York City 1, Grays Athletic 1 Relegated Grays may be down, but they are far from out.
That was the clear message from York on Saturday as Julian Dicks’s men battled to a point in their final away game at this level.
Next Saturday will see the New Rec club play their last game at their stadium and suggestions are that they will then look to drop further than Blue Square South to play their football at Ryman level.
But there was no denying their spirit here after they were forced to play with 10 men for 68 minutes after goalkeeper Glyn Garner was sent off for denying the Minstermen’s top scorer Richard Brodie a goalscoring opportunity.
Preston Edwards came on between the sticks to save Brodie’s spot-kick, but Grays’ hopes of adding to their first away win of the season in midweek, a 2-0 victory at AFC Wimbledon, looked grim when Brodie fired home for York on 51 minutes.
But Grays were far from finished and finally got the reward their endeavour deserved in added on time when on-loan centre-back Duran Reynolds was on hand to volley home from 15 yards when visiting skipper Harlee Dean’s free-kick was punched out by opposition keeper Michael Ingham.
The loss of points leaves York in the final play-off spot rather than fourth, but their manager Martin Foyle admitted that the visitors “deserved credit” for coming away with a point in front of a 2,854-strong crowd.
Although an emotional afternoon for Grays, next Saturday’s final game at the New Rec is more important for visitors Forest Green who are still one point away from ensuring escaping relegation.
Grays are looking to have 11 mascots for the match. Any boys or girls keen on leading the team out against Forest Green should email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Each mascot will get a free Grays football shirt.