York City 1-0 Leamington: Willoughby free kick wins it for York
Willoughby celebrates in front of the York fans (Photo: Ryan Brookes)

It wasn't the prettiest of performances from York City but they bounced back from defeat with an ugly 1-0 win against an under-par Leamington.

Paddy McLaughlin was taken off at half time, in order to witness the birth of his baby, with game-changer Kurt Willoughby coming on to win the game, coincidentally.

  • Teams

York City: Jameson, Duckworth, Barrow, Kouogun, Brown ©, McLaughlin, Dyson, Longdon, Wright, Hancox, John-Lewis

Leamington: Hawkins, Meredith, Bushaj, Clarke, Mace, Lane, Williams, Walker, Parker, Edwards ©, Kelly-Evans

  • Story of the match

The first chance of the game was squandered by York’s Paddy McLaughlin who took one touch too many after Michael Duckworth squared it to him. 

It took until the 22nd minute for another chance to emerge in a quite monotonous first half when Matty Brown’s header from an incoming corner flew just inches over the bar.

Lenell John-Lewis did well to win a free kick on the edge not long after, which was hit by Scott Barrow, who came very close, missing Callum Hawkins’ right-hand post.

Failing to keep hold of the ball, City let Leamington in just before the half hour mark, as Dan Meredith’s curling effort deflected out off the head of a York man.

Shortly before half time, John-Lewis had what was probably the best chance of the first 45, his header forcing Hawkins to tip over the bar.

Unlike other teams who had come to York and sat back, The Brakes came to play some proper football and almost made an impact after returning to the field when Charlie Williams broke into the box but had his shot blocked by a red shirt.

The Minstermen looked to make an opportunity from distance count, when half time sub Kurt Willoughby tried his trademark curling shot which was blocked, and fell to Olly Dyson who skied it over the bar at the second attempt.

Still pushing for that vital opener, the hosts were denied as a tame effort from Scott Barrow was easily saved and then Willoughby’s curler yet again failed to hit the target.

But then, in the 64th minute, it was Willoughby’s time to shine. He stepped up to take a free kick from just outside the box and completed the task successfully, striking it into the top corner to break the deadlock.

In an attempt to find an unlikely equaliser, Leamington’s Joe Walker tried a fizzer from the right, but completely failed and sent it across the field rather than into the back of the net.

Then, down the other end, Olly Dyson almost had the second, but his driven effort frustrating crashed against the post.

He couldn’t find the goal yet again for York, his header having to be tipped over by the visiting ‘keeper.

That was the last of the action and City went home happy whilst Leamington could be disappointed with not getting a result,.

  • Star man

Kurt Willoughby