Gills pick up another valuable away point from Bootham Crescent
The Gills pulled back another point on Port Vale with a richly deserved draw following a composed display at Bootham Crescent
Martin Allen stuck with the same starting XI that performed so superbly on Saturday to take three points from Valley Parade. In fact the only change in the entire squad saw Bradley Dack replace Sam Muggleton on the subs bench.
In a high tempo opening both sides had half chances to score, Curtis Obeng firing over for the visitors from Michael Rankine’s centre, before Cody McDonald’s looped effort from Anton Robinson’s cross fell kindly for York custodian Michael Ingham.
Gills went close to taking the lead in the 12th minute after Deon Burton showed great vision to play a cross field ball into the path of Matt Fish, the right-back cut inside Jamal Fyfield but sadly pulled his finish just wide of the keeper’s left hand upright.
On 22 minutes Robinson and McDonald linked up again, this time on the left of goal, the Huddersfield loanee threading a neat ball through for Cody to power into the side netting, while John McGrath responded within seconds for the home side, blasting over from the edge of the box.
Left-back Joe Martin collected the game’s first booking on 26 minutes after connecting with Matty Blair. From McGrath’s free-kick Rankine climbed above the Gills defence but his header failed to test Stuart Nelson.
Seven minutes later the lively Blair collected a ball from Rankine and raced behind the defence to go one on one with Nelson, fortunately his powerful effort was well wide of the mark. Obeng spurned a chance to put York in front soon after spooning Fyfield’s cross from the left well over the cross bar.
On 39 minutes Leon Legge was well placed to deny Rankin’s goalbound header from Ashley Chambers corner as the hosts finished the half strongly. Two more Rankine headers were cleared behind in a succession of corners for the Minstermen but the Gills defence held out.
Martin Allen made one change at half time, introducing Myles Weston to the midfield to torment the York defence, however it was the home side that fashioned the first opening, McGrath lashing over from just outside the box.
Four minutes after the restart Andy Frampton forced a great save from Michael Ingham in the York goal. Weston’s corner was cleared to the experienced midfielder who drove the loose ball back with power and precision, Ingham diving low to his left to push it round the post.
With the Gills stepping up a gear the chances began to come thick and fast with McDonald heading over after great work down the left from Joe Martin on 52 minutes. Seconds later Matt Fish was shown a yellow after a foul on Obeng inside the Gills half.
On 64 minutes the Gills made their second switch of the evening introducing the fresh legs of Adam Birchall for Deon Burton. Soon after Matt Fish tried his luck from distance after a Weston cross was cleared to his feet but his effort was just off target.
Gills continued to dominate proceedings but time and again were thwarted by York’s increasingly desperate rearguard action. The home side did manage to carve out an opening on 79 minutes with a Blair breakaway but the winger chose to shoot from distance and failed to test Nelson at his near post.
With five minutes of normal time remaining Martin Allen shored up the midfield with the introduction of Charlie Lee for Robinson, he almost made the perfect start, striking the crossbar from 30 yards with his first touch of the game.
That proved to be the best chance for either side as, despite four minutes of time added on, the teams could not be separated on the night.
Attendance: 2,699 (202 Gillingham)
Gillingham: Stuart Nelson, Matt Fish, Joe Martin, Leon Legge, Adam Barrett, Anton Robinson (Charlie Lee 85), Andy Frampton, Charlie Allen (Myles Weston H/T), Chris Whelpdale, Deon Burton (Adam Birchall 64), Cody McDonald.
Subs not used: Callum Davies, Bradley Dack, Tommy Forecast, Steven Gregory
York City: Michael Ingham, Daniel Parslow, Scott Kerr, Ashley Chambers (Patrick McLaughlin 81), Jamal Fyfield, Matty Blair, Jon Challinor (Alex Rodman 77), Jack O’Connell, Michael Rankine, John McGrath, Curtis Obeng.
Subs not used: Paul Musselwhite, Jason Walker, Michael Potts, Ben Everson, Tom Allan.