YORK City suffered a fourth successive defeat without scoring as Connor McCarthy secured survival for FC United of Manchester.

The Minstermen put in a more committed display than in their previous two contests at Gainsborough and Nuneaton, but the end result was the same, as the visitors lost to the only goal of the game for a third straight match.

Only a near mathematical miracle would now see the club make the National League North play-offs with two fixtures left to play.

The first shot of the night had earlier seen home winger Craig Lindfield cut in from the left, before seeing his ambitious 25-yard attempt drift off target.

Adriano Moke responded by lofting over with an edge-of-the-box, left-footed effort. City then survived a 14th-minute scare when Scott Kay’s overhead kick from a Lindfield corner was pushed on to Hamza Bencherif by Adam Bartlett and bounced back into the visiting keeper’s arms instead of over the line.

Lindfield also headed too high from Steve Irwin’s left-wing free kick, while Moke missed the target again with a 20-yard half-volley following Sean Newton’s cleared corner.

Moments later, Moke’s pass out to the left was intercepted by Joel Senior and his low cross picked out an unmarked Lindfield, but he scuffed his ten-yard shot straight at a vulnerable Bartlett.

The visitors’ best chance of the half came after wing-back Connor Smith released Josh Law, playing in midfield, through the right channel.

Law’s diagonal drive was subsequently beaten out by home keeper Lloyd Allinson and, with the ball ricocheting out quickly, Newton completely missed his kick in front of goal, before a Moke strike was deflected over.

Former Oldham utility man Law had another opportunity just past the half-hour mark, but sidefooted wide from 15 yards, having been teed up by Newton, who had been picked out by Simon Heslop’s crossfield pass.

The half came to a close after Lindfield had fired too high on the turn from just inside the penalty area.

Following the restart, Lindfield and Sam Baird both header wide from an Irwin free kick and Luke Higham’s corner respectively.

At the other end, James Gray drilled a 20-yard strike at Allinson and Moke’s angled drive flashed across the face of goal after Heslop had won the ball with a sliding tackle.

Just before the hour mark, Bencherif flicked Newton’s inswinging flag kick on to the outside of Allinson’s near post.

But it was the hosts that broke the deadlock on 61 minutes in the sloppiest of fashion from City’s perspective.

Kay strode out of defence and received the ball back from Irwin after carrying on his untracked run into the penalty box.

Looking gobsmacked at the ease in which he had breached the Minstermen’s back line, the United captain then passed to his left for McCarthy to tap in.

Shortly afterwards, Kieran Glynn’s deflected strike looped over Bartlett and bounced off the away crossbar.

Lifted by their goal, United’s Irwin had a great chance to double the advantage but he aimed waywardly with a free shot at goal from 12 yards.

For City, sub Louis Almond fired over from 25 yards and Jonny Burn charged to the edge of the box before releasing a show that Allinson pushed around his left-hand post.

Aidan Connolly drove wide following the resulting corner, while United player-manager Tom Greaves tried his luck with an effort that was routinely dealt with by Bartlett.

In a surreal finish to the game, two City fans then ran on to the pitch with one blasting the ball into the home net, prompting ironic cheers from the away end.

City ratings

Adam Bartlett 6

Jonny Burn 7

Dan Parslow 6

Hamza Bencherif 6

Connor Smith 6

Josh Law 6

Simon Heslop 7

Adriano Moke 6

David Ferguson 6

Sean Newton 6

James Gray 6

Substitutes: Louis Almond (for Gray, 67), Aidan Connolly (for Moke, 70), Vinnie Steels (for Ferguson, 77).

Subs not used: Raul Corriea, Luke Simpson.

Star man: Burn – defended with spirit

FC United of Manchester: Lloyd Allinson, Joel Senior, Sam Baird, Jordan Fagbola, Luke Higham, Kieran Glynn, Scott Kay (Sam Tattum, 66), Steve Irwin (Michael Jones, 89), Danny Racchi (Tom Greaves, 82), Craig Lindfield, Connor McCarthy. Subs not used: Elliot Simoes, Adriano Basso.

FC United of Manchester star man: Senior – energetic

Referee: Ben Speedie: 8/10 – hard to fault

Booked: Heslop 73

Sent off: None

Attendance: 1,816

Shots on target: FC United of Manchester 5, City 4

Shots off target: FC United of Manchester 6, City 7

Corners FC United of Manchester 7, City 6

Fouls conceded: FC United of Manchester 7, City 9

Offside: FC United of Manchester 1, City 4