GRAY OFF TO A FLYER AS PARKIN BAGS TWO
JON PARKIN’S brace ensured Martin Gray’s reign as York City manager got off to a winning start at Bootham Crescent.
The former Darlington boss, who left the Quakers last weekend after three promotions in five years, saw Parkin blast in an 86thminute free-kick to secure victory over Brackley Town.
It was the perfect boost for City supporters, who had seen Gary Mills’ last two matches in charge end in derby defeat at Harrogate Town and an FA Cup exit against South Shields.
Parkin headed the Minstermen in front on 20 minutes, only for Aaron Williams to fire in a deserved equaliser for the visitors in the second period.
But, as Gray’s new charges looked poised for a share of the spoils, former Stoke City and Hull City forward Parkin smashed in his eighth goal of the season to secure maximum points, with the delighted new home boss, enthusing: “Jon bought himself a free-kick and I think, if his strike had been on Match of the Day, it would have been Goal of the Month.
“Seeing it go in the top corner was a great feeling, but there’s still a lot of work to do, as I thought we looked fatigued in the second half and we’ve got to get fitter.”
York had earlier been quick out of the blocks with Parkin, Simon Heslop, Sean Newton and Dan Parslow all threatening before Parkin opened the scoring.
He pounced from four yards after Parslow had flicked on Newton’s rightwing corner at the near post.
But the Saints were the stronger side after the interval with Williams forcing a near post-save from recalled home keeper Luke Simpson seconds after the restart.
Simpson also showed sharp reflexes to deny Alex Gudger, before Williams levelled in the 69th minute.
Finding himself with space through the right channel, Williams drove across
Simpson into the bottom corner from 15 yards.
But, with the Minstermen having struggled to find any forward momentum, Parkin was fouled 25 yards from goal and he spectacularly found Danny Lewis’ top-left corner.
Brackley boss Kevin Wilkin sportingly congratulated Parkin on the quality of the winner, but questioned whether he should have had the chance in the first place.
He told The NLP: “We deserved something out of the game. I could sense at half-time they were flagging and that proved the case.
“It was all us in the second half and we deservedly got on level terms.
“I felt there was only one winner then, because our fitness levels were superior.
“But there were some strange decisions all game and I’d like to see the one for the free kick again, although we have to admit it was a terrific strike.”
STAR MAN: Jon Parkin (York City) ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★
PARKIN’S PAIR: York forward Jon Parkin, right, celebrates with Amari Morgan-Smith after, inset, scoring the first of his two goals