Heslop, Fenwick and Thompson score in 3-0 win...
YORK City recorded a 3-0 victory on their visit to National League North outfit Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday afternoon.
Captain for the day Simon Heslop opened the scoring in the first half with a cracking 20-yard effort, before Scott Fenwick and Reece Thompson added a second and third after the break with simple efforts from 12 yards following swift moves down the right.
The Minstermen had controlled proceedings throughout the contest at Bower Fold and in truth could have easily added further goals to the scoreline but had to settle for just the three in Greater Manchester as they continue their prepartions for the 2016/17 season.
City started brightly against a physical Celtic side and in the third minute had a good opportunity to take the lead when Daniel Nti played the ball through to Scott Fenwick, who, with home keeper Tony McMillan fast approaching the forward, flicked the ball towards goal only to see it land a yard wide of the upright.
Jackie McNamara’s side continued to hold the upper hand and in quick succession Aidan Connolly was denied by McMillan following a close range header, before the resulting corner saw Fenwick shoot just wide after the ‘keeper had dropped the cross inside the box.
The Minstermen were playing with great fluidity and midway through the opening period they took a much-deserved lead. York-born midfielder Helsop ran towards goal before firing a rasping drive into the far corner of the net, leaving McMillan with no chance.
Efforts continued to rain down on the home goal as Connolly drove a shot off target from an acute angle, whilst the former almost turned provider for Shaun Rooney who headed the former Dundee United winger’s corner narrowly wide of the far post.
As the half drew to a close, Fenwick had the ball in the back of the net for the first time on the day but he was adjudged to have just strayed offside, before the former Hartlepool United striker couldn’t quite adjust his body moments later following Connolly’s pin-point delivery into the six-yard box.
Nti meanwhile had the final action of the first period when he charged down the left after a quick throw out from Scott Flinders before cutting inside and forcing McMillan into a smart save low down to his right.
After a positive start to the second period, the hosts finally registered their first shot on target in the 48th minute through Andy Owens, however, it wasn’t long before the Minstermen returned to their positive rhythm and increased their advantage.
Heslop released Connolly down the right and after the latter crossed to an unmarked Fenwick, the 26-year-old made no mistake with a simple finish into an unguarded net.
Nti almost made it three on the hour mark following another flowing City move but the attacker was denied at point-blank range by McMillan, before he was one of six players replaced by McNamara.
The flurry of substitutions didn’t alter City’s stride as they continued to look for a third and after 16-year-old Charlie Wardle saw a close range shot kept out, Thompson increased the scoreline in the 87th minute when he finished off another slick move down the right, this time through fellow substitute Kaine Felix.
Richard Brodie still had time to force McMillan into a solid save from close range as the Minstermen almost added a fourth in only their second pre-season friendly.