A LAST-MINUTE strike from Jonny Allan kept Northwich Vics’ hopes of staying up alive – until Easter Monday.
The dramatic 2-1 victory at relegation-threatened York City on Saturday meant that mathematically, Vics could still survive the drop into the Conference North.
But despite the Marston’s Arena side winning again against Mansfield Town (see back page), results elsewhere mean that safety is now unattainable.
Against York, Allan, who is hitting form at the business end of the season, struck in the 26th minute when he fired past keeper Michael Ingham from the edge of the box after Mat Bailey had nodded down Joel Byrom’s cross.
Vics, playing on the front foot for much of the first half stunned the 2,421 crowd at the KitKat Crescent but couldn’t extend their lead.
After the break, the Minstermen were handed a lifeline as Mark Robinson scored from the penalty spot after Simon Grand was adjudged to have tripped Richard Brodie.
But Vics were not to be denied as Allan, who was slapped in the face earlier in the game by York’s David McGurk who escaped with a caution, then produced a moment of magic to steal the points.
Rushing onto a ball from Byrom, Allan worked his way past some woeful tackles and fired the ball into the back of the net in added on time.
The goal delighted Vics manager Andy Preece who had been to stands earlier in the game after he had argued with ref Geoff Eltringham .
He said: “Everyone is working hard and everyone is doing their job. From open play nobody is looking like they are going to break us down.
“We are producing some great results. Compared with the squad we had 25 games ago, we have lost at least half of those players so the lads have done really well. I am delighted.”
Vics host fellow demotees Lewes on Saturday (3pm).