York City 1-1 Wrexham: Late show sees Minstermen claim solid point
Wrexham players celebrate Tom O'Connor's opener (Photo: Ryan Brookes)

In front of the BT Sport cameras, York City fought hard to secure a point with Hollywood-owned Wrexham in the National League.

It was the Welsh side that took a late lead, thanks to a spectacular Tom O'Connor overhead kick, that sneaked into the bottom corner.

Wrexham may have thought they had won it heading into added time, but three points were prevented, when York substitute Manny Duku thumped home to level with his first touch of the game.

  • Story of the match

York City interim manager Tim Ryan made three changes to the side that were beaten by Dorking - Michael Duckworth, Adam Crookes and Mitch Hancox returned to the lineup, while Ryan Fallowfield, Sam Sanders and Manny Duku all dropped out.

For Wrexham, it was also three changes, as Anthony Forde, James Jones and Ollie Palmer made a return to the eleven.

The Minstermen made an unlikely start, almost opening the scoring after just a minute, when Crookes connected with a low Hancox corner, but his tame effort was calmly collected. Then a counter-attack saw the visitors record their first shot on target early on, Elliot Lee firing one straight at Ethan Ross, who caught with ease.

Palmer did well to turn his man on the left of goal, before advancing into the box, and trying a low shot, but in the end, another easy save for Ross.

The chances kept on coming for Wrexham inside the first 15 minutes, though they failed to make York pay, as an unmarked Paul Mullin somehow managed to glance it wide, before Palmer headed over from a corner.

A rare opportunity for the hosts almost disrupted the Red Dragonsgame after 21 minutes - a poor corner routine was quickly recycled and knocked on to Lenell John-Lewis with his back to goal, but 'The Shop' wasn't far off giving his side a lead, with a half-volley on the turn which looped just over the bar.

Arguably the best chance of the half was awarded the Welsh outfit just past the half hour mark, a free kick right on the edge of the box. Midfielder Anthony Forde stepped up and with the ball surely floating towards the top corner, it was down the York 'keeper, who was forced made a big save, parrying clear.

Yet another chance was Wrexham's, as Mullin cut inside from the left and curled one narrowly wide of goal, though that concluded the half, as both sides went in level at the break - the visitors had been on top, but only by tight margins.

The Minstermen were straight back into the thick of it, nearly capitalizing on an inviting free kick from the right, just a few minutes after the restart. The ball whipped in by Duckworth took an awkward diversion goalward off the knee of Maxim Kouogun at the far post, but the defender couldn't get enough on it to take it past Mark Howard, who smothered with ease.

Apart from the opening chance created by the hosts, the second half took a fair amount of time to really get going, with no more than half-chances evolving for either of the National League rivals.

With 12 minutes left on the clock, York's John-Lewis was made to regret a missed header, as he nodded wide from close range, but then the prolific Wrexham striker Paul Mullin also saw his shot fly well wide of goal down the opposite end.

An inspiring move down the left for City saw the ball pulled back to a certain Michael Duckworth in plenty of space, but his first time shot was well defended by the Red Dragons,  as a blue shirt deflected over.

Sitting level with two minutes to play, Tim Ryan's Minstermen may have thought they'd done enough to salvage a good point, but not enough to stop Wrexham substitute Tom O'Connor from netting potentially one of the goals of the season so far.

A free kick into the mixer found the defender, who brilliantly, and successfully, went for the overhead kick, which squeezed into the bottom right corner past Ross to give his side a late lead.

York fans had their hopes raised when seven minutes were added on to the 90, and it was within the second minute of that that a home contingent of more than 5,000 were send into pandemonium.

Just moments after Manny Duku was brought onto the field, he received a through ball from John-Lewis on the right of goal, and composed himself before hitting it first time; it was well worth the wait as the in-form striker thumped home with venom, and watched it fly and dip into the top-right corner, to secure City a well-earned point.

A draw wasn't quite enough to keep Phil Parkinson's side top of the table, with Notts County's triumph meaning they leapfrog Wrexham. For York, they also fall one place down to 18th, though there won't be many complaints after a draw with the Dragons - that prevents four straight losses for the Minstermen.

  • Player of the match

Aaron Hayden (Wrexham)

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