Gateshead 0 York City 3: Minstermen quickly back on track ahead of sterner encounters

YORK CITY delighted their large band of travelling supporters with a fine display as they crushed Gateshead.

They helped to swell the biggest home crowd of the season and made their presence felt with their chanting of 'ole' as the Minstermen played keep-ball in the second half.

With only two defeats and eight clean sheets in 12 matches since Gary Mills became manager in October, York will go into Saturday's FA Cup tie at Bolton with plenty of confidence although first they have to take on high-flying Fleetwood this afternoon.

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Any hope Gateshead had of taking something out of the game disappeared in the 30th minute when former York winger Craig Nelthorpe was sent off following a bad challenge on Ashley Chambers.

Chambers had missed the game's best chance eight minutes earlier when he ran clear from Robbie Weir's pass but shot wide.

Gateshead had little to offer, although Jon Shaw, another former York player, mis-kicked in front of goal.

York made their extra man tell in the second half, keeping the ball with close passing as they bombarded the home goal. Jonathan Smith put York ahead on 61 minutes after Chris Smith had headed on Chris Carruthers's centre and Neil Barrett (66) added the second from Danny Parslow's pass.

Leon Constantine (89) increased the lead after Barrett had dummied the defence from another cross from Carruthers.

Mills said: "We have had a fortnight's break because of the weather and you always worry about the team getting off on the front foot when they play their next game. Fortunately, we did begin very well so it was a great start to the New Year."

Gateshead: Farman; Baxter (Ferrell 46), Clark, White, Heckingbottom; Brittain, Turnbull, Winn (Allan 65), Nelthorpe; Shaw, Mulligan (Fisher 78). Unused substitutes: Deasy, Jones.

York City: Ingham; Parslow, C Smith, McGurk, Carruthers; J Smith (Boucard 72), Weir, Barrett; Chambers, Rankine (Constantine 77), Meredith (McDermott 84). Unused substitutes: Young, Racchi.

Referee: S Smith (Darlington).

Man of the Match: Robbie Weir.