York still in hunt as Pope sparkles

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Alex Lani­gan To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

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.”



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