"WE speak a lot about resilience. That was resilience."

So said proud boss James Ford after his York City Knights troops withstood late pressure to win 24-22 at Oldham in another Betfred League One cracker.

The result, after the last-gasp defeat to Bradford in the opening game of term, got York off the mark in the table, and left Ford optimistic there could be "something really positive at the end of the year".

Oldham, like fallen giants Bradford, were relegated from the Championship last year and are many pundits' tip to return. This victory, though, may well underline the Knights' own promotion credentials.

Ford said: "I'm really pleased. We knew it would be really tough to come here and take anything.

"Oldham are a quality side and play this pitch really well. The effort from my players was absolutely superb. I'm really proud to be the coach. They've been under the pump but they're so together.

"If we keep working hard, there could be something really positive at the end of the year.

"There's 26 rounds, yes, but we're really pleased to get the points. I can't stress how highly we think of Oldham - they're a really good side. I don't fancy many teams' chances coming here and taking the points away.

"It was an enormous effort and something I'm really proud of."

He quipped: "It would have been nice, though, to win by a couple more points, to make it easier on my nerves."

The Roughyeds are renowned for running over teams at this level, having done so in their promotion season two years ago.

They had to keep coming from behind against York, though, and it was try for try throughout - the difference between the sides being one missed conversion.

Ford said: "We had highlighted Oldham's strengths of trying to create tempo, and we knew it would take an enormous effort to combat it, but we kept turning up for one another.

"We couldn't quite get away, though. Six points up, level, six points up, level. That shows the toughness of Oldham. They hung in there and nearly found a way to win.

"For us to have that backbone to withstand that is really pleasing. We speak a lot about resilience. That was resilience.

"We stuck together, and we found ways to make efforts on efforts. We have a real tough team here and if we continue to work hard we can improve another level or so beyond this."

The industry was led by skipper Tim Spears. Ford added: "It was a great team effort typified by Tim. I don't know if he knows when to give in. I don't think he even knows that phrase. But it was a fantastic team effort."

The Knights gave debuts to Colton Roche - the former Knight back at the club on loan from Huddersfield - and fellow prop James Donaldson, on dual-reg from Hull KR.

The biggest collision of the game - and potentially the season - saw Roche run over big front-rower Phil Joy.

Said Ford: "Colton Roche's carries were powerful as we expected. The one where he clashed heads with Phil Joy - I'm just pleased he did not run into me like that.

"As for James Donaldson... dual-registration has a bad reputation in the sport at times but every single player that's come through from Hull KR has performed to an outstanding level and trained to an outstanding level. They're a pleasure to have here and it reflects so positively on their main club."