Date: 8th August 2017 at 9:45pm
Written by: Vital York City

York City duo Jon Parkin and Sean Newton struck first-half goals as the visitors secured their opening victory of the season against newly-promoted Blyth Spartans at Croft Park.

Veteran Parkin, who was replaced early in the second period due to a tightening calf muscle, began the scoring on fifteen minutes before Newton soon drove in another.

Defender Hamza Bencherif had earlier passed a fitness check on a back problem in an unchanged side in which skipper Newton was pushed into a more advanced midfield role as part of a balanced 4-3-3 set-up.

Home newcomer Macauley Langstaff deflected an early Michael Liddle cross behind while Parkin side-footed comfortably wide in reply. Amari Morgan-Smith also had an effort blocked from Newton’s cross.

However, Blyth suddenly had a couple of great opportunities when first the originally doubtful Daniel Maguire was released on the break but couldn’t beat goalkeeper Jon Worsnop, before having a second effort saved moments later – and Langstaff sent the rebound wide.

And it was City going in front on fifteen minutes when Parkin finished across goal from Louis Almond’s pass, although Worsnop was soon reacting to deny Maguire before Morgan-Smith suffered a heavy touch when well-placed at the other end.

The visitors still improved their advantage as Parkin chested down Almond’s cross for Newton’s low drive from the edge of the area to beat keeper Peter Jameson despite getting a hand on the ball.

Again York immediately put themselves under unnecessary pressure when conceding possession and allowing Jarred Rivers to fire across goal.

Bencherif also blocked well from Maguire as his colleagues continued to appear uncertain at the back, with Langstaff soon directing another attempt wide.

But former Darlington keeper Jameson was next denying Morgan-Smith at the foot of his post after Parkin’s header from Almond’s cross lacked penetration.

Morgan-Smith should also have done better when shooting across goal from Josh Law’s pass as an entertaining opening half moved towards a close.

Almond had the first angled effort of the second period that was smothered by Jameson while Morgan-Smith miskicked after Alex Whittle escaped around the back.

York introduced Kaine Felix for goalscorer Parkin but it was Langstaff volleying wide following Bencherif initially charging down.

Debutant Connor Smith was next brought on for Almond and soon allowed Felix to wastefully drag a really outstanding chance wide.

And the busy former Hartlepool United winger almost released both Morgan-Smith and the much-improved Moke in later attacks.

Substitute Felix then had to be withdrawn in favour of Jassem Sukar after suffering a facial injury; and fellow replacement Smith picked up a caution before Maguire hoisted a late opportunity well over for the hosts.

Blyth Spartans: Jameson, Hutchinson, Buddle, Watson, Liddle (Mullen 86), Rivers, Horner (McTiernan 67), Hopson, Dale, Maguire, Langstaff (Wrightson 74)

subs (unused): Watson, MacDonald

York City: Worsnop, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Whittle, Heslop, Moke, Newton, Almond (Smith 65), Parkin (Felix 53, Sukar 86), Morgan-Smith

subs (unused): Wharton, Muggleton

Goals: Parkin (15), Newton (22)

Ref: P. Brown

Att: 1,373 (397 York)

Tonight’s Results: AFC Telford 1-3 Brackley; Blyth 0-2 York City; Boston 3-1 Alfreton; Chorley 0-1 Salford; FC United of Manchester 2-3 Spennymoor; Leamington 1-2 Tamworth; North Ferriby 0-2 Harrogate; Nuneaton 1-0 Kidderminster; Stockport 3-0 Curzon Ashton