurts. It's a local derby," said Gray. "We showed passion and pride but goals change games. I thought we were very, very comfortable. I am just so disappointed with how we conceded the two goals."

Significantly, City had been without FIVE injured players - strikers Jon Parkin, Louis Almond, and Alex Kempster, midfielder Alex Pattison, and defender Jonny Burn.

"I felt we didn't have a real goal threat but I knew that going into the game when you lose your three main forwards," he added. "I understand the frustration from the crowd but the transfer window is closed and we didn't know we would lose three out of our four forwards together within seven days." 

  • Watch Martin's post-match interview in full at the bottom of the page

Gray made four changes to his side with Connor Brown, Adriano Moke, Simon Heslop, and Connor Smith replacing Burn, Pattison, Raul Correia and James Gray.

Midfielder Clovis Kamdjo, meanwhile, was named among on the bench for the first time since recovering from a knee injury 17 months ago and was introduced as a late substitute.

Brown played on the right hand side of a three man defence as City adopted a 3-4-1-2 formation with Moke employed in the hole behind strikers Smith and Connolly.

City enjoyed the better of the first half but goalscoring opportunities were thin on the ground at both ends of the field.

Smith might have opened the scoring for City after 30 minutes but lost out in the air to Town defender Ryan Fallowfield in the goalmouth when competing for a Moke cross.

Town's only serious threat came five minutes before halftime when Jake Wright's close-range header forced goalkeeper Adam Bartlett into a full-length save. Dominic Knowles picked up the loose ball but shot over the City crossbar from 10 yards.

City, however, fell behind six minutes after the re-start when former loanee Wright advanced into the penalty area and fired a low shot inside Adam Bartlett's far post.

Gray introduced teenager Flynn McNaughton from the bench and City almost equalised minutes later when a thumping drive by Smith was tipped over the bar by James Belshaw.

Captain Sean Newton then headed against the crossbar from the subsequent corner and Dan Parslow's follow-up header landed on the roof of the net.

Town scored a second goal in the 67th minute when substitute Mark Beck rose unmarked in the area to meet a Joe Leesley freekick with a towering header.

Kamdjo joined the action with eight minutes to go and might have pulled a goal back in stoppage time but his header from Josh Law's freekick sailed wide.

York City: Bartlett; Brown (McNaughton 54), Parslow, Bencherif;  Law, Newton (C), Heslop (Kamdjo 82), Ferguson; Moke; Smith (Correia 68), Connolly. Unused substitutes: Gray, Simpson.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw; Fallowfield, Parker, Falkingham (C), Burrell, McCombe, Thomson, Emmett, Wright (Beck 61), Knowles (Thewlis 75), Leesley. Unused substitutes: Kennedy, Cracknell, Agnew.

Referee: Simon Mather.

Attendance: 3564

Watch Martin Gray's post-match interview by clicking the link below:

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