YORK City boss Gary Mills believes veteran striker Jon Parkin will have enjoyed a confidence boost from his 200th career goal and the brace that sent his team into the next round of the FA Cup.
Parkin’s two second-half goals cancelled out Liam Hogan’s header just before the break for hosts Salford to secure a 2-1 win in the second qualifying round tie.
The 35-year-old veteran had previously squandered great opportunities to reach the landmark during City’s 1-1 midweek home draw with Gainsborough and Mills reasoned that, despite the former Hull and Stoke striker’s goal-laden past, he will still be relieved to get back on the scoresheet and take his season’s tally to five.
Parkin’s first goal at Moor Lane came when he swept home a right-wing Louis Almond cross with a firm, first-time finish from eight yards.
His second, meanwhile, was a little more fortunate as Amari Morgan-Smith’s bobbling shot clipped his left foot and spun past deceived home keeper Max Crocombe.
On Parkin’s return to form, Mills said: “We all clapped Jon for getting his 200th goal, because he’s had a tough time trying to put the ball in the net. But he took the chance well after a great cross by Louis and, sometimes, it’s all about the quality of the ball in – a bit like their goal.
“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 not 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 gone in, I would have taken Jon off to bring Kaine (Felix) on, so that just shows you how quickly things change in football.”
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