Despite a litany of good chances at either end of the pitch, York United and HFX Wanderers FC saw out a tight 0-0 draw on Saturday afternoon at York Lions Stadium in the ComeOn! Match of the Week.
With both sides hunting down the final playoff spot, neither Jimmy Brennan nor Stephen Hart could afford to rotate their squads too much, although Wanderers star Joao Morelli began the match from the bench as Cory Bent played up front with Alessandro Riggi as the number 10. For York, captain Roger Thompson remained in the back line with Dominick Zator as his centre-back partner as recent newcomer Sebastian Gutierrez started as a dynamic attacking midfielder.
The match started with a good tempo, as both sides looked to play direct balls forward. Bent and Riggi both had good opportunities from getting in behind the York defence, but ‘keeper Nathan Ingham denied them both times.
At the other end, Gutierrez has the best chance of the first half for the Nine Stripes, with his low shot through traffic from the top of the box deflecting off the left goalpost and nearly trickling in off HFX goalkeeper Kieran Baskett.
York made a slight shake-up at halftime, with youngster Lowell Wright entering to replace Julian Ulbricht up top. Nonetheless, it seemed the Wanderers had the better of the chances coming out of the interval, with a couple set-piece opportunities around the box, but nothing came of them.
As both sides looked to find the net, the two managers made a handful of brave substitutions near the hour mark. HFX brought leading scorer Morelli in alongside Sam Salter to try and spark the attack, as York introduced Michael Petrasso and Nicholas Hamilton.
The attacking changes helped pick up the pace of the game, but ultimately neither side was able to find the net. With a point each, York remained in their fourth-place spot, and four points ahead of HFX.
24′ — Yellow: Alessandro Riggi (HFX Wanderers FC)
84′ — Yellow Chrisnovic N’sa (York United)