The hosts got reward for an energised start to the game on 7 minutes, Mitch Hancox’s volley hitting the post and rebounding off of Dan Lincoln, Manny Duku fastest to react and stick the loose ball over the line from close range. The Minstermen could have added more goals through the course of the first half and early in the second as golden chances went begging, but just before the hour Michael Morton’s side did double their advantage, Ryan Fallowfield volleying home a cross from several yards out. Dan Gallagher did half the defecit with a goal back in the closing minutes as Wanderers rallied late on, but were ultimately unable to rescue a point.
Marc White made five changes to the side which started last weekend’s defeat to Notts County. Calum Kennedy returned to defence and Luke Moore into the holding role in midfield as Joe Cook and Isaac Philpot both made way, Matt Briggs and Seb Bowerman starting out wide for Jimmy Muitt and Bobby-Joe Taylor. Up top, Ryan Seager would come in to partner Jason Prior, Harry Ottaway dropping to the bench.
York began the game very brightly, immediately setting out an approach they would adhere to effectively for the majority of the contest; sharp pressing led by a flexibly shaped midfield, often looking to get the ball to their front men as early as possible. A couple of in-roads were made down the attacking left in the early stages; including Manny Duku’s cross being blocked by Tony Craig at the near post, the resulting corner from Mitch Hancox then headed over the bar by Mark Ellis up from the back.
The industrious start paid dividends in the 7th minute; Duku rising well to win a long ball knock-down for Hancox, the midfielder catching a volley sweetly from the left side of the area and striking the post. Lincoln got across to try make the save but the ball would rebound awkwardly off his body, Duku quickest to pounce on the loose ball and stick it over the line.
The Wanderers stopper produced a top low diving save but appeared to pull a muscle in doing so just a few minutes later, denying another Ellis header from a Hancox delivery. After receiving treatment, Lincoln was deemed okay to continue, but Wanderers were fortunate not to be two down a moment later as Duku, adjudged to be onside, got behind the Wanderers back-line and onto a measured through ball, seemingly destined to score racing through on goal the striker stabbed the ball into the side-netting, sections of the home crowd deceived by the angle and thinking the ball had in fact gone in, stunned to then learn it had not.
Remonstrating with the match officials in the aftermath of the missed chance and believing Duku was offside, Marc White was given a straight red card for the manner of his protests.
Wanderers were struggling to get into the final third; Briggs skipped inside a couple of times to advance forward and did win a free kick at the edge of the York box, Kennedy striking the dead ball just wide of the top left corner. A Josh Taylor long throw then spilt out nicely for Moore to hammer on the volley, his effort comfortably saved though by Ryan Whitley.
With another couple of minor injury stoppages, the closing stages of the opening forty-five became scrappy, but both sides went close right at the end of the half; Briggs driving a couple of threatening crosses into the near post before Olly Dyson drove a low shot a whisker wide of the post up the other end.
Half-Time: York City 1 Dorking Wanderers 0
Dan Gallagher and Jimmy Muitt came on for Luke Moore and Matt Briggs at half-time, Marc White had spoken about Briggs still building up match sharpness ahead of kick off and acknowledged the winger may come off around the midway point of the game.
York set about replicating the explosive start they had made at the beginning of the match following the restart; Dyson taking on another low shot from range, this time fizzling straight through to Lincoln, the midfielder going even closer after that as he tried to hook Alex Hurst’s cross into the far corner of the net inside the six yard box, just directing it wide.
Josh Taylor clipped a ball towards the back post and a scramble ensued in and around the six yard box, no one in a white shirt able to force the ball towards goal, and on a rapid counter attack Dan Pybus spurned another excellent one-on-one opportunity for The Minstermen, dragging his shot wide of the post as he closed in on Lincoln.
Michael Morton’s side shook off the setback very quickly though, and two minutes later Alex Hurst was able to progress down the left and send in a cross to the back post, the ball shielded and unable to be cleared by Wanderers, allowing Ryan Fallowfield to strike a low half-volley into goal and double his sides advantage.
Both teams had strong penalty appeals waved away in quick succession, but approaching the final quarter of the game Wanderers were starting to get further up the field, Gallagher persisting well in midfield and winning the battles often lost in the first half, the direct running of fellow subs Muitt and Bobby-Joe Taylor out wide also pushing Wanderers on. A Josh Taylor long throw bounced out for McShane to strike superbly on the volley from the edge of the box, Whitley producing a decent save to tip it over the bar. The resulting corner would be headed just wide by Prior.
With less than five minutes remaining Wanderers did pull a goal back; a corner ball from the right nodded on by Prior and Gallagher managed to get a head to the ball and send it beyond Whitley from six yards out.
Wanderers pushed for a late leveller; Muitt starting and finishing a move after floating inside from the right, linking with Bowerman and smashing a volley straight down Whitley, and into stoppage time Prior again teed up a chance via an aerial flick on, this time guiding Josh Taylor’s long throw to the far side of the area for Bowerman, but perhaps rushing the chance, the winger sliced his effort wide.
Overall, a disappointing performance and result for Wanderers, particularly in light of encouraging recent form, but heading into consecutive games the week after next and still outside the relegation zone as it stands, Marc White will look for his side to quickly brush off the defeat and strive to get much needed points on the board from the final two games of March, both on home soil.
Referee: Aaron Jackson Attendance: 4409 (153 Wanderers Supporters)
Man Of The Match: Mark Ellis (Official Home Selection)