York City earn deserved point against title-chasing Wrexham at home

York City midfielder Mitch Hancox in action against Wrexham. <i>(Image: Tom Poole)</i>
York City midfielder Mitch Hancox in action against Wrexham. (Image: Tom Poole)

YORK City scored a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser to earn a well-deserved point against promotion-chasing Wrexham, drawing 1-1 at the LNER Community Stadium.

After a tightly-contested and hard-fought clash, Wrexham took the lead with two minutes left in normal time, through Tom O’Connor’s overhead kick.

Just moments later, however, City found their response through Manny Duku. His strike, a thunderbolt, crashed into the top right corner.

Both teams could have opened their accounts earlier than they did. City came close through efforts from Adam Crookes, Lenell John-Lewis and Maxim Kouogun.

Wrexham, meanwhile, came near through star-man Paul Mullin in what was interim manager Tim Ryan’s final game of three in temporary charge.

David Webb, who was announced as York's new manager on Friday, will take charge of training at City on Monday ahead of next weekend's game against Woking (3pm).

The draw extends City’s winless run in all competitions to nine, but to take a point from Wrexham is no small feat.

It’s a result that will no doubt feel like a win, perhaps mainly due to City not allowing their hard work to be for nothing.

Prior to kick-off, City were hoping for a much-needed return to form after falling to a 1-0 defeat away at Dorking Wanderers last time out.

York’s misery was further compiled at Meadowbank when, still within the first half, defender Ryan Fallowfield and midfielder Dan Pybus left the pitch injured.

Against Wrexham, Pybus was deemed fit to play and retained his place in the side, though Fallowfield dropped out of the team.

Elsewhere, as Ryan changed his side’s shape to more of a 4-1-4-1, Sam Sanders and Manny Duku were dropped.

Duku moved to the bench as Sanders was absent entirely, the duo being replaced by Michael Duckworth and Adam Crookes.

To compensate for the extra midfielder, Mitch Hancox was drafted into the team in place of Fallowfield.

From kick-off, the Minstermen looked to break forward, earning themselves a corner within 20 seconds.

Delivered by Olly Dyson, the ball came to Crookes in the box. The defender got a shot away, but his light tap was straightforward for Mark Howard.

From a Dyson shot soon after, Wrexham looked to break immediately. They found Mullin, who saw his drive from range go over.

Hancox looked lively throughout the first half, the midfielder having missed the Dorking clash through suspension.

Wrexham would soon grow into the game, threatening particularly through Mullin, who looked dangerous every time he broke down the right wing.

With what was a golden opportunity to score, a cross found Mullin in the area. Completely unmarked, the striker could only guide his header off target.

Just moments later, Wrexham had a corner and though they found Ollie Palmer in the box, his header did not trouble Ethan Ross.

The Red Dragons found themselves defending soon after, when City broke forward to win a corner of their own.

A deep ball into the box found Crookes, who nodded it back towards Lenell John-Lewis.

The City captain chested the ball, thrashing a strike on the turn that went just over the crossbar.

City threatened the Wrexham backline through a lovely passing move between Lenell John-Lewis and Hancox.

The midfielder was played through before finding Dyson, but he did not have the time to unleash a shot.

The ball then came to Mafuta, deep in midfield, who lost possession and ultimately conceded a free-kick when trying to win it back.

Standing over the dead ball was Anthony Forde, whose curling free-kick was denied only by a brilliant Ross save.

Just as York had done in the first, it was Wrexham to carve out a chance within seconds at the start of the second half, earning a free-kick in a dangerous position.

Forde stood over it once more, as did Wrexham skipper Luke Young and striker Mullin. It was Forde to strike it and he could only shoot well over the bar.

As City looked to create after the break, they were awarded a free-kick just ahead of the half-way line.

Fizzed towards the box by Duckworth, the ball glided by most in the box before finding Maxim Kouogun.

The centre-back went for goal, but saw his effort held by Howard.

Looking to counter attack, Wrexham once more supplied the ball to Mullin on the break, but his shot was saved, comfortably, by Ross.

It was, generally, a slower half than the first, with Wrexham seemingly struggling to break down the York defence.

City conceded a corner that Wrexham could have threatened from, but the header from Jordan Tunnicliffe was off target.

It seemed York’s hard work had been undone when, in the 88th minute, the ball was hit in towards O’Connor.

He reached it with an overhead kick that, though lacking power, was enough to beat Ross and give Wrexham the lead.

Entering the 90th minute, Duku was brought on from the bench and replaced Dyson.

As City looked to equalise, they found John-Lewis who offloaded the ball to Duku.

The 29-year-old unleashed a thundering effort from range that, beating Howard, nestled in the top right corner, guaranteeing York a much-needed, but entirely earned, point.

York City: Ross, 7, Duckworth, 6, Kouogun, 7, Kerr, 6, Crookes, 7, Whittle, 6 (Greaves 86'), Mafuta, 6, Pybus, 7, Dyson, 8, (Duku 90’, 7), Hancox, 7 (Burgess 78’, 6), John-Lewis (C), 7

Unused subs: Whitley, James

York City's star man: Olly Dyson. The midfielder brought a much needed energy to York's side.

Goals: Duku (90’)

Yellow cards: Hancox (49’)

Wrexham: Howard, Forde, Hayden, Tozer, Tunnicliffe (O’Connor 78’), McFadzean (Mendy 71’), Young (C), Jones (Dalby 85’), Lee, Mullin, Palmer

Unused subs: Lainton, McAlinden

Goals: O’Connor (88’)

Yellow cards: Young (43’)

Attendance: 7,145 (1,592 away fans)

Referee: Jacob Miles

Stats for York City v Wrexham:

Shots (on target): 5 (3) | 8 (4)

Fouls committed: 8 | 7

Corners: 5 | 5

Offsides: 1 | 1