PLAYER-CHIEF Chris Brass looked to the positives after York City were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Boston United.

The City boss admitted he was disappointed City did not claim all three points, especially after taking the lead just before half-time and being twice denied by the woodwork.

However, Brass reckoned there were plenty of reasons for optimism as City prepare to welcome Oxford United to Bootham Crescent tomorrow.

"We were frustrated that we didn't take one or our chances and we just needed that little bit of luck," said Brass.

"We've had two cleared off the line and hit the crossbar twice but the encouraging thing was we created a lot more chances and we seemed a little bit more positive. We were frustrated that we didn't get the second goal but there were certainly a lot more positives to come from this game than of late."

In further boosts for City, Jon Parkin, who scored City's goal, and Chris Smith both made their first Lleague starts of the season.

"It was the first time Jon, Lee Bullock, Chris and myself have all started a game this season. We are getting all the bodies back now which is encouraging and Jon and Chris will both get stronger with games. I think we are a stronger side for having them back."

Brass revealed City 'keeper Mark Ovendale had claimed responsibility for Boston's equaliser after Lee Beevers centred and Simon Weatherstone headed home.

"It was a good ball in, but Mark has held his hand up and should have come for it," said Brass. "It was an honest mistake but it is frustrating because it is another goal that could have stopped at source."

In a blow for City, Darren Dunning, the Minstermen's player of the season so far, picked up his fifth yellow card of the season.

It means the former Blackburn Rovers ace will be suspended for City's trip to Cheltenham on Saturday, November 1.

Updated: 11:31 Monday, October 20, 2003