Penn vows to keep Minstermen in the hunt
YORK skipper Russell Penn expects the race for the play-offs to go down to the wire after City clinched three precious points at rivals Oxford.
They may not be prolific up front but the Minstermen have hit form when it matters and are now 14 matches unbeaten with Michael Coulson scoring the game’s only goal from the penalty spot to ensure York leapfrogged Oxford and into seventh.
Nigel Worthington’s men, who have conceded just three goals and none from open play in that run, won’t care about the scrappy nature of the victory as they now have their fate in their own hands.
Penn said: “We’re going to get a good crowd on Monday and Bury is another tough game because they’ve just hit form.
“But they won’t want to come to our patch and we’ve just got to make it a fortress.
“We’d like to wrap things up as quickly as we can but I can’t see it being that way and we’ve got to try and do as well as we can over the next three games and see where it takes us.
“We’ve done our bit and we couldn’t have done any more – we’ve kept it going.”
Oxford had the game’s first chance after five minutes as Dave Kitson’s rising effort was tipped over by Nick Pope.
The U’s had begun brightly and may have gone ahead had Ryan Williams not dithered after receiving Nicky Wroe’s lay-off and allowing Adam Reed to dispossess him.
Having barely threatened previously, York took the lead two minutes after the restart after Kitson was judged to have handled in his area.
Coulson stepped up to confidently dispatch his penalty to send the travelling supporters into raptures. Chances continued to be scarce although Calvin Andrew came close to doubling the visitors’ lead when his long-range strike was clawed away by Ryan Clarke.
Oxford pressed for an equaliser and Michael Raynes blew a chance late on when he scooped the ball over from 12 yards.
Oxford travel to league leaders Scunthorpe on Monday and their manager Gary Waddock knows they can’t go there feeling sorry for themselves.
He said: “We’ve just got to be right and if we perform we have a great chance.
“It’s no good worrying about the opposition.
“Our attitude has to be right going into that game and we can’t dwell on the past.
“The defeat was the most disappointing thing and obviously the manner of it with the penalty was very difficult to take.”
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STAR MAN JOHN McCOM