By Jon Couch
YORK CITY boss Gary Mills reckons Jon Parkin’s 200th career goal will be like a monkey off his back as the Minstermen look to mount an FA Cup run.
The 35-year-old striker finally reached the landmark with both goals as the FA Trophy winners edged past National League North leaders Salford City 2-1 to Saturday to earn a mouth-watering third qualifying round clash with FA Vase holders South Shields, who were 3-0 victors at Darlington.
Veteran Parkin, the former Hull City and Stoke City hitman, had previously squandered opportunities to mark his 200th goal in a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Gainsborough Trinity in midweek, but received a standing ovation as his goals stunned the high-flying Ammies at Moor Lane.
His first, on 54 minutes, came via a predatory first-time finish from Louis Almond’s cross before netting the winner five minutes from time, deflecting home Amari Morgan-Smith’s bobbling effort past Max Crocombe.
Mills led the plaudits for the big front man afterwards, backing him to fire York on a FA Cup glory run to go with a challenge for an immediate return to Non-League’s top-flight.
“We all clapped Jon for getting his 200th goal because he’s had a tough time trying to put the ball in the net,” Mills said. “But he took the chance well after a great cross by Louis and, sometimes, it’s all about the quality of the ball in.
“Then, even though Amari tried to claim his 201st goal, the second one seemed to go in off Jon’s backside to get us in the next round, so I’m really pleased for him.
“No matter how old you are or what kind of career you’ve had, he’s a human being and he’s missed chances to get us another two or three points on the board.
“That’s no me blaming him because, as I always say, scoring goals is the hardest part of the game, but I think he needed that next one to give him a lift and if the ball hadn’t have gone in I would have taken Jon off to bring Kaine [Felix] on. That just shows you how quickly things change in football.”