York City 4 Scunthorpe United 1: Minstermen defy league troubles as Iron melt under first-half pressure

QUITE where this result came from, nobody will quite know – not that York City’s ecstatic supporters will be caring a jot this morning.

Josh Carson celebrates his early goal with Ryan Bowman and fellow Minstermen.

They will be too busy savouring a truly magical first 45 minutes from the Minstermen, who made a mockery of their home toils to hammer brittle Iron on what could prove to be a truly defining evening for Nigel Worthington’s troops.

The likes of two-goal Ryan Brobbel, a promising winger on loan from Middlesbrough, former Ipswich Town and Northern Ireland international Josh Carson and ex-Burnley man Wes Fletcher provided the early Halloween scares for the visitors in a rampant showing.

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The trio, along with Ryan Bowman, in his first league start for York, helped produce a first-half performance which will be talked about by the home faithful for many a year, with their enterprise, energy and no little skill taking the visitors to the proverbial cleaners.

It was all the more staggering, given that seven-goal top-scorer Ryan Jarvis – scorer of almost half of York’s 15 league goals this term before last night’s fixture – was a notable absentee from the home starting line-up.

Jarvis, who looked jaded in the weekend loss to Fleetwood, took his place on the bench – and while the safe money may have been on him being needed over the course of 90 minutes, the insurance policy wasn’t needed. That he came on with eight minutes left was token, with the points comfortably in the bag well before then.

Scunthorpe headed into the game as one of the division’s form sides, with the Lincolnshire men somewhat of a bogey side for York, who hadn’t beaten them in seven attempts.

But the Minstermen ripped up the formbook.

Despite some indifferent results this term, Brian Laws’s counterpart Worthington had exuded calm, expressing satisfaction with many facets of his young side’s play this season, while cajoling them to sharpen up in both boxes for their rewards to come.

That arrived against Portsmouth in a 4-2 success in late September and in a major way last night as they ended a four-match winless streak in thrilling fashion to move five points clear of the relegation places in League Two.

Worthington’s decision, some would say brave in the circumstances, to rest Jarvis and pair Fletcher and Bowman together paid off handsomely, with the forward pair carrying on from where they left off on the work-rate front against Fleetwood.

But it was loan winger Carson who injected the early impetus in superb fashion, crowning an enterprising cross-field run with a well-struck long-range strike which flew over the helpless Sam Slocombe, albeit after taking a huge riccochet off Cliff Byrne, with just three minutes gone.

That set the tone for a barnstorming opening 20 minutes from York, who looked light years away from a side down in the nether regions of League Two.

They cast aside a host of grim statistics – with four defeats in their previous five home matches at Bootham Crescent and a League Two seasonal home points tally better only than rock-bottom Accrington Stanley right at the top of the list.

Decidedly dazed following some early attention after feeling the effects of a challenge, Iron defender Niall Canavan was soon in a spin again with Fletcher giving him the slip before firing in a vicious shot which Slocombe failed to deal with a near post after just 12 minutes.

The game was effectively over nine minutes later when the lively Brobbel saw his curler deflected into the net after more home endeavour with Iron looking nothing like a side who would have leapt into the automatic promotion places with victory last night.

A brilliant saving challenge from Sean McAllister prevented a fourth for Bowman later on in the most one-sided of halves, but it proved brief respite.

The best of York’s princely haul arrived five minutes before the break with a brilliant hooked volley from Brobbel sailing past Slocombe following Luke O’Neill’s cross.

A chorus of “Can we play you every week” followed from stunned fans in the David Longhurst Stand before the break with the sense of disbelief at what had unfolded clear.

Sam Winnall’s well-taken effort just after the restart represented the first moment of cheer for Iron’s bewildered band of 737 travelling fans, but while York’s attacking punch wasn’t quite as irresistible in the second period, the job was largely done and the tempo was still commendable.

The impressive Carson saw a effort saved, unfortunately injuring himself in the process in perhaps the only slight downer on the evening, ahead of leaving the fray to a standing ovation. Winnall saw a shot diverted wide before Lewis Montrose’s drive shuddered the post with the game’s final significant action seeing David Mirfin’s header crash against the bar.

It was York’s night, alright.

York City: Ingham; O’Neill, Parslow, Allan (Smith 46), Davies; Carson (Chambers 58), Whitehouse, Montrose, Brobbel; Fletcher (Jarvis 82), Bowman. Unused substitutes: Kettings, Cresswell, Platt, Puri.

Scunthorpe United: Slocombe; Byrne, Mirfin, Canavan (Esajas 17); Ribeiro, Syers (Adelakun 62), Sparrow (Hawkridge 68), McAllister, Dawson; Burton, Winnall. Unused substitutes: Iwelumo, Severn, Waterfall, Spencer.

Referee: A Madley (West Yorkshire).