Rushden & Diamonds 0 York City 1

(FA Trophy 4th Round)

Dreams of playing at Wembley disappeared for Diamonds as a 16th minute header from Danny Parslow was enough to take York City into the FA Trophy semi-finals. A spirited attempt to claw back the deficit was not enough as a number of first half chances were squandered and despite throwing players forward at the end, the York defence maintained their lead and a place in the last four.

Having signed striker Charles Ademeno on loan from Southend United on Wednesday, manager Garry Hill put the youngster straight into the starting line-up, replacing David Brown who was named on the bench. Chris Hope had recovered from illness and was also on the bench, while Lee Tomlin dropped out having not fully recovered from a knock last weekend.

York boss Colin Walker was forced into two changes from the side which lost at Histon last Saturday. Simon Rusk and Leo Fortune-West were both cup-tied, so Craig Farrell and Onome Sodje started. Club captain Emmanuel Panther had recovered from injury to be named as a substitute, while on loan Rotherham winger Sam Duncum was also on the bench.

Having gone 17 games unbeaten until last weekend, York started as strong favourites and looked more confident going forward in the opening period. Curtis Woodhouse flashed an early shot wide for Diamonds, but the visitors had a couple of chances on 10 minutes. First, Nicky Wroe had a shot blocked for a corner, then as Wroe sent the ball in, Martyn Woolford had a good chance, but his shot seemed to take a deflection and went straight at Dale Roberts in the Diamonds goal.

On 16 minutes, York got what proved to be the vital goal. After Phil Gulliver had cleared the ball away from Onome Sodje for a corner, the defence went to sleep and allowed Danny Parslow to run in and power a header home from Wroe’s corner.

There was a chance for an immediate reply as Michael Rankine flicked on a cross from the right, but Charles Ademeno was just unable to get a touch. Diamonds kept up the pressure and from a corner, Michael Corcoran had a goal bound shot blocked by the hand of Anthony Lloyd in the box, but the referee waved play on. The best chance fell on 25 minutes when York defender Darren Craddock misjudged a long ball from Roberts. Michael Rankine nipped in and with just the keeper to beat, lobbed the ball weakly into the keeper’s hands.

 

At the other end, Wroe’s 30 yard effort failed to cause any problems for Roberts, but it was Diamonds who looked more likely to score. There was another great chance on 37 minutes, when Ademeno got the better of Craddock and sent in a cross from the right. It looked like Michael Rankine would level the scores as he powered into the penalty area, but with the goal at his mercy, his header missed the target to the relief of the York team and supporters.

 

Half-time: Rushden & Diamonds 0 – 1 York City

 

The visitors looked more composed at the start of the second half and started to cause Diamonds a few more problems. Anthony Lloyd seemed to have a lot of room on the left as Curtis Osano let him have more and more space. On 50 minutes, Craig Farrell’s shot on goal from just inside the area was saved low down by Roberts, while Stuart Elliott had a couple of stinging shots blocked. York continued to push forward to make the game safe and Diamonds were under increasing pressure with Sodje’s shot being put out for a corner.

 

With Diamonds on the back foot, Tom Shaw came closest to a reply with a shot too close to the keeper. York thought they had doubled their lead on 62 minutes, when Craig Farrell knocked the ball forward for Sodje to fire home, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Ten minutes later, Woolford had another good chance as he got clear of the back line, but Phil Gulliver did well to get back and block the danger.

 

In the final fifteen minutes however, Diamonds started to get forward as they pushed for an equaliser and David Brown and Jon Challinor came on to replace Charles Ademeno (who had pulled up with a hamstring injury), and Marcus Kelly. Michael Corcoran struck the bar with a header from one of several corners, but in pressing forward, gaps began to open at the back. Only some selfish play from Onome Sodje kept Diamonds in with a chance as they had three against one, but he tried to run with the ball instead of supplying Wroe or Panther with an easy opportunity to score.

 

Chris Hope replaced Andy Burgess on 84 minutes as he came on to join Rankine and Brown in attack. Diamonds had another great chance as play resumed with David Brown trying an overhead kick from 8 yards which should have found the target. With gaps appearing at the back, Wroe’s run downfield ended with a poor finish from Martyn Woolford, while substitute Richard Brodie had a shot blocked. Then deep into the four minutes of added time, Dale Roberts did well to keep out Emmanual Panther’s effort, using his legs to clear the ball away.

 

Full-time: Rushden & Diamonds 0 – 1 York City

 

Dreams of a trip to Wembley have gone for another year and Diamonds must concentrate on improving their League position in the 15 remaining games. They still have the chance to win some silverware in the shape of the Setanta Shield, when they visit Aggborough to take on Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday evening (1945 kick off).

 

 

Teams:

Rushden & Diamonds – Roberts, Osano, Gulliver(c), Woodhouse, Ademeno (Brown 69), Burgess (Hope 84), Rankine, Shaw, Kelly (Challinor 71), Howell, Corcoran.

Subs not used:. Bastock, Gooding.

 

York City – .Evans, Craddock, Elliott, McGurk(c), Parslow, Sodje (Brodie 79), Farrell, Woolford, Wroe, Purkiss (Panther 65), Lloyd.

Subs not used: Mimms, Robinson, Duncum.

 

Goals: Parslow 16 (0-1).

 

Booked: Parslow 59 (foul).

 

Referee: Mr N.Kinseley (Essex).

 

Attendance: 1626 (333 away).

 

Cloverdale Catering Man of the Match – Michael Corcoran

 

 

Other FA Trophy results

Burton Albion 0 Ebbsfleet United 0

Tamworth 1 Aldershot Town 2

Torquay United 4 Crawley Town 1

 

 

 

By Dave Mason

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