York City 0 Fleetwood Town 1
FLEETWOOD Town passed the magical 100-point mark for the season after passing this tough test of character – now three more points against title rivals Wrexham at Highbury on Tuesday will seal their place in the Football League.
Town’s ton has come on the back of an unbeaten run, which now stands at 27 games, all but four of them won.
Against a York City side going all out for promotion themselves through the play-offs, it was former Minsterman Richard Brodie who struck the only goal of the game in the second half.
Spurred on by Wrexham’s home defeat by Alfreton Town 24 hours earlier, Mellon’s team showed one change from the 4-1 win at Bath City, with former York midfielder Peter Till returning in place of Gareth Seddon.
There were two familiar faces on York’s bench, where former Blackpool striker Matty Blinkhorn sat alongside Scott Brown, who played eight games in Town’s midfield earlier this season.
A quick corner on the left in the second minute almost caught the home defence unawares, but Andy Mangan failed to capitalise, while good vision from Jamie Vardy three minutes later released full-back Alan Goodall in space, but the final execution was lacking.
Town looked tentative in defence on occasions, and a mix-up after nine minutes resulted in skipper Steve McNulty conceding a free-kick near the edge of the area.
Erik Tonne’s effort was cleared, much to the relief of the large Cod Army contingent behind the goal.
McNulty, already the subject of much attention from the York fans, bundled Tonne over after quarter-of-an-hour, but Eugen Bopp’s free-kick sailed wide.
An early substitution for Town saw Magno Vieira replace Blue Square Premier Player of the Month Peter Cavanagh, who suffered a calf strain after 18 minutes.
Bopp was the first booking after 23 minutes, and York were fortunate not to concede a penalty soon afterwards.
Lee Fowler fed a beautiful pass through to the overlapping Shaun Beeley, who appeared to be brought down inside the area.
Town’s protests fell on stony ground, but they did see Fowler’s free-kick glance off the crossbar via a defender.
When Fowler was caught on the ball in the 33rd minute, England C international Matty Blair surged downfield, but Town’s defence held firm.
York lost Bopp just before the break, after he went down under a challenge from Fowler. He left the field holding his shoulder and was replaced by Adriano Moke.
Brodie replaced Till, and the game entered a scrappy phase, with neither side able to stamp their authority on a tricky surface. Lanre Oyebanjo’s shot on 67 minutes went high and wide, but Chambers was on target a minute later, hitting a crisp drive, which Davies saved well.
York stretched the Town defence several times as they came forward at pace, and looked more threatening.
Town’s defence held firm, and the league leaders then moved forward before striking the decisive blow.
Vardy, quiet for much of the game, slipped a pass cleverly into Brodie’s path, and the tall striker cut in, before striking a left-foot shot past Ingham.
York came back. Moke broke through, but Davies pressured the York substitute into shooting wide.
Beeley then cleared off the line, and York forced a succession of corners in a hectic spell.
A decisive moment came just three minutes before the end of normal time, when Oyebanjo’s cross was nodded on by Blair. The ball hit the post and bounced back into Davies’ hands.
Town knew at that moment that it was going to be their afternoon.
York: Ingham, Oyebanjo, Meredith, Parslow, Doig, Gibson, Bopp (Moke 45), Tonne (Blinkhorn 76), Blair, McLaughlin, Reed (Chambers 64). Not used: Fyfield, Brown.
Fleetwood: Davies, Beeley, McNulty, Pond, Goodall, Cavanagh (Vieira 19, Seddon 86), Till (Brodie 51), McGuire, Fowler, Mangan, Vardy. Not used: Stephension, Charnock
Ref: S Duncan, Att: 4,048 .