IF York City can start at Tranmere on Saturday like they finished against Sheffield United, the Minstermen should get off to a winning League Two start.
After a largely lethargic first 45 minutes in their final pre-season friendly against the Blades at Bootham Crescent, Nigel Worthington’s men found a new gear as they ended their preparations for the new campaign with a 2-0 win.
Ryan Jarvis, a somewhat peripheral figure on the team sheet in 2014, grabbed two goals to remind Worthington of his ability in front of goal.
The first, ten minutes after the break, was a poacher’s finish - helped by a huge deflection - as he forced the ball into the top corner after his initial attempt was blocked on the line.
His second, some 12 minutes later, was clinical - fired into the roof of the net after he was unselfishly set up eight yards out by Lindon Meikle.
The winger was an increasingly influential presence in the match, but only after being on the end of a barrage from the City boss for failing to get at what eventually proved to be a fairly porous United defence.
With Jake Hyde and Femi Ilesanmi not being risked following the ankle knocks they picked up in the Nottingham Forest match in midweek, Worthington brought in goalkeeper Michael Ingham, Dave Winfield to partner Keith Lowe in defence, and Cameron Murray.
The Minstermen were initially on the back foot, not only because the Blades put together some slick passing phases but also as a result of the home team’s unwillingness to really press their opponents.
That was puzzling because, as Michael Coulson had shown as early as the fourth minute, when he pounced on a misplaced pass and raced through on goal only to skew his shot wide of Mark Howard’s left hand post, there was joy to be had by employing a high tempo, pressing game.
It was defenders, though, who dominated the chances in the first period.
Howard pulled off an acrobatic save at his top right corner after Lowe met a floated free-kick from Russell Penn with a bullet header on 21 minutes which had looked certain to find the net.
At the other end, just after the half hour mark, United skipper Chris Basham glanced a Craig Alcock cross just past Ingham’s far post with the City defenders statue-like.
Worthington cut an increasingly frustrated figure on the Minstermen bench as his men stood off their opponents but his half-time words had fast effect.
York came out in much more urgent fashion and were in front just three minutes after the restart. It came from a set-piece. Meikle’s corner flashed across goal - helped on its way by Winfield - and, following some pinball in the box, the ball rebounded off Neil Collins to Jarvis.
The former Torquay striker’s first goalbound attempt, following a superb piece of control, was blocked on the line but he got the ball past Howard at the second time of asking after his header deflected off Collins.
It was almost certainly an own goal, but was credited to the City striker.
The visitors, roared on by nearly 1,000 fans, tried to respond and substitute Diego de Girolamo fired wide after running across the York defence.
But City soon extended their advantage and it was Jarvis once again.
The Blades were loose in possession and over-stretched as the forward picked up the ball and advanced towards the box.
He fed it right to a fast advancing Meikle, who could have shot but instead took a touch and played an inch-perfect pass to an unmarked Jarvis standing around six yards out.
The man who got off to such a great start last season was favourite to score but he still dispatched his shot in classy style, calmly finding the roof of the net.
United went close through Andy Butler on two occasions late on but Jason Mooney, on for Ingham, deflected the first wide and came and collected the second from the subsequent corner.
The phoney war is now at an end, it’s almost time for the real battle to get under way.
York City: Ingham (Mooney, 59), McCoy (Parslow, 59), Winfield, Lowe (McCombe, 59), Straker, Meikle, Penn (Montrose, 59), Platt, Murray (Rzonca, 46), Jarvis, Coulson (Hirst, 66).
Sheffield United: Mark Howard, Craig Alcock (Marc McNulty, 46), Bob Harris, James Wallace (Connor Dimaio, 38), Chris Basham (Michael Doyle 72), Ryan Flynn, Jamie Murphy (Chris Porter, 72), Stefan Scougall (Stephen McGinn, 72), Jose Baxter (Diego De Girolamo, 24), Neill Collins, Harrison McGahey (Andy Butler, 72).
Attendance: 1,671 (992 from Sheffield United).