Cambridge United 0 York City 1
Ten-man York City survived the dismissal of on loan defender Ben Gibson just before the break as strike ace Jason Walker netted a superb 64th minute winner against Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium.
Walker claimed his eighteenth goal of the season in magnificent style with a tremendous finish across Danny Naisbitt following an excellent through ball from substitute Michael Potts.
But the visitors were forced to work really hard after the recalled Gibson was shown a controversial straight red card following a challenge on Liam Hughes five minutes before the break.
The Minstermen included veteran 43-year-old goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite for a belated debut after Michael Ingham was ruled out with a swollen ankle suffered at the weekend.
He soon gathered a header from former York striker Michael Gash but wouldn’t have had any chance had Hughes’ excellent first-time volley not flown narrowly wide moments later.
However, the visitors appeared in control during the opening stages and Ashley Chambers drove wide after exchanging passes with Walker, while Lanre Oyebanjo poked into the side-netting from twelve-yards as goalkeeper Danny Naisbitt advanced following good work between Walker and James Meredith.
Chambers soon chipped tamely at Naisbitt and Harry Pell hoisted over in reply before York were forced into a early change when centre-back Chris Doig limped off with a calf injury and was replaced by Daniel Parslow.
Naisbitt next dropped Matty Blair’s cross at the expense of a corner, although the hosts were starting to grow in confidence and Pell tried to return a Musselwhite clearance from 35-yards before the veteran keeper easily collected from both Luke Berry and Gash.
York striker Chambers soon delivered a dipping shot well off-target but the visitors suffered a serious blow five minutes ahead of the break when Gibson was dismissed for an adjudged two-footed challenge on Hughes.
Cambridge midfielder James Jennings then caught Oyebanjo and this time the colour of the card was yellow. But their opponents almost went ahead from the resultant free-kick when Patrick McLaughlin’s delivery was met by a firm Chris Smith header which was well saved by Naisbitt with Parslow waiting to pounce.
The Minstermen again went close early in the second-half when superb work down the right by Blair ended with Walker’s shot being tipped over by Naisbitt. Smith then headed Oyebanjo’s corner wide before Naisbitt grabbed ahead of the scampering run of Chambers, who then saw a dangerous cross cleared after escaping around the back.
But the visitors were forced into another change when Oyebanjo suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced by Potts, who immediately played his part with a glorious through ball that witnessed Walker holding off Blaine Hudson and drilling his finish across goal and into the corner.
Now with a lead York simply had to hold onto it – although Jon Challinor fancied another goal when intercepting Naismith’s throw and shooting marginally wide. Chambers also later broke away and allowed Potts to drive across goal as the determined visitors recorded a massive victory before celebrating at the end.
Cambridge United: Naisbitt, Jennings, McAuley, Hudson, Thorpe (Eades 46), Shaw (Brighton 81), Jarvis, Berry, Pell, Gash, Hughes
subs (unused): Ambrusics, Corker, Hurst
York City: Musselwhite, Challinor, Smith, Doig (Parslow 19), Gibson, Meredith, Oyebanjo (Potts 60), McLaughlin, Blair, Walker (Blinkhorn 90), Chambers
subs (unused): Potts, Tonne, Reed
Goals: Walker (64)
Attendance: 2,211 (226 York)
Read more: york.vitalfootball.co.uk