An excellent game between two sides who increasingly look like featuring in the
title race come April ended in a draw at York last night when Scott Griffiths
smashed in his first senior goal for the Daggers in injury time, the ball flying
in off the crossbar from 20 yards to spark huge celebrations from the team,
management and fans.
As expected Jake Leberl was unable to play having been injured in the Burton
Albion game and his place was filled by Ram Marwa, who added composure and
passing in central midfield. Otherwise the Daggers again stuck with the team and
formation that has been so successful recently.
home side had the best of the first half without doubt and had a couple of
decent early efforts that just failed to trouble Tony Roberts (right) in
the first fifteen minutes. The best early chance fell to Andy Bishop who met
Mark Convery's free kick firmly but saw his header just wide.
Donaldson had another chance for the home side before the Daggers first real
chance of the game after 33 minutes, Chris Moore heading just over from Glen
Southam's free kick.
Three minutes later York finally turned their dominance into a lead. Bishop
was credited with the goal after he found space and shot through a crowd into
the net, but Robbo was booked for complaining that Clayton Donaldson had taken
the final touch on it from an offside position. Either way the goal stood and it
Tony Roberts was back in action three minutes later, saving Dave Merris's
deflected shot and the Daggers will have been glad to go in at half time just
Still's half time team talk must have been a good one and the second half saw
the Daggers steam forward, playing much more directly, Craig Mackail-Smith
(left) pushed up almost into a three man forward line.
The first chance of the half fell to Scott Griffiths who thumped a shot high
and wide, possibly a sighter for his later effort. The Daggers then engineered a
double chance when first Moore's centre just eluded Tresor Kandol, who was again
a handful all night, then the return cross from CMS again somehow just failed to
68 minutes, Chris Moore (right) worryingly limped off after taking a knock on
his ankle, replaced by Paul Benson. The Daggers kept on coming though, Kandol
having a header saved by Porter with fifteen minutes left.
The Daggers carried on pressing for an equaliser, and York had chances on the
break as a result. First Donaldson had an effort blocked, then O'Neill shot wide
before the best chance of all when Robbo saved brilliantly from Donaldson to
keep the visitors in touch.
With time running out York seemed happy to run to the corners and burn time
rather than pressing for the goal that would make the points safe.
news coming through that Exeter had lost to Stevenage 2-0 meaning that the win
would put the Minstermen joint top with the Grecians, fans started singing
"We are top of the league" just too soon. Up popped Scott Griffiths
(left) to steal a deserved point for the visitors three minutes into added
Honours even then and the right result in a compelling contest. York drop to
third and the Daggers to sixth as a result of the point apiece, but don't bet on
a meeting once again in the playoffs on this sort of form.