YORK CITY went about repairing some of the damage done by consecutive relegations as they won the FA Trophy at Wembley for the second time in five years.
It was Gary Mills who led them to it again, as Jon Parkin – who will stay and help fight back from their darkest day next term – helped mend broken Minstermen hearts.
Their faces said it all at full-time, aching supporters and players alike embracing after a thrilling final which they lead three times.
Tormentor in chief Parkin was the big player. He usually is. How crucial he will be to the club’s recovery in the National League North, a graveyard for the fallen and where this famous club must rebuild.
York asked an early question of referee Paul Tierney. Vadaine Oliver flicked on and Andy Halls, the Macclesfield captain, came together with Amari Morgan-Smith. There was a pull but not enough, said the official, for a penalty.
Chris Holroyd flashed a header wide for the Silkmen but Parkin is a master of those arts.
When Danny Holmes crossed, he nipped in ahead of George Pilkington and found the bottom corner.
The player the Minstermen will be relying on next season is worth his weight in gold. Quite how York were relegated with their attacking talent is anyone’s guess.
The lead didn’t last long and they perhaps showed why it is the National League North next season for them. Within five minutes Macclesfield drew level. Kyle Letheren had to do better as Rhys Browne’s shot, which carried little power, went through him. His face said it all.
The Silkmen were demanding to know how they didn’t get a penalty soon after. Yan Klukowski’s arm was all over Chris Holroyd – it was a free-kick anywhere else on the pitch, so why wasn’t the foul in the box picked up?
There was an Oliver twist to come. Macc went walk-abouts and striker Oliver got on the end of a precise Sean Newton cross and from close range couldn’t miss.
Seven goals on Non-League finals day and we were just over half way through.
Twice Danny Whitaker came close – one from long range and then when there was no excuses from six yards. Browne should have made it two FA Trophy goals after his fine dribble across the box was ruined by wayward finishing.
Neither side had any quality defensively and it was great to watch. The goal of the day – and Non-League finals day – came with the last meaningful kick of the half. The loose ball thundered into the net by an alert Ollie Norburn. It was worthy of Wembley.
It took a while for the second half to warm up and on another day Whitaker could have had a hat-trick. His low drive ten minutes after the re-start nearly found a way through.
Mitch Hancox was the next to try for Macc, Letheren equal to it. Then Kingsley James’ measured half-volley beat the keeper but not the brave Hamza Bencherif on the line.
But it was Parkin who had the last say. Well almost. His shot was deflected towards the line and there Aiden Connolly made absolutely sure.
The York City recovery starts here.
Macc / York
Shots on: 9/4
Shots off: 9/8
Macclesfield: Flinders, Halls, Fitzpatrick, Byrne (McCombe 68), Pilkington, Browne, Holroyd, James, Norburn (Dudley 89), Hancox, Whitaker. Subs not used: Ross, Whitehead, Summerfield
York: Letheren, Heslop, Morgan-Smith, Klukowski (Moke 46), Hall (Connolly 69), Oliver, Parkin, Newton, Holmes (Rooney 75), Parslow, Bencherif. Subs not used: Simpson, Fenwick
Referee: Paul Tierney
Star man: Jon Parkin (York City)