York visited Barnsley in the 2nd round of the West Yorkshire Cup and, after a hard working performance, earned themselves a semi final place where they will play host to Calderdale later this month.
After a number of postponed games, both teams were keen to get their season back underway. This was evident with the energy shown in the opening exchanges. Barnsley were immediately on the front foot and attacked early, York working hard at the back to keep them out and then mounting attacks of their own. The first 10 minutes set the tone for the rest of the game – end to end football with both teams confident of taking the victory. York went close with a powerful strike from Lleyton Brown, the Barnsley keeper doing well to push his effort past the post. Ben Garbutt-Smith was then played through but his shot was again well saved. York were on top for large parts but Barnsley were dangerous on the break – defenders Seb Holowkiewicz, Jack Redman, Jack Cottam and Billy Hobson standing strong and working well as a unit, as they have for most of the season. In midfield, Ben Armitage, Billy Dickinson and Leo Littlewood covered a lot of ground to disrupt Barnsley’s passing game. On the 25 minute mark, York got the breakthrough they deserved when Brown finished with a low strike from 10 yards out. The half continued in much same vein, both sides keen to attack and very competitive in the midfield areas.
York went into the break 1-0 to the good, knowing that they would have to sharpen up their passing and retain possession a little better in the second half.
Second half and Barnsley appeared to raise their game. They forced a number of corners and utilised their long throws, but York showed their strength, bravery and desire to keep them out with a series of headed clearances, tackles and blocks. They rode their luck, too – a long range effort from Barnsley striking the crossbar and bouncing to safety. Eventually, the pressure told. The home side worked the ball through midfield and created an opening at the far post which was headed in to make it 1-1. This setback seemed to spark York into action and they began to force their way back into the game. At this stage, both sides felt that they could win the match. On the hour mark, York regained the lead. Garbutt-Smith collected a ball on the halfway line and raced through before beating the advancing keeper with a low, crisp finish. 2-1 to York but Barnsley refused to lie down. The final few minutes saw York put under a great deal of pressure but, again, they showed the collective spirit to see out the game and earn a hard-fought victory.
Without being at their best, York showed they can scrap and fight to see things through to continue their run of recent good form, which has seen them lose only once in the last ten games.
MOM : Jack Cottam – led from the back; strong and solid; showed his good positional sense and understanding of the game.
Scorers : Lleyton Brown, Ben Garbutt-Smith