12:00pm Wednesday 13th April 2011
By Tony Kelly
DEFENCES watch out – you are not going to get any R ‘n’ R from York City’s burgeoning strike-force.
Michael Rankine and Jamie Reed are the main movers tasked with firing the Minstermen over their final five games to the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs.
And they intend to make sure rest and recreation will be strictly off the agenda for the defences they come up against.
Both were on target in the 2-1 toppling of Newport County to inch closer to a dramatic climax to the season.
Rankine rippled the net from the penalty spot for his 13th goal of the campaign, while Reed latched on to an astute cross from his fellow forward for his sixth goal in his last seven appearances.
While recognising the partnership as still a fledgling force of firepower, Rankine was in no doubt the signs were healthy it could bloom further as City seek a springboard into the play-offs.
Said Rankine: “I’m certain that if Jamie Reed had been here at York since the start of the season, he would have been easily the top scorer at the club.
“He is a natural scorer as he showed with his latest goal.
“I know that if I can put a ball into that area of the opponents’ box then he is going to get on the end of it and score.”
City’s 26-year-old front-line leader said that there was plenty still to work on the partnership, but believed it could prosper.
“It’s still fresh to us and sometimes it depends on whether he plays wide in a front three or he is up alongside me in attack,” said Rankine.
“But either way we are showing we can work together.”
Reed’s arrival from non-League football in Wales has given City an extra cutting edge to a squad who Rankine described as “winners”.
“In the two seasons I have been here we have started off badly yet each time we have finished strongly to get to Wembley (in the play-off final last year and before that for the FA Trophy final).
“We know what we need to do over the next five games and that is to win every one and that’s what we aim to do.”
Rankine’s predatory power has also been given an extra lift from no less a source than goalkeeper Michael Ingham. It was Ingham’s rapid and accurate clearance which directly led to Rankine’s advance into the Newport penaly area to lead to him being felled and then crashing home the resulting spot-kick.
Said Ingham: “I got a bit of stick from Darron (Gee, manager Gary Mills’ assistant) saying I should have rolled the ball out.
“But I have been working on distribution and I feel I am getting better. With someone as powerful as Ranks up there a quick kick can get him into a dangerous position.”
• City captain Chris Smith’s signed armband is up for grabs for one lucky competition winner.
To be entered into a draw for the prize, log on to www.ycfc.net/captain/index.
html and answer the question.
The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday.
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