Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Ryan Brookes
Sports Writer
8:56 AM 9th July 2022

York City 2-3 Middlesbrough: City Fall Short As Boro Are Victorious

York's Manny Duku celebrates his first goal for The Minstermen (Photo: Matthew Appleby)
York's Manny Duku celebrates his first goal for The Minstermen (Photo: Matthew Appleby)
In their first game under new ownership, York City came close, but fell just short against Championship opposition.

Boro started well, testing York 'keeper Ethan Ross multiple times, amongst them the opening goal coming from Sonny Finch, who tapped in from a Josh Coburn pass.

They doubled their lead on 65 minutes through half-time substitute Callum Kavanagh, almost a complete replica of the first goal.

The Minstermen did however, manage to pull a goal back - a looping header from Manny Duku did the trick.

Kavanagh later added a third for the visitors, squeezing the ball past stand-in 'keeper Ryan Whitley, before an own-goal from Boro's Daniel Dodds confirmed the 3-2 scoreline.

Just one minute had passed when Championship outfit Middlesbrough first threatened Ethan Ross in the York goal - Anfernee Dijksteel picked up the ball about 25 yards out and fired one at the target which Ross had to punch over and out of danger.

Boro made it count at the second time of asking though - Josh Coburn's darting run into the box started up the chance, and all he had to do was knock it across to a poaching Sonny Finch who tapped home into an empty net.

Ross was forced into his second save of the match just shy of 20 minutes in, as attacking midfielder Riley McGree was let in on goal and with just him and the 'keeper, McGree failed to make his chance count.

It wasn't long before City fans learnt the quality of their new man between the sticks. He was tested yet again and responded with a fantastic double save from close range.

There was no doubt about who was going to take all the praises for York, even before the half time interval. Ross was the equivalent to a rock in the home goal as he managed to block a shot from Boro first-teamer Matt Crooks with his body.

York's first opportunity of the friendly came just seconds after the tannoy announcement regarding injury time, returnee Scott Burgess getting the ball on the edge and trying a driven effort, however easily dealt with and held by Liam Roberts.

The Minstermen's nine changes meant Ryan Whitley stepped in for Ethan Ross in goal, but Whitley still kept up the goalkeeping performance with a decent block to deny fellow half time substitute Duncan Watmore.

Whitley was helpless however when it came to keeping out Callum Kavanagh's effort from point-blank range. A complete replica of their first goal, the ball was squared across to the young striker, who couldn't really miss the glaring net.

Just minutes later, City fans' hopes were restored, as new Dutch striker Manny Duku came flying in with a looping bullet header that was never going to be stopped from powering in to half the deficit.

The game suddenly sprung into life around the 70 minute mark, as Boro scuffed a flurry of well-worked chances - all three opportunities were brilliantly saved by Whitley, one was pushed onto the post and another needing to be cleared off the line by Sam Sanders.

Despite some good work between the sticks from Whitley, his hopeful denial of Kavanagh's power shot on 83 minutes wasn't good enough, the ball bouncing in off the 'keeper's palms to make it 3-1 to The Boro.

Maybe there was a way back in for York, as man of the match Alex Hurst sent a cross in towards the centre, where no burgundy shirt was there, but a certain Daniel Dodds was, and in an attempt to head clear, nodded into his own net.

The final whistle confirmed a second pre-season win for Boro, and unfortunately for City, a defeat in their first outing under new ownership.

York City: Ross (Whitley HT), Crookes, Kouogun (Kerr HT), Sanders, Whittle (Trialist A/Barnes HT), Mafuta (Hurst HT), Hancox (Greaves HT), Burgess (Kouhyar HT), Dyson (Dale 83'), James (Duku HT), Boden (John-Lewis HT)

Roberts (Daniels HT), Smith (Jones HT), Bilongo (Fry HT), Lenihan (Tavernier HT), Giles (Gibson HT), Hackney (Howson HT), McGree (McNair HT), Crooks (Watmore HT), Coburn (Kavanagh HT), Finch (Bola HT, Dodds 52')

Referee: Ross Joyce

4,198 (1,310 away)

Man Of The Match:
Alex Hurst