UNLESS Santa brought them Cliff Richard’s Greatest Yuletide Hits, there will be no unwanted records for York City supporters this Christmas.

A Boxing Day display, full of fight, saw the current City side avoid taking a place in the Bootham Crescent history books by emulating their 1981/82 predecessors and going a 14th home match without a win.

Keith Lowe’s fifth goal of the season during a patchy first-half performance secured a 1-0 victory but, more impressive, was the manner in which Russ Wilcox’s men safeguarded that lead following the 61st-minute sending off of on-loan Middlesbrough teenager Brad Halliday.

City had rode their luck in the opening 45 minutes, conceding too many free kicks in dangerous positions and looking vulnerable to counter attacks with vast acres of space opening up in front of the home full backs as Wilcox employed the same 4-2-3-1 formation and personnel that served him well in the previous outing – a 2-2 draw at Bury.

Accrington failed, however, to convert two one-on-one chances and a couple of free headers from Lee Molyneux dead-ball deliveries prior to Lowe’s excellent opener and City subsequently switched to 4-4-2 at the interval, becoming a more compact outfit which they succeeded in maintaining after playing with one lone central striker following Halliday’s early shower.

Earlier, centre-back Tom Aldred headed over after outjumping Alex Cisak to meet Molyneux’s inswinging free kick from the right flank on eight minutes.

For City, Diego De Girolamo aimed too high from 15 yards after a rapid break forward involving Jake Hyde and Wes Fletcher and Halliday forced a near-post save from Luke Simpson after a stinging edge-of-the-box drive.

But Aldred’s fellow centre-back Rob Atkinson went on to head over from an almost identically-delivered Molyneux free kick and an overlapping Piero Mingoia shot weakly at Cisak after being released through the left channel by Matt Crooks in a 4v3 situation for Stanley.

Crooks should also have done better when he bustled his way into a shooting position but his 24th-minute, ten-yard drive was too close to Cisak and City went on to survive a moment of panic when Stephane Zubar’s rushed clearance struck Lowe and ricocheted narrowly wide.

The hosts threatened on the half-hour mark, though, when Simpson dived low to his right to keep out a firm deflected drive by Hyde from the edge of the box and was then alert to keep out De Girolamo’s follow-up header.

Five minutes later, Fletcher was fouled on the left flank and Lowe checked his run before using all his neck muscles to powerfully head Michael Coulson’s resulting free kick to the far post into the net from five yards.

Before the break, skipper Russell Penn's great block went on to divert an Andrew Procter attempt off target.

Another Molyneux free kick on the restart saw Atkinson’s downward header saved by Cisak before Coulson’s scissor kick lacked the power and direction to trouble Simpson at the other end.

City’s resolve was then put to the full test as Halliday’s over-eagerness saw him fly into a two-footed lunge on Aldred after he had taken a heavy touch during a typically positive charge out of defence.

Referee Darren Bond showed no hesitation in brandishing his red card and the Minstermen were down to ten men.

Encouragingly, shortly afterwards, Hyde shot over on the turn from 20 yards and Fletcher powered through the left channel before seeing his deflected shot bounce narrowly wide.

Accrington were, indeed, largely kept at bay until the final 15 minutes when fatigue was always going to lead to opportunities.

Substitute Josh Windass flashed a 25-yard, low drive across the face of goal on 80 minutes and Molyneux also clipped the outside of Cisak’s right-hand upright. from a similar distance.

Femi Ilesanmi and Luke Summerfield, meanwhile, both survived visiting penalty appeals after slightly nervy and risky challenges but, during almost eight minutes of added-on time, Stanley’s only other effort for an equaliser saw James Gray’s long-range daisy-cutter safely gathered by Cisak.

Shortly afterwards, City’s festive fans were in full voice as they celebrated a first home win since the week after Easter.

Match facts

York City 1 (Lowe 35), Accrington 0

York City

Alex Cisak 7 – given a couple of nervy moments with crosses but dealt well with Accrington shots on his goal

Brad Halliday 6 – typically positive and determined and will no doubt learn from his red card for a rash challenge

Keith Lowe 7 – few incidents of uncertainty but excellent header settled matters in City’s favour

Stephane Zubar 7 – gave away a few careless free kicks although his desire to win every ball was high

Femi Ilesanmi 7 – defended with strength while distribution might have been better going forward

Russell Penn 8 – STAR MAN -bit into tackles and carried the game to Accrington in characteristic fashion

Luke Summerfield 7 – spread play on occasions with excellent vision and competed for possession well

Michael Coulson 7 – yet another goal set up by City’s master of assists during another willing 90 minutes

Diego De Girolamo 7 – persistent throughout even though it was not one of his more productive afternoons

Jake Hyde 7 – continues to work selflessly for the team and showed good energy levels to deal with numerical disadvantage

Wes Fletcher 7 – lively and went close to getting the goal he craves during the second half

Subs: Marvin McCoy 7 – steady (for De Girolamo, 62), Carlton Morris (for Fletcher, 74), Josh Carson (for Hyde, 85).

Subs not used: Jason Mooney, John McCombe, Lewis Montrose, Lindon Meikle.

Accrington: Luke Simpson; Nicky Hunt, Tom Aldred, Rob Atkinson, Dean Winnard; Luke Joyce, Andrew Procter (Josh Windass, 78); Piero Mingoia, Sean Maguire (James Gray, 72), Lee Molyneux; Matt Crooks (Shay McCartan, 55). Subs not used: Michael Liddle, Kai Naismith, Andrew Dawber, Anthony Barry.

Accrington star man: Molyneux – displayed good technique in open play and at set-pieces

Booked: Molyneux 96, Morris 97

Sent off: Halliday 61

Attendance: 3,873 (208 from Accrington)

Referee: Mark Haywood (Wigan) rating: 7/10 – under fire from City fans but got red card right

Shots on target: City 6, Accrington 10

Shots off target: City 4, Accrington 6

Corners: City 6, Accrington 9

Fouls conceded: City 12, Accrington 14

Offsides: City 1, Accrington 3