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Gray apologises for team's display

17th February 2018
Match Result
Curzon Ashton Logo
Curzon Ashton
York City Logo
York City
Tameside Stadium
Saturday 17th Feb - 15:00

Manager Martin Gray has apologised to City supporters and cancelled his players' day off after describing today's 4-1 defeat at Curzon Ashton as an 'embarrassment'.

Gray was incensed by the manner of the defeat at the Tameside Stadium - coming just seven days after the team's best performance of the season against leaders Salford City.

Striker Jon Parkin was shown a straight red card for a late challenge in the second half and will now be suspended for the next three games.

City might have lost by a greater margin had it not been for goalkeeper Adam Bartlett - who saved a penalty - and striker Alex Kempster who scored on his debut after coming off the bench.

"That was an embarrassment," said Gray. "To play for York City Football Club and put in a performance like that is not acceptable.

"I apologise to every York City fan who has come to the game today because that performance was absolutely appalling. If you want to be successful, you have got to have a winning mentality week-in, week-out - and we haven't got that yet.

"Its got to change, starting on Sunday morning," he added. "They will be in tomorrow morning as a punishment. I had a 'family day' booked but this comes first. We will start again tomorrow and we will be working all week."

The game had been subject to a 12noon pitch inspection as a result of heavy overnight rain in Ashton-under-Lyne and the pre-match warm-up took place on a 3G facility outside the stadium in order to protect the surface before kick-off.

Gray named an unchanged side after the 1-0 victory over Salford but his plans suffered an early blow when on-loan midfielder Alex Pattison was wiped out by a crude Matthew Regan challenge.

Pattison was still limping when Curzon Ashton took the lead in the fourth minute through striker Niall Cummins.

Parkin should have equalised for City in the 26th minute but headed wide from just eight yards at a Simon Heslop freekick.

Just moments later, Bartlett produced a brilliant penalty save from Cummins after Connor Brown had fouled Ben McKenna.

But Cummins made amends and doubled the home side's lead in the 35th minute after a low cross from McKenna.

Cummins completed a hat-trick three minutes later - beating Bartlett with a low shot following a series of ricochets in the City penalty box.

The introduction of Kempster early in the second half gave City fresh impetus in attack but Curzon Ashton took a four goal lead on 58 minutes when Joe Guest scored with a deflected shot at the far post after City failed to clear a corner.

City were reduced to ten men in the 66th minute when Parkin was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on opposition captain Jonathan Hunt.

Kempster reduced the deficit and briefly lifted the mood of City's supporters with a debut goal almost immediately after Parkin's dismissal.

The young striker, who was awarded a contract until the end of the season after bagging a midweek hat-trick for the reserves, cut in from the left and beat goalkeeper Cameron Mason with a low drive from a tight angle.

Kempster later struck the crossbar with a header from a Jonny Burn cross but Bartlett also needed to produce a flying save to stop a Sean Newton header going into his own net.

The result was only City's second defeat in the last 10 games and they remain in sixth spot in Vanarama National League North.

Curzon Ashton: Mason, Baillie (Thornley 80), Guest (Dwyer 74), Hunt (C), Shaw, Regan, Rowney, Walker, Cummins (Wharton 78), Dunwoody, McKenna. Unused substitutes: Clark, McKenzie.

York City: Bartlett; Brown, Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson (Correia 71); Pattison (Williams 6), Newton, Heslop, Moke, Connolly (Kempster 63), Parkin. Unused substitutes: Parslow, Simpson.

Referee: David Underwood

Bookings: Chris Rowney, Joe Guest (Curzon Ashton), Connor Brown (York City)

Sent off: Jon Parkin (York City)

Attendance: 892


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