The Minstermen extended their unbeaten start in pre-season after securing a 1-0 win against Doncaster Rovers at the LNER Community Stadium.
Maziar Kouhyar’s second goal of pre-season was the difference between the two sides, as the Minstermen saw off their League Two opponents in their fourth pre-season outing ahead of the new season, despite having to play the remaining twenty minutes with ten men after Thierry Latty-Fairweather was shown a second yellow card.
Mikey Morton’s side came into this encounter full of confidence, looking to carry on their impressive start to pre-season, after his side had managed to secure draws against Championship duo Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough, as well as securing a comprehensive 4-1 win over Garforth Town only a week ago.
After a disappointing 18th placed finish in League Two last season, Doncaster were preparing for a much better season in the fourth tier as they looked to push for a return to League One.
After returning to the club as manager over the summer, Grant McCann named a strong Doncaster side that featured against the Minstermen, which included former York-duo Joe Ironside, who started up-front, and Jack Degruchy, who featured from the bench.
First chance of the evening fell to Doncaster’s Kyle Hurst, who drove a low right-footed effort narrowly wide of David Stockdale’s right-hand post from the edge of the area after only six minutes, before Jamie Sterry had to make a last-ditch block to prevent Zanda Siziba getting a shot away towards goal for the Minstermen after nice link up play with Cedric Main.
Stockdale was called into action just short of the fifteenth minute, reacting bravely to keep out a fierce volley from Joseph Olowu from close-range, before a brilliant tackle by Ryan Fallowfield saw the full-back play Main in on goal, who was denied by the feet of Doncaster goalkeeper Ian Lawlor from just inside the penalty area.
Latty-Fairweather then tried his luck on goal after making a brilliant surging row down the left, but the Minstermen were once again denied by a smart save by Lawlor, before Lawlor was again tested by Fallowfield at the far post, forcing a corner after an inviting cross into the area from the left by Scott Burgess.
From the resulting corner, Adam Crookes had a header go through a shield of bodies and fly narrowly wide of goal as the Minstermen continued to search for an opener, before ex-Rotherham United centre-back Richard Wood found himself in a similar position as Crookes did only ten minutes prior, but he also glanced a header wide of goal for the visitors.
After an end-to-end first half in North Yorkshire, Doncaster went close to scoring first early on in the opening exchanges of the second period, but after making a brilliant surging down the left-hand side, Kyle Hurst drilled an effort well wide of goal and out for a goal kick.
The Minstermen took the lead in the 62nd minute through substitute Kouhyar, who rose highest inside the penalty area to head home from Michael Duckworth’s corner, burying his header into the bottom-right corner to beat Doncaster substitute goalkeeper Ben Bottomley.
Latty-Fairweather was then handed a second yellow card by referee Marc Edwards, meaning the Minstermen had to play the remaining twenty minutes with only ten men.
Duckworth nearly extended the Minstermen’s lead with a superb curling free-kick from twenty-five yards out, but he was denied by the woodwork as Doncaster escaped from conceding a second goal of the evening.
Doncaster went in search for an equaliser and they had a brilliant chance to do so with only thirteen minutes to play. Luke Molyneux made a brilliant surging through the centre of play before playing in Tyler Roberts, but the substitute forward was unable to keep his effort down as he fired well over the bar from a tight angle.
The visitors were unable to pull a way back into the game, as they fell to defeat against the Minstermen.
The Minstermen will be looking to carry on their impressive unbeaten start to pre-season when they make the short trip to the So-Trak Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take on Tadcaster Albion (1pm kick-off).
York City: Stockdale (GK), Fallowfield (Duckworth 58’), Crookes (Cordner 58’), Sanders (Howe 58’), Latty-Fairweather, Trialist A (Pybus 58’), McLaughlin (C) (Hancox 58’), Burgess (Dyson 58’), Barnes (Trialist B 90′), Main (John-Lewis 58’), Siziba (Kouhyar 58’)
Subs not used: Campbell
Goals: Kouhyar (62’)
Yellow Cards: Burgess, Sanders, Latty-Fairweather
Red Cards: Latty-Fairweather
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor (GK) (Bottomley 60’), Olowu (Miller 60’), Wood (Taylor 60’), Sterry (Biggins 60’), Maxwell (Long 60’), Close (Bailey 60’), Broadbent (Roberts 60’), Sotona (Allen 60’), Rowe (Faulkner 60’), Hurst (Degruchy 60’), Ironside (Molyneux 60’)
Subs not used: Watson, Flint, Wood, Kuleya, Goodman
Yellow Cards: Degruchy
Referee: Marc Edwards
Attendance: 2,515 (660 Doncaster Rovers supporters)