NEW Year cheer has been in short supply at York City during recent times.

The Minstermen have kicked off every January since 2014 without a win or even a goal since Ryan Jarvis secured a 1-0 triumph over Morecambe – the kind of dogged victory that sits high on current boss Martin Gray’s resolution list for the next calendar year.

During the intervening period, North Ferriby and Yeovil have both beaten City 1-0 following a goal-less stalemate at Bootham Crescent against Plymouth.

But, against a Ferriby side that have still only collected seven points this term, a repeat of last year’s poor performance never looked on the agenda and City could even mark the arrival of 2018 with their first clean sheet in 17 contests.

Master marksman Jon Parkin, meanwhile, started the new year in the same manner as he finished the last, bagging a brace to secure a 2-0 success for City with Ferriby reduced to ten men in between his two goals following Jake Skelton’s dismissal. 

On-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Alex Pattison, fresh from being named The Press Player of the Month for December, made a bright start to the afternoon, driving forward and winning two early free kicks, which saw Parkin and Aidan Connolly efforts deflected off target by the away wall.

On nine minutes, meanwhile, Adriano Moke shot over an inviting net from 15 yards after Ferriby keeper Ross Durrant had failed to collect a high ball into his box.

Moments later, Pattison forced the game’s first save following another positive charge through the right channel, but his low diagonal drive was comfortably gathered.

It took until the half-hour mark, though, for the Minstermen to fully assert themselves on the contest.

First, after good work by Connolly, Amari Morgan-Smith’s low edge-of-the-box effort was pushed around his left-hand upright by Durrant.

The Ferriby shot-stopper also made a flying save to keep out a long-range Connolly strike, before being eventually beaten on 31 minutes when David Ferguson dug out an excellent cross from the left byline and Parkin planted a firm downward header inside the far post.

Moments later, Parkin blasted over from distance after more probing by Connolly, while the visitors managed their first attempt on 35 minutes with Alex Davidson shooting wide from 25 yards.

Ex-Tadcaster Albion and Pickering Town striker Carl Stewart also warmed Adam Bartlett’s hands from a similar range, but Brett Agnew’s 15-yard effort did not unduly trouble the City keeper at his near post.

The half then ended with Moke’s drive being parried by Durrant, only for Morgan-Smith to have strayed offside as he looked to net from the rebound.

After the break, Agnew cut in from the right but, again, his shot lacked the conviction to beat Bartlett.

At the other end, Connolly shot with more conviction from 25 yards to extend Durrant, who went on to claw the Scotsman’s subsequent corner away, as it threatened to drop under his crossbar.

Connolly also cleared the bar with a first-time strike from Ferguson’s low cross, before Parkin thought he had taken his season’s tally to 23 goals on 69 minutes.

The 36-year-old veteran latched on to a long ball forward from Bartlett, but was bundled over just outside the penalty box by Skelton.

Initially, referee Dean Watson appeared to play advantage with Parkin regaining his balance and prodding past Durrant, but a free kick was then awarded instead with last-man Skelton receiving his marching orders.

Home supporters still jeered the decision when Pattison’s deflected free kick was routinely gathered by Durrant and their mood was not lifted when sub Kojo Kyei almost levelled for the ten men on 73 minutes, curling a 15-yard attempt against a beaten Bartlett’s left-hand upright.

But the Minstermen made the points safe three minutes later when Durrant dropped a high ball from Josh Law under pressure from Parkin and the Barnsley-born behemoth spun to drill into the roof of an inviting net from ten yards.

Parkin might have gone on to claim his second hat-trick in a week against Ferriby on 86 minutes but, after spotting Durrant off his line, the former Stoke striker’s spectacular effort was grabbed out of the air by the stretching away net-minder.

A stoppage-time shot by Moke was then saved by the busy Durrant, as City eased to victory.

City ratings

Adam Bartlett 7

Josh Law 8

Hamza Bencherif 7

Jonny Burn 8

David Ferguson 8

Adriano Moke 7

Sean McAllister 7

Alex Pattison 8

Aidan Connolly 8

Jon Parkin 8

Amari Morgan-Smith 7

Substitutes: James Gray 7 (for Morgan-Smith, 55), Daniel Rowe 7 (for McAllister, 64), Connor Smith (for Connolly, 81).

Subs not used: Dan Parslow, Luke Simpson.

Star man: Parkin – two more clinical finishes to add to the collection  

North Ferriby: Ross Durrant, Jordon Cooke, Ben Clappison, Jake Skelton, Jack Walters, Adam Bolder, Simon Russell, Jamie Forrester (Luke Lofts, 55), Alex Davidson (Kojo Kyei, 60), Carl Stewart, Brett Agnew (Jerome Slew, 64). Substitutes: Lewis Exall, Bobby Johnson.

North Ferriby star man: Durrant – forced into a string of good saves

Referee: Dean Watson rating: 5/10 –  strange call on disallowed goal

Booked: Burn 42

Sent off: Skelton 69

Attendance: 2,523 (84 from North Ferriby)

Shots on target: City 12, North Ferriby 4

Shots off target: City 5, North Ferriby 1

Corners: City 10, North Ferriby 2

Fouls conceded: City 5, North Ferriby 10

Offside: City 3, North Ferriby 4