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Finn hits brace as Academy thrash Halifax

9th January 2020

Brandon Finn scored twice as the Young Minstermen put five goals past Halifax Town at Wigginton Road to secure their first win in 2020.

City were quick out the blocks and were rewarded for their dominant start when Kiari Ventura raced clear and slotted past Halifax ‘keeper Zak Taylor.

With just over ten minutes played City were awarded a penalty as Finn was clumsily brought down – the York frontman picked himself up to dispatch the spot-kick past Taylor.

With the game barely 20 minutes old Finn caught Taylor dithering possession and poked into the bottom corner for his second and York’s third.

There was some redemption for Taylor as he pulled off a terrific double save to deny City a fourth before the half-hour mark.

The home side’s intensity dropped following the third goal and Halifax were gifted half-chances after some sloppy errors in midfield – York goalkeeper Lucas Martin had to be quick off his line to deny Massimo Ciccarelli.

But as Halifax were seemingly gaining a foothold in the game Reiss Harrison surged forward down the right wing and powered a deflected shot into the top left from just inside the area.

As a result, City went into the half-time break four goals clear prompting manager Tim Ryan to make a number of changes.

Ethan Henderson was brought on for Ventura and he was immediately involved, thumping a powerful header past Taylor just moments into the second period after a menacing Charlie Jebson-King cross.

Despite being five goals down, Halifax kept working hard and made life difficult for York – Matt Rowson tested Martin before Nick Crane headed a corner wide.

Chances dried up for City as Halifax grew into the game, with the much-changed young Minstermen struggling to replicate their dominance in the first half.

York had conceded just four goals all season prior to Wednesday’s game, but they were denied another clean sheet with just under 20 minutes to go – the City defence backed off allowing Jean-Jacques Kirongozi to stride forward and fire a deflected shot past Martin.

Halifax took confidence from their goal and began to put City’s defence under extensive pressure for the first time in the game.

Mohammed Submani twice went close before Patrick Grooms added a second consolation goal for the away side in added time.

Grooms cut in from the left-hand side evading numerous City challenges before slotting into the bottom corner in one of the last actions of the match.

Despite a disappointing end to the game City claimed all three points thanks to their scintillating start to the game.

Youth team manager Ryan was pleased with how his side started the game.

“I thought the lads started really, really well after a little bit of a break over the Christmas period and came back chomping at the bit,” he said.

He was however disappointed with large parts of the game after City had raced into an early lead.

 “Really baffled a bit to be honest how our performance went, although we did go on to get another couple of goals,” he admitted.

“We were second best in big departments and big areas of the pitch against a side with a lot of younger lads in it.”

“Once you’re 3-0 up after ten, 15 minutes its hard to maintain standards and that’s the hard thing they’ve got to learn.”

Ryan refused to blame the number of substitutes at half-time for his team’s lacklustre display in the second-half.

“We did make a lot of changes but that’s part of getting people game time and filtering people in and resting people for next week,” he explained.  “It disjoints the team a little bit but people went into positions they know so it was a frustrating second half.”

Despite conceding two late goals City claimed all three points in the National League U19 Development North and edged closer to the top of the table.

“We’ve got games in hand to close the points gap,” Ryan said. “We’ve only lost one and the teams at the top have only lost one. When we play them time will tell - the points on the board at the end of the season don’t lie.”


Article by Oliver Green.

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