York St. John’s 2
A goal either side of half time had put York in the driving seat, but their local rivals struck back twice late on to claim an undeserved draw.
The match started scrappily, with play confined to the centre of the pitch and no one exploiting the width, despite the fact that the St. John goalkeeper looked vulnerable from crosses. Both defences (York’s was superbly marshalled by captain Anna Ihme) were well on top early on with neither side able to create any clear-cut chances.
The first notable opportunity fell to York halfway through the first half, when a close range effort was blocked by the keeper and the follow-up cleared off the line. Two corners followed in quick succession as the home side began to assert their authority on the game. They passed the ball around confidently, showed composure in possession and fashioned a few openings, but could not find the breakthrough their neat build-up play merited.
However, a goal was only a matter of time and the deadlock was finally broken on the stroke of half time, when Kate Roofe capped a fine first half performance by ghosting in unmarked at the near post to glance home a corner from the right.
After the break, York continued to dominate the game, looking dangerous every time they came forward, particularly down the right hand side. They had a legitimate claim for a penalty waved away by the referee, a decision that provoked the customary tirade of abuse from the touchline. York eventually doubled their lead in the seventieth minute, when a glorious step-over from Kelly Vaughan created a chance for Lizzie Stewart, who advanced on the keeper and finished clinically from twelve yards.
With a comfortable two goal cushion, York should have been able to hold on for victory, but it was not to be. St. John pulled a goal back in the seventy-fifth minute after a mix-up in the York back four. Ten minutes later, the away side equalised through a lucky goal from the edge of the area.
Despite a disappointing end to the game, Anna Ihme was pleased with how the new players had settled in and the performance will certainly give encouragement for the rest of the season.