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Town victorious in York thanks to Matty Blair's goal

12 May 2024


Town victorious in York thanks to Matty Blair's goal

12 May 2024

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Matty Blair's second half goal against former side York City meant Fleetwood Town took a narrow lead into the second leg of the League Two play-offs, as the Cods looked to secure their sixth promotion in ten years.

Graham Alexander's side went in front when Blair poked home the ball from close range after Antoni Sarcevic's shot was blocked on the line by the York defender.

Michael Coulson and Ryan Bowman went close for the hosts, but they could not force a leveller as the Minstermen lost for the first time in 18 games.

For those who remember, persistent heavy downpours meant the original game was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, and with some showers happening on the Monday, there was some doubt but after an inspection, the game went ahead.

The two teams had been promoted to the Football League together in 2012, with the Cod Army going up as champions and York joining them via the play-offs.

The home team made the stronger start to the first leg, with forward Calvin Andrew seeing his shot from Ryan Brobbel's cutback blocked.

York City Gallery 003.jpg

Alexander's side grew into the contest and Nick Pope - now at Premier League side Newcastle United - was called into making a smart save from Sarcevic's speculative effort before the home defence scrambled the resultant corner away from danger.

That was as close as either side came in a scrappy first half on a heavy pitch.

In the second half, a neat passage of play between Sarcevic and David Ball allowed the former Crewe man in behind the defence and, after a combination of Pope and Lanre Oyebanjo stopping his shot crossing the line, super Matty Blair was on hand to force the ball home in front of thr travelling fans.

The hosts tried to find a way back into it and sub Bowman came close to turning Coulson's cross in before the latter went close again.

Iain Hume should have grabbed a second for Fleetwood Town, but he sent a low effort just wide after being played in by Josh Morris, who was on loan from Blackburn Rovers that season. 

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