A much improved York City were harshly denied three points by a late goal from substitute Adam McGurk, which earned Burton Albion a 1-1 draw.

The home side made a bright start, with Jake Hyde turning sharply to register a shot on target and John McCombe almost profiting from a fumble from Burton keeper Ian McLaughlin. Albion’s best chance came through Jacob Blyth, whose snapshot was well saved by Bobby Olejnik.

Despite the game becoming increasingly scrappy and the Bootham Crescent surface deteriorating, York took a deserved lead after 70 minutes as debutant Emile Sinclair applied a simple finish to an ingenious free-kick routine, masterminded by Josh Carson and made possible by John McCombe’s cutback.

The Brewers had the last laugh, however, and snatched a point as a daisy-cutter from McGurk dribbled agonisingly into the far corner in front of their away support.

York City

Bobby Olejnik- Wasn’t overly busy, but made a tremendous save to deny Blyth and kicked well. Commanded his box forcefully and made good decisions in claiming crosses. 6.5
Bradley Halliday- Endearing himself to the York faithful with his whole-hearted performances at right back, Halliday maintained his discipline and executed a number of robust challenges fairly 7.5
Keith Lowe- A model of consistency, the 29 year-old proved once again why he is a mainstay of York’s back four. Headed anything and everything that came his way and leads, quietly, by example 8.0
John McCombe- Provided threat in Burton’s box at set piece time and his opportunistic nod back set up the goal. He tired as the game went on and looked to be struggling with the physical demands of League Two football. 6.5
Malvind Benning- Thrown in at the deep end after his loan move from Walsall was completed this week, Benning was tested repeatedly and, although a few clearances went awry, did OK. Wilcox rightly called his debut “sound” and expects him to improve. 6.0
Michael Coulson- I gave Coulson a hard time last week, and to his credit he, like the rest of his team-mates, showed considerable improvement.. Could still get more involved in build-up play, though. 6.5
Russell Penn– The skipper’s combative and pugnacious play in the engine room ensured that York asserted themselves in midfield combat. Offered good protection to his defence. 7.0
Luke Summerfield- Didn’t make a significant impact on proceedings, but kept his passing simple and switched the angle of attack well at times. 6.5
Josh Carson- Encouraged to switch flanks regularly, the Northern Irish winger beat his man on a number of occasions and provided much needed pace and directness in the wide areas. His astute, lifted cross was fundamental to the execution of the set piece goal. 7.5
Jake Hyde- Could do with the confidence in the penalty area that would come with getting his name on the scoresheet, but he is an intelligent forward and brought his team-mates into play well with his head. 6.5
Emile Sinclair- Came out of the traps at pace and immediately impressed with his work-rate and power. Made it an intensely uncomfortable afternoon for Burton’s defence and deserved his goal. 8.0


Wes Fletcher- Replaced Hyde with fifteen minutes to go. As Burton pushed forward in search of an equaliser, Fletcher struggled to make an impact. Booked. 5.5

Burton Albion

Ian McLaughlin- Came out of the traps at pace and immediately impressed with his work-rate and power. Made it an intensely uncomfortable afternoon for Burton’s defence and deserved his goal. 7.5
Phil Edwards- The diminutive defender didn’t let his size affect his effectiveness in the air, competing well in headed duels as the long balls rained in through the second half.   6.5
John Mousinho- Burton’s captain is obviously a born leader and communicates well, but is less of a natural defender. He often seemed to be caught between engaging the ball carrier and standing off. 6.0
George Taft- A totemic figure in the centre of defence, the former England Under-19 kicked Hyde from pillar to post in what was a physical battle. Can also read the game 7.0
Damian McCrory- The erstwhile, experienced left-back offered consistent endeavour defensively, but had little or no scope to get forward and make use of his cultured left foot. 6.5
Kelvin Maynard- The versatile Maynard was withdrawn shortly before half-time due to injury, after making some promising runs down the right hand side in the early stages. 6.0
Robbie Weir- Looked to get his foot on the ball and distribute and clearly had the vision to do so, but York’s effective pressing game typically forced him to play backwards or sideways 6.5
Darragh Lenihan- Sought to respond after York took the lead by shooting narrowly wide. Otherwise, his influence on the contest was limited. 5.5
Matthew Palmer- The Derby County academy graduate picked up a knee injury in first half stoppage time and never made it out for the second half. Before then, he was well cajoled onto his weaker side by Halliday. 5.5
Scott Beavon- The seasoned lower-league goalscorer had a frustrating afternoon. He usually gets on the end of one or two chances by luck, but this just wasn’t his day. 5.0
Jacob Blyth- Led the line well and provided a useful outlet through which pressure could be relieved as his defenders were often restricted in their passing options. Had a couple of decent chances, as well. 7.0


Lucas Akins- A strong, powerful runner down the right hand side and could never be faulted for his ambition to raid into York territory. 7.0
Adam McGurk- Popped up with the winning goal, and inauspicious effort that crawled into the bottom corner, but he will not care one jot. 7.5
Dominic Knowles- Replaced the disappointing Beavon and was sprightly up front in the crucial closing stages. 6.5

Man of the Match

Emile Sinclair- Home debuts don’t come much better than the one enjoyed by the 27 year old. Wilcox will be hoping Sinclair, a constant menace, can form a partnership with Hyde and fire the Minstermen up the table.   8.5

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A Derby County fan from London studying English & Politics at University of York. In short then, all over the place. On reflection, this may explain why I'm an aspiring sports writer.

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