MILLS LEADING A YORK MARCH
Comeback boosts their survival hopes
VERDICT: York City huffed and puffed and got the least they deserved against a Dover side with promotion aspirations. In new recruit Jon Parkin, Gary Mills could have a saviour
PROUD Gary Mills heaped praise on his battling York City after they fought back twice to secure a much-needed point at play-off hopefuls Dover.
Jamie Grimes and a Ricky Miller penalty twice put the home side in front, only for the Minstermen to restore parity each time, through striker Jon Parkin and Shaun Rooney.
“I have nothing but praise for my players and I thought we were very good from start to finish,” Mills beamed.
“We showed great fight and aggression to try and win the game and overall I thought we were the better side and deserved to win.
“We can take a lot of heart from the performance and if you look at the league table there is everything to play for. We have 18 games to go and if we show that fight and spirit we have got a chance.”
And Mills wasn’t alone in giving credit to the Minstermen, who started the day level on points with North Ferriby at the foot of the table.
Dover boss Chris Kinnear was equally impressed, adding: “The manager and the team have got a lot of experience and some of them have played in the Premier League and Scottish Premiership. Other teams will find it hard against them. Today showed there are no easy games in this league.
“We are a little bit disappointed, especially being in front twice, but they are a big club and have got some big players there. We are still up there and picking up points, so we can’t be too disappointed.”
Grimes took just six minutes to put Dover in front, slotting in Sammy Moore’s free-kick off the post.
York, however, didn’t lie down with Matt Fry blasting an effort off target from ten yards, before Aarran Racine headed straight at Steve Arnold.
Miller, scorer of more National League goals than the entire York team, fired inches wide from a tight angle after getting the better of Yan Klukowski.
Experienced former Preston North End and Cardiff striker Parkin showed how crucial he will be to York’s survival hopes by stabbing in Simon Lappin’s corner on 36 minutes.
But Fry was forced to come to their rescue right on half-time with a last-ditch tackle to deny Ross Lafayette on the goal-line.
City continued to press after the break – Lafayette heading Racine’s goal bound header off the line and Parkin cracking the post with a fierce effort.
But it was Dover who struck next on 72 minutes, Rooney fouled Miller in the box and the division’s top scorer calmly slotted home for his 26th of the season.
Rooney made amends five minutes later – his towering header from Sean Newton’s centre nestling into the bottom corner.
And York might have clinched all three points late on when substitute Daniel Nti was denied by Arnold in a one-on-one. STAR MAN: Jon Parkin (York) ATT: 1,308 ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★ REFEREE: Adrian Quelch 6/10
EASY DOES IT: Ricky Miller puts Dover ahead from the penalty spot
BARRIER: York’s Shaun Rooney shields the ball from Ricky Miller