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City lined-up with Steven Bell operating as a lone striker, with Scott Priest starting in
a more withdrawn role. The Gillford side included two ex-City players in centre-half
Tyran Taylor and centre-forward Kyle Armstrong.

Johnstone tested Bradley from 20 yards in the early stages, and Green conceded the
game’s first corner after 5 minutes. Skinner’s kick was headed clear by Driver, with
Grainger driving the loose ball over the top. In the 12th minute, City pressed down the
left through Lupton, and he found Yallop inside the Gillford box. The City man could
not keep the ball in play as he was closed down by Butler.

Butler then fouled Bell, and Heath’s free-kick had to be headed clear by Thompson.
In the 14th minute, a quick left-wing break by Addison was followed by a pass to
Grainger, who returned the ball to Addison, but an awkward bobble spoiled the shot.
In the 19th minute, Skinner’s corner was cleared by Priest and, three minutes later,
good play by Grainger set up a shooting chance but Hill was in place to block.

After 26 minutes, City attacked on the right through Green and Wilson, but Hill
miscued his shot as the ball reached him. City were more in the game at this stage,
and a decent passing move set up Yallop in a good crossing position, but the full-back
wasted his delivery.

Heath then made a fine driving run through the centre, and his shot forced the first
save from Armstrong. In the 29th minute, Addison again threatened down the left but
Bradley was out quickly to drop on the ball. Skinner then had another corner from the
Gillford left, which he hit deep into the City box, and Hill jumped well to head clear.

Hill then stayed down with an injury after 32 minutes, before managing to hobble
back onto the field. Driver did well to dispossess Wood in midfield before embarking
on a long run, but possibly delaying his pass too long as Bell was caught offside. In
the 36th minute, another fine Driver run saw him find Bell, before Yallop’s cross was
cut out by Butler. City’s harrying play in midfield saw Priest tackle Butler, and the
ball was switched to Driver and then on to Wilson, with Armstrong making a good
catch as the ball came into the box.

In the 40th minute, Wilson’s right-wing cross was aimed for Bell, but Taylor
intervened to head back to his keeper. After 42 minutes, a fine pass from Priest inside
the full-back sent Wilson clear on the right, and his accurate cross was punched clear
by Armstrong, in front of Bell. Hill was then forced to concede a corner to Gillford.
Skinner’s cross from the right was awkward for Bradley, and he needed help from his
defenders in clearing the ball behind. The corner was taken from the opposite flank,
again by Skinner, and this time the catch was easy for Bradley. Right on the interval,
Wilson won a corner off Butler, and Priest took the kick short to Driver, with the
cross being headed wide by Hill.

HALF-TIME- City 0-0 Gillford Park

In the 48th minute, Skinner’s cross drifted out of play before Foster’s high clearance
looked like causing problems for his own keeper, but Bradley dealt with it
comfortably. Skinner then linked with K. Armstrong, before Foster intercepted, with
Armstrong then shooting too high from 25 yards out. After 52 minutes, Yallop had to
clear from Addison’s cross. City had struggled in the early stages of this half, and
Heath’s through ball was easily collected by Armstrong.

In the 57th minute, a free-kick seemed to be harshly awarded against Green, and
Skinner played a fine ball into the area, but the linesman’s flag was raised. On the
hour, City made their first change as Holliday replaced Heath, with a tactical change
as well with Priest moving further forward. Attacking down the right, Green found
Bell who cleverly back-heeled the ball, forcing Taylor to clear for a corner. Priest’s
right-wing kick found Hill in a good position at the near post, but his flicked header
was wide.

After 62 minutes, Priest’s fine run was stopped by Taylor’s tackle and the loose ball
broke to Bell, but he fired wide. Two minutes later, Priest and Bell combined, forcing
Taylor to again break up the move. The resulting corner was well struck by Wilson,
but a foul in the box saw a free-kick awarded to Gillford. City were enjoying a good
spell as Wilson found Green, and Butler had to head clear for another corner, in the
70th minute. This flag-kick led to the opening goal, as Priest’s right-wing delivery
dropped in the 6-yard area and some hesitant defending allowed Bell to swivel and
score from close range.

Gillford immediately went on the offensive and Skinner’s free-kick skimmed off
Driver’s head, going for a corner. Grainger’s left-wing kick was flicked on by Skinner
at the front post, and Green was forced to scramble the ball off the goal-line. In the
75th minute, Thompson sent Skinner running down the left wing, and Bradley did well
to hang on to a firm cross. In the 76th minute, Holliday’s foul on Johnstone 25 yards
out gave Gillford a free-kick. Skinner’s shot bounced back off the City wall, and
Taylor wasted the rebound.

In the 77th minute, City made their second change as Amato replaced Bell. The
substitute was soon involved as he won a corner on City’s left. Wilson again struck an
excellent cross that was returned to him by a Gillford defender. Wilson switched the
ball to Yallop, but his cross was cleared.

In the 80th minute, Gillford equalised with a goal completely out of the blue, as
Skinner volleyed an excellent effort from 25 yards out, and Bradley was rooted to the
spot as the ball arrowed into the top corner. Gillford were now pressing for a winner
as Grainger linked with Skinner, and Green had to clear for a corner. Skinner’s kick
was headed clear by Hill.

In the 88th minute, Driver’s foul gave Gillford a free-kick, but a challenge in the box
by Johnstone was penalised by referee Stevenson. Another Gillford free-kick was
swung into the City area, and Bradley confidently claimed it. Holliday received the
game’s only caution in the 90th minute, with the referee then choosing to ignore
Johnstone’s blatant dissent right in front of him. Hill headed clear from the resulting
The game was entering a generous five minutes of added time, as Armstrong punched
clear from Priest’s corner, and then Priest’s shot was blocked by Thompson. More
pressure from City saw a fine Priest cross reach Holliday, and Armstrong had to dive
to his left to push the header away. Another great cross from Priest caused alarm in
the Gillford area, but Yallop put his shot wide.

It was a predictably tight game with neither keeper having to excel themselves, and it
ended in the fifth successive draw for City, and the seventh in the last nine games.

TEAMS- CITY- Bradley, Green, Yallop, Hill, Foster, Heath, Priest, Wilson, Driver,
Lupton, Bell. SUBS- Holliday, Amato, Simpson, Campbell.
GILLFORD- G. Armstrong, Thompson, M. Armstrong, Taylor, Butler, Wood,
Johnstone, Skinner, Addison, K. Armstrong, Grainger.

REFEREE- K. Stevenson

BOOKING- Holliday (City)