Cool-hand Luke has City eyes on safety
FOR York City, Football League safety is in sight; for Hartlepool United the threat of relegation remains.
But Minstermen boss Russ Wilcox insists he won’t relax just yet, despite ten-man City, who had Dave Winfield sent off in the first half, performing defensive heroics against Pools to make it three wins from four games
It put York nine points above the bottom two but Pools remain entrenched in the dogfight. With both Cheltenham and Tranmere losing they stay a point ahead of the bottom two, but it’s now looking like a four-team battle at the bottom with Mansfield also struggling.
“It was a display full of character, organisation and belief,’’ said Wilcox. “To go down to ten men – wrongly in my eyes because it was a terrific challenge from Dave Winfield – showed we have great togetherness and great spirit.
“It was a fluky goal – but if you don’t shoot, then you don’t score and that shot has put us close to survival.
“Are we safe? Not yet, teams at the bottom can catch us, but we are five unbeaten.”
Amid a tame opening half with the home back three on top, Pools struggled to break down the defenders until Winfield was red carded on 45 minutes. As Pools midfielder Brad Walker knocked the ball forward, the centre-half lunged in two-footed.
Referee Keith Stroud didn’t hang about before showing the red card and the home side were incensed.
They regrouped at the break, changed to a 3-4-2 set-up and kept Pools at arm’s length.
And they won the game when Pools failed to clear convincingly at the back and Luke Summerfield’s shot was deflected beyond keeper Scott Flinders.
Pools had all the possession but rarely troubled keeper Michael Ingham who made one fine stop to deny Jon Franks.
Pools had scrambles galore, but failed to find the net, even at the death with Flinders almost getting a touch to a corner.
Pools boss Ronnie Moore said: “It’s disappointing for us all. I couldn’t see them scoring all day for me and for the goal he’s ran a long way and got a deflection.
“We should have upped the tempo and were too loose with our build-up play. When we did get in there and behind them we had to have a go at them.
“There was no penetration – no killer touch and that luck we have had has gone against us.We needed a goalscorer, a bit of luck or deflection.
“We brought 2,000 fans here, you want to come off with a 3-0 and enjoy it. It wouldn’t make us safe, but would go a long way.”
STAR MAN KEITH LOWE YorkCity