Altrincham picked up another valuable three points on Saturday thanks to Josh Hancock’s late wonder strike to beat York City 1-0 at Bootham Crescent.
On a day when conditions were difficult for both teams, the match looked to be edging towards a stalemate before Hancock popped up in the 81st minute with a goal worthy of winning any match. The victory keeps the Robins firmly in the play-off hunt.
Phil Parkinson made just the one change with Jordan Hulme coming back into the starting line-up for Joe Piggott who has been struggling with back spasms this week and the Alty striker put in a good performance causing the York defence issues throughout.
The match started relatively slowly as both teams looked to adapt to the blustery conditions. There was plenty of endeavour from both sides but little attacking threat with neither goalkeeper really tested. The first real chance of the game came midway through the first half and it fell to the visitors.
Scott Burgess regained possession in the attacking third and his effort forced a superb save out of Tony Thompson in Alty’s goal. Neither Jordan Burrow nor Patrick McLaughlin could get on to the rebound in the ensuing scramble and ultimately the ball was cleared.
Alty grew into the half and enjoyed more of the ball as half-time approached but ultimately neither team did enough to warrant a lead going into the break.
Within minutes of the resumption, Alty had their best chance of the game. Yusifu Ceesay was played through on goal and his shot hit the post with Bartlett beaten. Just moments later, the Spanish winger broke clear once again but he was bundled over and penalty claims were waved away.
Those early chances in the second half set the tone for the second 45 minutes as both teams started to take more risks. On the hour mark, it was York’s turn to hit the woodwork as Burgess carried the ball into the box and his effort from 12 yards out cannoned back off Thompson’s post.
Both teams traded attempts at goal as time ran down and it became clear that one goal would likely be enough to take all three points and so it proved. Josh Hancock received the ball some 25 yards out and as the ball sat up nicely, the number ten swivelled and volleyed the ball over the helpless York keeper and sent the 249 Alty fans into raptures.
A moment of magic at any level of football and one that left the home players and fans shell-shocked. Alty were able to play out the remaining minutes and quell any threat from York to extend their recent good run to three wins and a draw from their last four matches. At the same time, that brought an end to York’s four-match winning run.
On to Brackley Town next week at The J.Davidson Stadium and that will be another tough assignment given their win over high-flying Stockport on Saturday.