York Punish Negative Alex
When you play a side in the league below you it is them who are meant to defend for their lives, hoping to snatch a lucky win or draw.
That wasn't played out at York this afternoon. The clueless neutral would have had a difficult time correctly identifying the league side.
It all seemed to be going so well in the first half, it was the typical FA Cup tie. York threw the kitchen sink at us in the opening minutes but after that settled down our slick passing made a mockery of them. York defenders struggled with the liveliness of Moore and Grant whilst Zola held the shape.
Grant had the opening chance of the match from distance, Zola blasted over when it was easier to hit the target but it was York who created the best chance, forcing a save from new boy Steve Phillips followed by a goal line clearance.
Showing the gap in quality we went up the other end with Joel Grant, he did a shimmy and blasted us 0-1 ahead from 10 yards out. Signs of what was to com briefly broke through, reverting to a slightly defensive mindset we looked fairly comfortable till a poorly defended cross was headed by Brodie beyond Phillips with just a few minutes before half time.
Quality showing again, as if it was just a matter of stepping up a gear, our lead was restored. A well worked move, a Joel Grant cross and a Calvin Zola fooling the York offside trap meant one easy header on the far post for October's Player of the Month.
So 1-2 at half time and we were rolling. Nothing special but it was comfortable. Unfortunate for the 300 odd travelling fans, the half time transformation was far from pretty.
We came out to defend and defend we did. For the entire second half we invited York on to us, Dario & Davis looking on with no apparent concern. York fought and won every ball whilst the threats of Grant, Moore and Zola were nullified as the midfield sat so deep they were almost joining the fans in the away end.
York unable to create clear cut chances was the only thing keeping our hopes alive - yes, 'hopes', at 2-1 up. Unfortunately you knew 'it' was always going to come.
Dario failed to act as York sent a warning, netting after a Steve Phillips spillage - thankfully it was ruled offside. Despite this nothing changed.
Dario looked on as Walton was abysmal in midfield, Shelley failed time after time to retain the ball and Grant & Moore were stranded and out of the game.
With the clock ticking York's urgency became clear and after a whole host of corners they finally got their equaliser; 4 minutes from time. Pacquette, a late substitute making his debut for York, firing home through a crowded box.
So a replay it was.... perhaps? Well, no. York wanted to be assured of a second round spot.
Straight from the re-start they were on the attack again. Ada, Westwood and King did their best Casper The Friendly Ghost impression, allowing Brodie to run... and run.... and run.... and run at goal without being challenged till he fired past Steve Phillips. 3-2, no less than York deserved.
Our 'fightback' was weak, and pretty embarrassing. 30 minutes too late, 3 substitutions were made by Dario. Unbelievable.
York closed the match out with ease, the Alex players were booed off the pitch.
Dario has since looked for excuses but I'm sorry to say, as a true DG supporter, he just needs to look in the mirror to find the cause of this defeat. Terrible tactics and decision making. Substitutions were begging to be made as early as half time, and I'm still not sure how Walton managed to finish the match.
The tactics in the second half were negative beyond belief. We never looked for the ball, we invited York to bring the game to us. We tried to soak up silly amounts of pressure. It would be fair enough had the opposition been from the top leagues, but it baffles me why we were doing against Conference opposition.
We showed in the first half that York had no match for our quick attacking flair yet showed nothing of the sort in the second half.
The plus point to take from the game is it wasn't a league match, but it's still disappointing. Not so much the loss but the manner of the loss.