YORK City’s youngsters spared the club’s blushes in the North Riding Cup by engineering a narrow 2-1 win over Boro Rangers.

Scholar Harry Thompson opened the scoring for an unconvincing City and, after Nathan Liddell had levelled for the North Riding League premier division outfit, away defender Ste Keenan turned in teenager Aaron Haswell’s low cross under pressure from youth-team striker Flynn McNaughton.

City’s seven senior players might all have performed better, however, although perhaps Clovis Kamdjo and Louis Almond could be excused in their first outings following long lay-offs.

Kamdjo started the game in the centre of a back three as he played his first half of football since suffering cruciate ligament damage in November 2016, while Almond returned after three months on the sidelines with a shoulder problem.

The pair joined five others – Luke Simpson, Connor Smith, Sam Muggleton, Theo Wharton and James Gray – with first-team experience in the hosts’ line-up.

But it was the visitors who created the first chance of the night with James Dillon heading over from David Johnson’s sixth-minute corner.

City’s only threat during the opening period, meanwhile, came from long Muggleton throw-ins.

Gray headed over following Muggleton’s first touchline missile on eight minutes, before Thompson gave City the lead from the same source just before the quarter-hour mark.

The youth-team scholar headed into the roof of the net from six yards after Muggleton had hurled the ball in from the left.

In response, Boro defender Phil Horsman’s downward header bounced wide following a Paul Blake corner.

Gray went on to manage the Minstermen’s first goal attempt from open play on 41 minutes, but his long-range shot failed to extend Rangers keeper Andy McDonald.

At the other end, away striker Stu Rose might then have done better when he sliced off target from the edge of the box.

But the Teessiders drew level on 43 minutes when Rose played the ball back to Liddell and he curled a 20-yard effort inside Luke Simpson’s right-hand post.

Kamdjo was replaced at half-time as he eases himself back into action, while Gray should have made it 2-1 to City on 54 minutes but, having been given the ball in front of the Boro goal following a stray Horsman header, he hesitated and allowed Dillon to make a recovering tackle.

A 25-yard Almond drive was also comfortably gathered by McDonald and the former Tranmere attacker saw another effort deflected off target after working an opening for himself.

At the other end, though, Simpson scrambled a 25-yard strike by Matt McQueeney around his left-hand upright and Rose somehow headed wide from two yards after Blake swung the subsequent corner into the near post.

Almond’s last contribution of the night came on 72 minutes when his ten-yard shot, after Gray’s pull back from the right byline, was parried away by McDonald.

Three minutes later, City regained the lead when Haswell’s low left-wing cross was turned into his own goal by Keenan at the near post under pressure from McNaughton.

Gray went on to head over following another Haswell delivery from the left, but Simpson was still needed on 86 minutes to make a fingertip save to prevent McQueeney from forcing a penalty shoot-out with a spectacular overhead effort.

City: Simpson; Rogerson, Kamdjo (Haswell, 46), Muggleton; Smith, Thompson, Wharton, Almond (Kemp, 72), Lawrence; Gray (Berry, 83), McNaughton.

Attendance: 228