York 0-1 Fleetwood Town
Fleetwood Town will take a slender advantage into the second leg of their League Two Play-Off semi-final after Matty Blair’s second-half goal at Bootham Crescent.
The Cod Army secured a 1-0 win with the former York City man tapping home from close range following a low cross from the right hand side after clever build up play including David Ball and Antoni Sarcevic.
The two teams will meet again at Highbury on Friday 16th May, kick-off 7.45pm
There was a sense of déjà-vu as all gathered for the second time in 48 hours, following Saturday’s postponement due to a waterlogged pitch.
Both Fleetwood and York remained unchanged from the teams that were announced two days ago.
There was a tentative start as semi-final tension combined with a slippy surface to make fluent football tricky.
York keeper Nick Pope came under pressure from both Ball and Iain Hume after three minutes but dealt well with the threat.
Winger Blair saw a lot of the ball down the right flank on his return to Bootham Crescent while Calvin Andrew was a growing threat for York and had a shot on target well-blocked by Nathan Pond after 15 minutes.
Town responded well as Pope was forced to palm away a strong effort from Sarcevic after 18 minutes.
Sarcevic almost took advantage of an astute pass from Hume six minutes later but York skipper Russell Penn made a timely tackle inside the area.
A surging run from midfield then took Sarcevic into the area on the half hour but the well-organised York defence, only ten goals conceded in the second half of the season, dealt comfortably with the cross.
Three successive corners raised the home crowd's volume level while the travelling Cod Army had their own expectations heightened as Ball cut in from the left and saw his drive deflected into Pope's hands by central defender John McCombe after 35 minutes.
Josh Morris was enhancing his growing reputation with a busy performance in midfield and Steven Schumacher was the game's first booking when he brought down the advancing Lanre Oyebanjo after 41 minutes. The half ended without any clear-cut chances for either side.
York came close to a lead just three minutes into the second half. Andrew rose to beat Mark Roberts to the ball, releasing the nippy Michael Coulson who cut in before sending a shot narrowly wide.
However, it was Fleetwood that took the lead four minutes later.
Good build up down the right led to a drive from a tight angle by Sarcevic which Blair touched home from close range.
Town dealt with an immediate threat from the hosts before Ball nearly doubled Town’s advantage, but he was denied by the superb reactions of the York goalkeeper.
The first substitution saw Ryan Bowman replacing Ryan Brobbel for York and the striker came close to levelling the scores after 65 minutes, turning a Coulson cross towards goal but Chris Maxwell made an important save.
It was York's best attacking period but Town's defence held firm and bravely batted away any threat coming forward.
In the dying stages, Canadian international Hume had the chance to double Fleetwood’s lead but unfortunately he rolled the ball past the left hand post.
Attention will now turn to Friday night’s second leg, with tickets currently on sale for the second leg at Highbury.