YORK City’s search for a new striker will continue after the Bootham Crescent club missed out on former Cheltenham Town forward Damian Spencer.
Manager Martin Foyle held talks with Spencer, who scored a hat-trick against the MK Dons last season and ended the campaign on loan with League Two champions Brentford, but the 6ft 1in frontman has joined Blue Square Premier rivals Kettering instead.
Foyle has now switched his attention to another target to provide competition for Richard Brodie, Michael Rankine and Richard Pacquette, who all played in yesterday’s 3-3 pre-season draw with Leeds United.
The City boss also took the opportunity to run the rule over five trialists in yesterday’s friendly, including former Chesterfield winger Jamie Jackson, ex-Salisbury defender Djomin Sangare and Scunthorpe right-back Joe Wilcox.
Two Frenchmen – striker Gomis and centre-back Mlaver – were handed second-half outings as well.
About the move for ex-Bristol City attacker Spencer, Foyle said: “It was a big blow not to get him. I showed him round the ground and I am a good friend of his agent, who I’ve worked with in the past.
“I honestly thought he was going to sign and it would have been a great coup for us. He’s a big left-footer who can play on the left wing as well, as he did last season for Cheltenham, but he’s decided to go to Kettering because he’s got two or three mates there.
“That’s understandable and, for us, the search goes on. We have already put a bid in for somebody else, but there’s no rush.
“We still have plenty of time and we are only looking to add one or two more who want to come and play for York City.”
Foyle will now decide whether to take another look at yesterday’s trialists in Saturday’s home friendly against Bradford City, although Gomis is moving on to try his luck at a Football League club.
The City boss added: “We had a couple of injuries and I knew Ben Purkiss wouldn’t be playing, but I didn’t want to risk my lads playing 90 minutes. The trialists did a decent job though and sometimes you have to have a little look.
“Sangare came from a mate of mine who told me I had nothing to lose having a look at him and he did all right. Both French lads came from the same agent and sometimes you are testing the agent out as well to see whether he has the kind of contacts that could help me out later in the season.
“They were both big, physical players who look older than they were because they are only 20 and 21. We might invite some of the trialists back but there are other things going on in terms of bringing players in.”
Aside from World Student Games participant Purkiss, Craig Nelthorpe and David McGurk were the only absentees in yesterday’s match.
Both are currently nursing minor injuries with Foyle saying: “Nelly could have played but there’s no point risking him for the sake of 45 minutes and he’ll definitely be involved next week. Dave is a bit sore as he landed awkwardly on his heel but it’s nothing major.”
Adam Smith opened the scoring in spectacular fashion yesterday before goals from Leeds’ Luciano Becchio, Mike Whitwell and Andrew Milne saw the League One club surge into a 3-1 lead.
In the closing stages, however, a terrific Alex Lawless strike and Lubomir Michalik’s own goal saw City share the spoils.
Foyle hailed “fantastic” strikes by Smith and Lawless afterwards and, on his team’s overall performance, added: “There was some good stuff but plenty to work on as well and that’s what we want from a coaching point of view.
“You don’t want things going well in these games to the extent that you bypass things in training. You want to be presented with questions from the players so you can give them the right answers.”
• Former York City striker Onome Sodje scored on his debut for Barnsley in their 3-2 friendly win over Ferencvaros.
Sodje headed the Tykes’ third goal on 82 minutes after coming on as a 55th minute sub against the Hungarian outfit at Oakwell.