ON-LOAN goal hero Diego De Girolamo could stay with York City until the end of the season.

The Sheffield United teenager, who scored the Minstermen’s goal in a 1-0 win at Cheltenham, has been recruited on a youth loan by the Bootham Crescent club, meaning he is not subject to the normal three-month restriction on temporary signings.

Italian under-20 international De Girolamo has netted three times in four appearances since his switch from the Blades and he has already been given permission to play in Saturday’s FA Cup home clash with AFC Wimbledon.

Having seen De Girolamo secure his first victory in charge of the Minstermen, pleased boss Russ Wilcox said: “His loan was due up on Thursday but I had already spoken to Chris Morgan at Sheffield United before Saturday’s game and they have given him permission to play in the FA Cup and they don’t have an issue with extending his stay.

“We have taken him on a youth loan, so the 93-day rule doesn’t apply and he could be here as long as both clubs like. He won’t play every game or 90 minutes every week but he’s an important player who makes us stronger and has got that bit of quality to unlock doors.”

De Girolamo, 19, terrorised the Cheltenham defence during a first half in which he also hit the post but he was replaced by Jake Hyde midway through the second period and, even though he was feeling the effects of a virus picked up over night, Wilcox confirmed that the substitution was tactical, explaining: “I made the change because I had to.

“The first half was a game for Diego but the second half wasn’t. That’s what you have a squad for and I thought all our substitutes acquitted themselves well.

“Diego was terrific in the first half finding those little pockets of space and held off their defender well for the goal after Michael Coulson’s clever reverse pass. But I wanted more pace up there in the second half because they were pressing us higher up the pitch and we could not find him as much and needed to go from back to front a bit more.

“Jake came on and competed well, getting hold of the ball and running in behind.”

But, while De Girolamo remains at Bootham Crescent, fellow loan striker Ryan Brunt has returned to Bristol Rovers, for now, following his 88th-minute farewell outing at Whaddon Road.

Wilcox added: “I’ve been pleased with Ryan’s contribution to the group but I just feel Deon Burton’s experience will play a bigger part in us moving forward. I would like to thank him for his services and he knew before the game he would be going back to Bristol Rovers so he was very professional and helped us run down the clock when he came on.

“He’s given his all for York City and the door hasn’t closed on him. He will go back for the moment but we will be monitoring him.

“He had a lengthy spell out with injury before he came here, so he’s been getting up to speed. I like him as a player and it might be something we revisit in the future.”

On-loan Scunthorpe veteran Burton, who the City boss insisted would not last 90 minutes before the game, fell just two short of that timescale with a pleased Wilcox saying: “Deon had a difficult first half against three massive centre halves but he got hold of the ball most of the time and showed in glimpses what he’s about and what he can bring to the group with his leadership qualities.

“I was even tempted to keep him on because I took him off once at Scunthorpe and we conceded a late goal, so that was in my mind.”

The City boss, who was denied maximum points in his second match at the helm by a stoppage-time equaliser at Morecambe, enjoyed a first win at the fourth attempt and, while confessing the team rode their luck a little in the second half, argued that his players were worthy victors. “It’s important to get off the mark as a new manager,” he reasoned. “We came so close at Morecambe and to see this one out was very pleasing.

“It was a game similar to most I have been involved in since coming to York. We dominated the first half, scored a fantastic goal, hit the post and had other opportunities to put the game to bed.

“At 1-0, though, you always know there will be moments for Cheltenham and there certainly were. We had a bit of luck that we might not have had in previous games and Cheltenham missed opportunities after upping the tempo in the second half.

“They put a lot more balls in our box and the substitute on the left caused us problems but, over 90 minutes, I think we deserved to win the game and to come away with a clean sheet and three points is fantastic.

“It should give us great belief moving forward. We have taken five points from nine now and everything seems rosier in the garden.”

On the illness that made skipper Russell Penn, who was also withdrawn in the second half, De Girolamo and Tom Platt doubtful prior to kick off, Wilcox said: “We had a bit of a virus in the squad.

“I didn’t feel too well and Russ, Diego and Platty were not great either, but the lads dug in, put tablets down their neck and got on with things. They rolled their sleeves up and showed full commitment.”

City now switch their attention to cup duty, having moved up to fifth-bottom in the League Two standings – three points clear of the relegation zone.

“Psychologically, we would not have wanted to drop into that bottom two and then have a fortnight without a league game but going up two places instead will give us confidence to take into the Wimbledon game,” Wilcox pointed out.