YORK CITY manager Russ Wilcox stoically took the positives despite seeing his ten-man Minstermen side spurn a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at Luton Town.
The relegation-haunted Minstermen looked set for their fifth away victory of the League Two campaign and first of 2015 after goals early in the second half from Josh Carson and Emile Sinclair put them 2-0 up at Kenilworth Road.
But the controversial dismissal of York striker Jake Hyde on the hour mark for a challenge on Hatters player and former Hull City and Bradford midfielder Nathan Doyle - with Wilcox confirming he may appeal - totally changed the complexion of the game.
With a man advantage, the play-off chasing Hatters hit back to claim a point, thanks to a brace from former Hull player Mark Cullen, who entered the fray on 56 minutes.
On a night when victory would have seen York jump out of the drop zone, Wilcox’s side were offered no such comfort and remain in the second relegation position.
But despite the blow of his side conceding a two-goal advantage - their last win arrived at Carlisle on December 28 - Wilcox said the performance was a step in the right direction against a Hatters side who came into the game on the back on an unbeaten eight-match league streak.
But equally Wilcox, who lambasted his side for their 2-0 weekend loss to Dagenham and Redbridge, acknowledged that Hyde’s dismissal was the key point in the game.
Wilcox, whose team welcome fellow relegation candidates Tranmere in a huge game at Bootham Crescent on Saturday, said: “With us being 2-0 up and looking fairly comfortable, it was the key moment and the game changed from that moment on.
“But the players deserve great credit because, at 2-2, Luton had the momentum.
“We didn’t buckle though and showed how together we are as a group and that’s important. To come to Luton and perform like we did was outstanding and really pleasing.
“Hopefully, this can move us forward, but we have got to be consistent.
“It’s no good playing well one week and not so good the next one, although three out of the last four performances have been good.”