1 Quality not quantity counts more at set-pieces

Salford were outnumbered by eight players to four in the away penalty box as they forged in front from a free kick. That personnel disadvantage was then only one fewer for the corners responsible for the hosts’ second and third goals when City lined up eight against five.

Simon Heslop and Amari Morgan-Smith, meanwhile, were also stationed just outside the 18-yard area for the flag kicks, where Jack Redshaw and Mark Shelton were lurking. But numbers counted for little when Salford’s players reacted quicker than their counterparts to forge into a 3-0 lead.

For the opening goal, Parkin lost out in the air to Michael Nottingham before Liam Hogan ran off Parslow to beat an exposed Bailey Peacock-Farrell. With the second, Parkin did get to Anthony Dudley’s corner first but Redshaw escaped the attentions of Heslop while Josh Law, despite not being the nearest player, was the only visiting man to charge out as City suddenly found themselves undermanned on the right flank.

It was all too late, though, even if Redshaw’s 20-yard drive perhaps shouldn’t have beaten Peacock-Farrell. The third goal then saw no visiting player assume responsibility as Ibou Touray swung a ball in towards the far post.

Rookie Peacock-Farrell was most culpable and clearly should have made an attempt to deal with the high ball instead of remaining on his line and making half-hearted and unconvincing gestures that he was being impeded. Skipper Newton might have also done better as Hogan got the wrong side of him and Alex Whittle, standing next to the upright, could have attacked the ball in the split-second that it became evident nobody else was going to avert the danger.

At least half the team, therefore, could shoulder some blame for the three home goals and, going forward, City must, first of all, avoid conceding set-pieces where possible, then clear their lines more decisively, instruct the goalkeeper to deal with anything inside his six-yard box and anticipate second balls better, because all those aspects of the game will now come under great scrutiny against Tamworth on Saturday.

York Press:

2 City’s substitutes added inspiration to perspiration

The Minstermen’s first XI selection appeared to prioritise graft over craft at Salford, with a midfield four of Amari Morgan-Smith, Heslop, Newton and David Ferguson guaranteeing industry. For Salford, meanwhile, only Richie Allen and Redshaw promised to provide an attacking spark and the contest quickly developed into an attritional affair, which the hosts assumed control of due to their greater desire at dead-ball deliveries.

Once ball-playing trio Aidan Connolly, Louis Almond and Adriano Moke were introduced one-by-one around the hour mark, though, the Minstermen were a different proposition and Salford were made to look as ordinary as they had been during last month’s 2-1 FA Cup victory. All three combined for Almond’s 84th-minute strike, while Moke’s patience on the ball and willingness to receive and retain possession played a big part in Connolly’s goal.

Three games in, City chief Martin Gray is still learning about the strengths and weaknesses of his inherited squad and he will be looking to find that right synthesis of sweat and sparkle.

York Press:

3 The Minstermen are more fragile in away contests

City should welcome a return to Bootham Crescent, as a contrast between the team’s form on the road and in front of their own fans has become established during the last two months. The theory, previously espoused, that clubs would raise their games on visits to North Yorkshire this term was an understandable one, but teams also appear equally motivated, if not more, when the former Football League outfit come to town.

City have not kept a clean sheet on their travels in eight games and have conceded ten times on their last four trips. At home, meanwhile, only two goals have been shipped in the last three fixtures ahead of the visits of Tamworth and Curzon Ashton during the next two weekends.

York Press:

4 Bailey Peacock-Farrell faces an early test of character

Senior football is the litmus test for any fledgling professional and Peacock-Farrell must now prove he can cope with the spotlight that falls on any goalkeeper who has made mistakes when three points are at stake for a full-time club. Passing such a psychological examination will be of huge benefit to the on-loan Leeds United net-minder who, despite only turning 21 on Sunday, must demonstrate he also has the confidence to instruct those in front of him.

York Press:

5 Salford’s match-day announcer needs to brush up on his homework

Moor Lane’s man with the microphone endured a difficult afternoon. For starters, his pre-match pleas for everybody to fill the half-built new Main Stand, as the club looked to assess capacity numbers in order to obtain a safety certificate, fell on deaf ears.

Not a single supporter acted on his repeated calls – the last just five minutes before kick-off - preferring instead to take shelter elsewhere, rather than under the roof-less structure where heavy rain clouds hovered ominously above. Later, Connolly was introduced on to the pitch as Moke and Almond was mistaken for Luke Simpson, but such oversights did, at least, provide some light relief for the Minstermen’s suffering supporters.