Image by Tom Poole
The Minstermen drew 1-1 against Ebbsfleet United at the LNER Community Stadium in the Vanarama National League on Saturday afternoon, two days before Christmas.
Captain Lenell John-Lewis opened the scoring early on in the tie before a late goal from goalkeeper Mark Cousins stunned the LNER.
Neal Ardley made four changes to the side which dug out a clean sheet and point at Rochdale the week prior, with forward Maziar Kouhyar, captain Lenell John-Lewis, defender Thierry Latty-Fairweather and midfielder Olly Green all coming into the side.
City wasted no time in unlocking the Ebbsfleet defence as a 6th minute ball into the box by Ryan Fallowfield connected with the head of Will Smith, who flicked onwards to the prowling John-Lewis who slotted calmly.
Greg Cundle struck Ebbsfleet’s first flash chance of the game in the 16th minute, curling an effort from distance wide of Sykes-Kenworthy’s frame.
The Fleet then struck high and wide in the 23rd minute, their first real opportunity near goal positionally, as Toby Edser ballooned a good lay off inside the area from Dominic Poleon, after strong play down the left-hand flank from the forward.
Momentum and control continued to shift in the visitors favour as the half went on, with good play around the area from Dennis Kutrieb’s side resulting in two 30th minute opportunities for his side.
Substitute Tyler Cordner threw himself at the ball to block an effort from midfielder Ouss Cisse before Benjamin Chapman’s one-two saw him bounce an effort into the ground, at the near post, for Sykes-Kenworthy to handle with ease.
Poleon again looked to cause City problems in the 38th minute, breaking away to race at goal and send an effort at City’s shot-stopper, who palmed away.
City closed out the half with the advantage, and almost opened up the second interval with a goal.
John-Lewis’ unmarked header straight after the restart was an easy claim in the end for Fleet goalkeeper Mark Cousins.
The second half was largely an end-to-end spectacle as both sides lined up to take their turn in moving the ball from back-to-front.
A 71st minute move, which began via a crunching tackle by Chapman on Kouhyar, saw the ball move in seconds to an attacking chance for Cundle who arrowed just wide of the far post.
City did well to continue seeing out the Ebbsfleet movements for the most part as and when the half went on, however couldn’t carve anything clear cut themselves in the final third.
Poleon created a late chance outside of City’s penalty box just before the 90th minute as pressure mounted, gathering the ball and driving inwards, cutting his low-drilled effort into the near post of Sykes-Kenworthy who was down to it with ease.
Goalkeeper Cousins latched onto a 90+5th minute delivery to snatch a point from City’s grasp in the dying second, as the visitors denied victory for the Minstermen.
YORK CITY: Sykes-Kenworthy, Fallowfield, Davies, Kouhyar, John-Lewis © (75′ Akinyemi), Howe, Burgess, Woodyard, Latty-Fairweather (19’ Cordner), Smith, Green (60’ Dyson).
UNUSED SUBS: Stockdale, McLaughlin.
EBBSFLEET: Cousins, Martin, Wright ©, Cisse (64’ Bingham), Poleon, Cundle, Edser (78’ Tanner), Chapman (75’ McQueen), White, Samuel, Kenlock.
UNUSED SUBS: Sterling-James, Fanimo.
ATTENDANCE: 4,344 (92 Ebbsfleet United supporters)
WAITROSE MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex Woodyard