York still in hunt as Pope sparkles
YORK CITY climbed back into the play-offs on the back of a man-of-thematch performance from goalkeeper Nick Pope after earning a goalless draw against league leaders Rochdale.
Pope’s clean sheet extended the Minstermen’s run without conceding to seven games as Nigel Worthington’s side continue their push for a play-off spot.
Worthington was full of praise for his defence and was delighted with the hard fought point, away from home against the promotion-chasing Rochdale.
“It is a fantastic result. To come to this stadium in the current form that Rochdale are in and have been for most of the season, it was a tremendous effort from the players. It is a fantastic point,” he said.
“We are not far away if we keep doing what has got us in the current position we are going to be there or thereabouts. There are other teams chasing us as well so it is just about focusing on our job.
“We have got a big game at home to Accrington next week and we can not take the game lightly.”
Both sides entered the game at Spotland with impressive defensive records with York and Rochdale having not conceded in the previous six and four games respectively.
A Matt Done free-kick was the closest either side came to open the scoring in the first-half but Pope punched away the low drive.
Dale started brightly in the second-half and the York keeper had to be alert to keep out a fierce Jamie Allen effort.
Matthew Lund almost broke the deadlock but Pope got down low to save his effort with Rochdale’s top scorer, Scott Hogan looking to pounce on any rebound.
Hogan came agonisingly close to finding the net late on when he headed Ian Henderson’s cross inches wide. Rochdale manager Keith Hill was pleased with his team’s defensive performance and has set his side a target of six points to secure promotion.
He said:“We created enough chances. I think they defended excellently; the two centre halves and obviously the goalkeeper are one of the reasons but Josh hasn’t had a save to make in the course of 90 minutes.
“Arguably we could have deserved more but I am happy with a clean sheet, if you don’t concede you don’t lose football matches and I think that is a great point.
“We have got five games remaining, we can’t just add extra games on at the end of the season unless you’re in a play-off position.We’ve got five games to do it.”
STAR MAN NICK POPE