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Nationwide League Division 2, 5/10/96
York City 1(0)
Scorers: Pepper (80 pen)
Watford 2(2)
Team: Miller 3, Gibbs 3, Ludden 3, Johnson 1, Millen 3, Palmer 4, Bazeley 2, Andrews 4, White 2, *Penrice 4*, Mooney 2
Subs: Page (for Penrice) 0, Chamberlain, Noel-Williams
Scorers: Andrews (2), Penrice (36)
Bjork City!
Report by John Hamilton

Not even the Icelandic songstress could have penned a match quite as strange as this. A day starting with a few bevvies in the Tap & Spile with several fellow supporters, ended in the same pub contemplating a performance that gave encouragement for the rest of the season. The opposition having recently disposed of Man Utd and Everton, both quite convincingly, looked desperate compared to the quality of our side. I don't think that given our injury woes that that is saying much.

But first a word about the ground. It's no coincidence that York are sponsored by Portakabin, Bootham Crescent can best be described as cosy, and it has a certain, well, temporary feeling about it. We filled the away end, with their fans pretty much filling the rest of the ground, meaning that, at 90percent full, the attendance was 6000.

For those who missed the first couple of minutes, they were to miss our opening strike. Even some of those present might have missed it, for at the far end of the ground, there seemed to be a defensive mix up on the edge of the box, and Wayne struck the ball past the keeper just inside the post. It was one of those shots that took an age to go in, and the players were celebrating before it did!

The first half then settled down into a routine where we pushed hard for a second, and York, looking as potent as Farm Stores Bitter, tried hard to get out of their own half. By this stage it became apparent that we had had a change in strategy. Gone was the long ball approach aimed at Dev, with Wayne snapping at his ankles. The players seemed quite content to work the ball up through midfield, and try and pick up the pace of Wayne, with Dev as a distraction. And it worked too! Penrice was having blinder in midfield, making up for Johnson's poor first touch, whilst Tommy and Baze both struggled to make use of the extra width the pitch seemed to have. Even Dev managed to lay off the odd ball, although who to I'm not sure.

The second came deservedly after a bit of pressure from the 'Orns, the ball came in and Penrice stooping low made the glancing header. Again it took an age to go in, but it did! Half-time left us pondering the chances of more, especially given that they would be attacking our end. However we obviously didn't count on a key substitution at half time; that of the referee. He who had a quiet, efficient first half, promptly turned twat for the remainder of the game. We came out with defence upper most in our minds, whilst the York lads had obviously had a (deserved) rollicking from the boss. They immediately attacked our goal but again never looked like scoring. Their crosses were dealt with well by Miller or the defence, whilst we tackled with verve and determination, all over the park, and that includes Dev. In one of our few second half chances, Penrice picked the ball up outside the box, and ran at the defence, past a couple of defenders, into the area, and looked like scoring when he just lost his touch and the keeper made an important save. Vintage stuff!

Then it all went wrong, for no apparent reason, one of their players went down in the box, the penalty was given, and yet the York player still needed the help of the post to score. They now had their backs up , and piled on the pressure which was completely soaked up by our superb defence. After one of their players was stretchered off they lost their momentum, and it was left to Wayne with a stunningly pacy run, to nearly make it three. His confidence is sky high, and it can only be a matter of time before he gets a hatful.

And so to the ref, what a complete tosser, backed by two linesmen (sorry, assistants) who seemed unable to see vindictive challenges right in front of them. We got a sum total of 3 free-kicks in the second half, the third starting a chorus of 'the ref's got a hat-trick'.

So there you have it. They had no chances, and scored one, we had four, and scored two! If we had lost this game, to this team, there would be no hope. Let's hope the rest are this easy. We left after all the players and King Kenny had been over and saluted us to a round of 'Watford's going up'. At this rate we will too.

Side of barn with gun
Report by Miles

Well, we won 2-1 and we weren't lucky to win (we were the better side on the day), but we were VERY bad.

The tactic of hoofing the ball up to Dev who knocks it down to someone else is fine in theory, but unfortunately today (and it was no exception to the norm) Dev won one ball from a hoof. And then he passed it to Johnson. Who mucked it up!

Wayne's running caused York loads of problems, the defence looked solid but apart from that, pretty crap.

The referee was an absolute joke and should have just worn a York shirt in the second half. When we did win a decision the "Hallelujah" chants started in full effect. Other top songs included "Can we play you when we're good" and "Shit game and we're two nil up".

Moments of note......

1st minute - Wayne in one on one against keeper following defensive muck up, waits for goalie to rush out and in it goes....... slowly..... painfully..... eventually...... GOAL!!!

16th minute - Bazeley gets ball, runs past someone (!), two players free, so shot instead of passing....

20th minute - Mooney. Crap shot.

28th minute - Mooney. Good shot. Just wide.

29th minute - Mooney through ball to Devon. Should've scored.

35th minute - Mooney corner, ball smacked towards goal, Penrice gets in the way and heads it in. GOAL!!!!

Two more chances for Wayne in the first half.

Second half

16th minute - Wayne Andrews with a good shot.

18th minute - Penrice, ran past 3 people and took on the goalie, who just got to the ball.

30th minute - Devon hits the side netting. The words "side of barn with gun" spring to mind.

38th minute - Penalty to York. Don't know who fouled who....

Last minute - Good running from Wayne and he hits the post.