YORK City Knights fans had been warned not to expect another big home victory as in-form Workington arrived in the Minster city.

James Ford’s men had racked up a mammoth 300 points in their last three home League One matches against relative minnows of the pro game. But this Cumbrian club, once of Super League of course and now with Leon Pryce as coach and the likes of Fuifui Moimoi and Sean Penkywicz in their ranks, are a different proposition.

Nevertheless, amid another super atmosphere at Bootham Crescent, the Knights got among the tries yet again, this time posting a 40-8 victory - a magnificent seven-try show which reflected more than anything the home team’s determination and quality when it counted.

It duly kept York on the coattails of Bradford Bulls in the title race as a run of key matches – including the all-important trip to Odsal – comes into view.

It was only 18-8 at half-time and this Workington team had enough attacking prowess in their locker to pull that back. Indeed York let slip the exact same lead at Whitehaven last week as their nine-match winning run ended.

But the Knights’ defence this time was as eager as it was structured and the visitors barely got a look-in during the second period.

Ford had wanted a response from his players after the disappointment at Haven and he got it.

He had made three changes in personnel – all enforced with Jake Butler-Fleming now out with his knee injury and both Chris Siddons and Jordan Walne sidelined by illness.

Back into the back line came the classy Will Dagger and Will Oakes on dual-reg, freeing Ben Cockayne to revert to stand-off – the former Hull KR winger being a better bet there so far this season whenever Matty Marsh has been unavailable, and proving that again here with a starring role.

Walne, man of the match on dual-reg debut at Haven, was a late withdrawal, so Dan Hawksworth was recalled to the front row on the morning of the game - and did well in the process.

In the reshuffle, Mike Kelly started in the second row - going on to be named the sponsors' man of the match after battling on despite an early arm injury - and Graeme Horne, an unsuccessful experiment at half-back last time, was back as a quality interchange prop.

Will Jubb got the nod over fit-again Harry Carter as Andy Ellis’ interchange hooker.

Workington also showed three changes to the 17 that beat Newcastle so impressively.

Two came in the second row where on-loan Aussie ace Kyle Lovette was ruled out and Caine Barnes omitted.

Fit-again Karl Olstrom was back and Jacob Moore promoted, Kurt Maudling taking his place on the bench. Joe Hambley returned on the wing, in place of Frederick Bailey.

The visitors took a fourth-minute lead after a ridiculous penalty for not rolling away awarded against Ellis gave them a great platform – Ellis had nowhere to roll to.

Another followed for obstruction and Carl Forber knocked over the two-pointer.

But York stuck to their task to get a foothold and went ahead as they gleaned field position for Sam Scott to crash through several bodies.

Connor Robinson knocked over the first of six conversions. He has now scored in every game for exactly a year after his debut on June 11, 2017.

Town were suddenly on the back foot and attempts to slow the game down were punished.

From one penalty won by Ash Robson, York spread the ball quickly left where Dagger’s pass sent in Hull KR club-mate Oakes.

A penalty relieved York's pressure but Town’s early promise was already looking more ragged and only a penalty for obstruction denied Joe Batchelor another home try.

The same thing happened – Town again got the rub of a refereeing green but again they coughed up the ball in the face of eager defence, and again the Knights scored. This time the try stood.

Cockayne made the break, then ran the angle, sucked in defenders and waited for the perfect moment to have defenders falling over themselves and give Kelly an easy finish.

Town were largely staying in the game through Penkywicz's penchant was buying penalties off rookie referee Liam Staveley.

On the back of one, former Kiwi star Moimoi sucked men in and got out a quick play-the-ball, and Penkywicz’s bullet pass put Andrew Dawson in.

At 18-8 at half-time, the first score of the second period - like at Haven - was going to be important.

York had an immediate chance after Batchelor was put through a gap, but Brad Hey went too wide and was tackled into touch.

Colton Roche then had another opportunity but was halted by a wonderful tackle by Maudling.

However, York’s defence forced a dropout after shoving Town back in goal and the score followed – Batchelor being fed on the angle and keeping control of the ball long enough to get it down under pressure on the run.

The Knights continued to make half-breaks. Hey looked for the pass on the inside but there was nobody there. Joe Porter wasted good field position with a fumbled play-the-ball. The next time the Knights were shaping up with numbers, Jamie Doran sharply picked off Cockayne’s short ball. Next time, Hey let the ball slip – the centre was not having the best of times in attack.

Nevertheless, it was all York, and the try finally came via a solo effort from Cockayne, cutting through from whence the ball had come, arcing along and opening a gap for himself.

Robinson missed possibly the easiest goal attempt of the day, but he was to get a few more goes as Town were now out of it.

Cockayne created the next try, going in at acting-half close to the sticks and putting Horne into an inexplicably large gap.

A short restart then backfired for Town as Ellis emerged with the ball and the set ended with defenders again dragged in and Batchelor getting his second try of the day.

Town finally had an attacking set as the clock ticked down, on the back of their first penalty of the second half. But the ball was fumbled, a penalty was not forthcoming and dissent underlined the visitors' frustration.