By Ann Cummings of "The Liverpool Echo"
Liverpool finally shook off the challenge of York City last night to boost their FA Cup aspirations, but not without a struggle and extra time.
Kenny Dalglish's men appeared to cruising toward the quarter finals after John Wark's 18th minute goal in the Anfield replay. But they sat back on their lead and allowed York back into the game when Bruce Grobbelaar fumbled a shot from Tony Canham and the ball went in at the near post.
Driven forward by Sammy Lee and Jan Molby in midfield, the Reds strove vainly for an opening as the game, strangely lacking in atmosphere up until then, developed into a full-blooded cup tie.
Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish both had chances but either missed or found City keeper Andy Leaning in superb form to deny them.
York's hopes rose and you could sense the relief of the Anfield fans when three minutes into extra time Molby scored with a stunning left foot volley, the ball flying into the net like a bullet from 20 yards, after he collected a loose ball in midfield.
Liverpool visibly relaxed, the frustration went out of their game and Dalglish sealed the victory with a well taken strike when he drove home a low shot from a cross by Lee.
They must be glad to see the back of the Yorkshire terriers who refused to give up the fight and played with spirit and enthusiasm, thoroughly deserving the standing ovation they received at the end of the game.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will be relieved to go through to the next stage of the competition, on a night when things could well have gone so wrong.
York harried them every time they had possession, snapping at their heels, trying to throw the First Division aristocrats out of their stride. But it came as no surprise when Wark, who had been moving into threatening positions, put the Reds ahead following a slick move involving Dalglish and Lee.
Lawrenson went on a dash upfield on the right wing and was perfectly placed to whip over a first time cross and there was Wark lurking alongside him and he smartly drove the ball past Leaning.
It was tough luck on the York keeper making his first appearance at Anfield; he had impressed with clean and confident handling, but he could do nothing about Wark's' clinical finishing.
But York certainly had their chances. Grobbelaar turned out a blistering shot from City skipper John MacPhail in the 38th minute and when the score was at 1-1 Keith Walwyn had the ball in the net after running through on a typical run and shrugging off challenges from Gillespie and Beglin. But he was adjudged to have fouled Gillespie.
Tony Canham was impressive on the left wing, as in Saturday's 1-1 draw, and hit the post after a strong run.
Liverpool, it is true, created chances but lacked that cutting edge and they must be looking for an improvement for Saturday's visit of Everton for what is set to be an intriguing "derby" match.
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