npower League 2 action from Bootham CrescentAlbion slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to start 2013 as York City raced away with the points highlighting Albion's poor away form once again, something that threatens to stop Albion making a serious charge for the play-offs this season. First half goals from Jason Walker from the penalty spot and a Patrick McLaughlin close range finish had York two up by half time and Matty Blair's solo finish ten minutes from time put the icing on the cake for gary Mills men.
Burton boss Gary Rowett was forced into an additional change for the first game of the new year. Already without Nathan Stanton through suspension the Brewers had to make do without skipper Zander Diamond who missed the game through illness. In their places Marcus Holness and Aaron Webster began as the centre half partnership, just as they had done at Crewe in the FA Cup a month earlier. With Andy Corbett having joined Hereford United on a months loan it meant that Albion were only able to name six substitutes. Those six included Jimmy Phillips who was still returning from a foot injury incurred during the summer.
York had the first real moment of danger on five minutes when Jamal Fyfield swung in a free kick that Dean Lyness was happy to push around the post. Jason Walker took the corner on the left and Patrick McLaughlin was only denied the first goal of the game by Marcus Holness stationed on the goal line.
Albion had a flurry of corners but the deadlock was broken on 13 minutes. A surging run into the box by former Tamworth winger Alex Rodman was unceremoniously halted by Anthony O'Connor and WALKER stepped up to slam home the resulting penalty.
Jack Dyer almost provided an instant response but his low shot from the edge of the area was turned away from danger by Michael Ingham in the York goal.
There was concern amongst Albion ranks midway through the half as Lyness came to collect a teasing cross from Matty Blair and got a whack on the head for his troubles. After several minutes of treatment the former Birmingham stopper was able to carry non just when it looked as it Ross Atkins was going to be required as a substitute.
Albion were struggling to string their moves together as York grew in confidence and things were not helped when Albion pretty much gifted York a second goal on 36 minutes. Marcus Holness' wayward backpass went out for a corner as Lyness struggled to keep the ball in and Walker's curling corner was only palmed out by Lyness and when the ball was returned to Patrick McLAUGHLIN close in he had the simple task of poking the ball home.
The Brewers best moment of the first half came deep into stoppage time as McCrory's deep cross was headed back into the centre where Billy Kee saw a looping header touched over the crossbar bv Ingham. when the resulting corner fell at the feet of Aaron Webster at the far post he was just unable to force the ball home with a man on the post.
Half time: York City 2-0 Burton Albion
The start of the second half was end to end stuff as Albion had the hosts penned in before York struck back with a deflected shot earning a corner. As Albion broke away from the corner Jamal Fyfield bundled over Jacques Maghoma to earn the second yellow card of the game.
The Brewers were then forced into a substitution on 53 minutes as Anthony O'Connor came off clutching his hamstring to be replaced by Cleveland Taylor. Jack Dyer dropped back into the full back slot to allow Taylor to take his usual place on the right side of midfield.
Michael Potts let fly with a shot from 25 yards that was not far over the bar after substitute Jamie Reed had done well to hold the all up for him.
It was the Brewers looking the more threatening side now and Kee was not far away with a glancing header as he got up higher than Fyfield to reach an angled cross to the back post.
Burton saw both Maghoma and Lee Bell booked as referee Scott Duncan got rather picky before Albion got themselves back into it on 67 minutes. Billy Kee was denied on the line by home skipper Chris Smith with a low angled shot and as the ball sat up from the rebound Holness looked set to score with a header only for Smith to perform heroics again to block once more.
Just as Albion looked like they might set up a grandstand finish they were hit with a counter attack that sealed the game for the home side. Matty BLAIR picked up the ball inside his own half and ran straight towards the Albion goal hitting a low early shot that caught out Lyness and flew inside the keeper's near post.
It summed up a disappointing day for Albion who slip out of the play-off places.
YORK: Ingham, Smith, McGurk, Parslow, Kerr, Walker, Fyfield, Blair, Potts, McLaughlin, Rodman. Substitutes: Musselwhite, Oyebanjo, Reed, Bullock, Platt, Challinor, Allan.
ALBION: Lyness; O'Connor, Holness, Webster, McCrory; Dyer, Bell, Weir, Maghoma; Zola, Kee. Substitutes: Atkins, McGrath, Taylor, Palmer, Phillips, Paterson.
Referee: Mr S.Duncan (Northumberland)
GOALS: York - Walker (13 pen), McLaughlin (36)
Attendancew: 3,863 (251 away)