DELIGHTED York City boss Russ Wilcox was pleased to see his side avoid an unwanted club record following a 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley.

Ten-man City secured three points despite Brad Halliday’s 61st-minute red card, courtesy of Keith Lowe’s fifth goal of the season in the first half.

The triumph also saw the Minstermen miss out on an ignominious place in the history books, alongside their 1981/82 predecessors, who went 14 matches without a home win.

Having witnessed the club’s first Bootham Crescent success of the campaign, Wilcox admitted: “The run has been a monkey on our backs, but it’s gone now, so I’m absolutely delighted.

“Nobody wants to be part of unsuccessful teams and, when stats like that are dragged up, they’re not good to read. We now want to get fully away from that bottom two as quickly as we can.”

Wilcox went on to praise the manner in which his side contended with Halliday’s dismissal to safeguard maximum points.

York Press:
York City’s Brad Halliday, second from right, is surrounded after he is dismissed by referee Darren Bond. Picture: Gordon Clayton

“To play for more than 35 minutes with ten men against a team that had just taken four points from six against Portsmouth and Accrington means it was a great victory,” the City chief declared.

“I am proud of how the players did it as well - by keeping a clean sheet and showing spirit, endeavour and commitment. We talked about the need to keep a clean sheet at half-time and we did that by having our two banks of four and by changing the man up through the middle all the time to keep everybody fresh after the red card.

“We saw the game out quite comfortably with Alex (Cisak) only having to deal with a couple of crosses into the box and basic saves.”

Wilcox also dedicated the triumph to City’s vocal supporters, who have waited seven months to see their team win at home.

“The fans were amazing,” Wilcox enthused. “They were our 12th man and then our 11th man after the sending off.

“They played a huge role and they’re not stupid because they could see that, what their team might lack in quality, they make up for in endeavour and commitment. It’s been so disappointing for them not to see a home win this season, so this one if for them for staying with us.

“Hopefully, we can back it up with a few more home wins now.”

The City boss accepted Halliday’s marching orders, meanwhile, following the on-loan Middlesbrough teenager’s two-footed lunge at Stanley defender Tom Aldred.

Wilcox reasoned: “It was a little bit of naivety and enthusiasm for a young player, who has done superbly well and shown a lot of character after being thrown in at the deep end. I’m gutted for him and he was absolutely devastated himself but, in the modern era, it’s a red card challenge.

“It was probably a yellow ten years ago when I was playing. He had all his sights and focus on the ball, so I don’t know if you can call it dangerous play.

“He was fully committed and you are hoping for a yellow, but I can see why the red was produced."

Former centre-back Wilcox was full of appreciation for Lowe’s goal, though, saying: “It was a fantastic header.

“The ball had gone behind him after he had made a run forward, so it is always difficult to go back and generate the power that he did. It’s easier to run on to a header, so it was an outstanding goal.”

The hosts started with the same 4-2-3-1 formation that Wilcox employed through the whole of last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Bury but changed to 4-4-2 at half-time and, explaining that switch, the City manager pointed out: “We were going backwards and sideways a bit too much and I wanted to get the tempo a bit higher.

“We did that at the start of the second half by getting the ball up to the front two quicker. I think we are still looking for that style of play that is somewhere between how the team used to play and how mine has been playing.”

Fourth-bottom City will now travel to a Carlisle side on Sunday who are one point and one place above them in the Sky Bet League One standings

On that challenge, Wilcox said: “It will be a tough game against a side around us who have just won away from home, but we will now go there full of confidence, especially with our current away form.”

Marvin McCoy, dropped for Halliday this month having been an ever-present during the season, is expected to be recalled at Brunton Park with the latter likely to be suspended for three games.

“I’ve spoken to all the players who haven’t been involved recently and some of them are sat in the stand,” Wilcox said. “They all want to be on the pitch, but they just have to wait and be patient when the team is doing well and make sure they are ready to take that shirt when needed by doing extra work after training.

“If Marvin produces three outstanding performances now, that will give me a headache and that’s what I want.”