Season ends with defeat at York
FOREST Green slipped to a late defeat in their final outing of the season at Bootham Crescent, writes Richard Joyce.
A lunchtime kick off against a team that potentially face two trips to Wembley in the next few weeks was left to a late strike to settle it despite the fact Forest Green did threaten the York goal several times.
There was just one change in the Rovers line up which cruised to victory against Darlington last time out with Michael Uwezu moving in to the front three in place of James Rowe who returned to the bench.
With York’s place in the play offs secured and Forest Green’s season winding down the game very much had an end of term feel about it with few chances in the first half.
Former Cheltenham Town midfielder Scott Brown had his side footed shot from distance easily collected by Rovers keeper Sam Russell in the opening exchanges whilst James Norwood could only blaze over when the ball dropped to him on the edge of the York box shortly after.
Kieron Forbes was next up to try his luck in front of goal after a lengthy quiet period in the first half and the England C international’s drive forward ended with a shot that dragged well wide.
York, who left several key players out with injuries and with the play offs just around the corner, then shipped a shot well over the Rovers bar when Matty Blinkhorn attempted to finish off a good piece of work by Adriano Moke.
With the half closing in for a goalless return at the break, a placed shot on the edge of the box from Forest Green’s astute Matty Taylor fired against the post with the hosts veteran back up keeper Paul Musselwhite well beaten, but despite Rovers late chance both teams would go in level at the break.
And it was a score line that would be almost instantly disrupted within the opening seconds of the second half when Yan Klukowski set up Taylor in space whose low shot was well stopped by the on guard Musselwhite.
A rare moment of drama ten minutes in to the second half saw terrific last gasp Forest Green defending prevent the Minstermen from notching a first of the afternoon.
Brown’s driving run to the by-line saw him cross for Moses Ashikodi who manoeuvred his feet and released a shot that was blocked brilliantly by some brave Rovers defending.
Uwezu ensured Musselwhite was kept the busier of the two keepers when the Nigerian former Fulham man attempted a driving shot on goal from 30 yards out but his lightly hit shot was easily stopped by the York shot stopper.
The games next chance was again another effort from distance for Rovers with Klukowski smashing a well struck free kick at goal which whispered just wide of the post.
Rovers domination of chances would count for little however when as the game entered the final ten minutes the hosts found the back of the net through Adriano Moke who steered in from a low cross.
The reaction from Forest Green was immediate when for the second time the York woodwork was struck.
Klukowski drove in a corner towards the back post and the committed Oshodi crashed a header against the crossbar that bounced back in to the arms of the grateful Musselwhite.
It would prove to be a final chance for Rovers who would no doubt be left disappointed having not finished the season with a win but Dave Hockaday’s men will no doubt be looking forward to next season with plenty of promise.