1 Wing-backs can be wing-forwards

In a 3-5-2 formation, there is always a big onus on a team’s wing-backs to provide attacking impetus. At Nuneaton in midweek, Kallum Griffiths and David Ferguson had both struggled to penetrate down the flanks and create chances from balls into the home box.

The Press Player of the Year leader Griffiths, in particular, looked a little jaded after one run down the line that saw him substituted soon afterwards and Sam Collins subsequently chose to rest him against St Ives, appreciating the game-by-game demands of such a high-energy position. Josh Law went on to swing a ball on to Jake Wright’s head from a wide-right position for City’s first equaliser at Nuneaton and, against St Ives, teenage debutant Nathan Dyer and Ferguson, to a greater extent, contributed a regular supply of dangerous deliveries as the team’s wing-backs.

Having helped tee up a first-half chance for Jordan Burrow after picking out his striking partner Wright in the box, former England C international Ferguson went on to create three excellent opportunities after the break. The first was headed in emphatically by Burrow for City’s second goal.

Jon Parkin then missed an absolute sitter in front of goal from another whipped-in Ferguson centre, whilst Alex Harris also headed wide from the same source. With Burrow, Wright and Parkin all capable in the air, City will clearly benefit if consistently good service into the penalty box can be attained.

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2 Going direct at right times doesn’t need to be frowned upon

Sam Collins has preached his intention to play possession football since taking over as caretaker manager, but City’s first goal had route one written all over it. With the Minstermen having just survived an early scare, Adam Bartlett went for distance from the resulting goal kick, which Jordan Burrow won in the air to send Jake Wright clear through and he finished with aplomb.

The goal was not dissimilar to Macaulay Langstaff’s equaliser against Guiseley seven days earlier when Burrow latched on to an upfield ball by Josh Law and saw his shot saved before his striking partner followed up to net. “Long pass” tends to be used to describe such an approach these days, given the stigma that will be forever attached to the phrase “long ball” in the English game, but there is little wrong with varying your angles of attack, especially if a weakness is discernible at the heart of an opposition defence.

It was clear from the start of Saturday’s match that Burrow had the beating of St Ives’ defenders in the air and, had Wright not strayed offside on a couple of occasions, the more rudimentary attacking tactic might have reaped even more reward against the Cambridgeshire part-timers.

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3 Jordan Burrow can challenge for City’s golden boot

The 26-year-old forward’s brace means he now sits at the top of the Minstermen’s goal charts alongside Macaulay Langstaff, having netted four goals in his last four games. The emphatic standard of his two finishes bore the hallmarks of a marksman growing in confidence, following seven matches without a goal at the start of his City career, including a saved penalty.

He also tops the club’s assists table having created five goals – two more than any other player – for his team-mates. City caretaker boss Sam Collins admitted himself, though, that he is delighted to now see Burrow demonstrating a potent side to his game that hadn’t been evident previously.

With 14 goals to his name for Gateshead last season in the league above, however, as well as 18 in all competitions during a relegation battle at the same level with Halifax in 2015/16, it is clear that Burrow could weigh in with his fare share in the sixth tier and the contest with Langstaff, Jon Parkin and Jake Wright to be the Minstermen’s top scorer could be a keen one.

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4 City would have been punished by a better team for the number of free kicks given away and their standard of defending at set-pieces

The Minstermen conceded ten free kicks compared to St Ives’ two in the first 45 minutes and almost paid for their needlessly, niggly defending when equally sloppy marking could have gifted Jarvis Wilson and Danny Kelly simple goals. City needed to brush up on both aspects of the game and did in a second period when they only committed three fouls – the first against sub Jon Parkin when he was competing for an aerial ball.

But, in their last three league games, City have shipped goals from corners against Nuneaton and Kidderminster whilst also conceding a penalty against Guiseley following a poorly-defended long throw and will need to be more on guard this weekend at Southport.

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5 Jake Wright is walking a disciplinary tightrope

Having fought hard to win back and keep his place in the starting line-up following two goals in as many games, it would be a shame if Jake Wright to drop out of the side again due to ill-discipline. The ex-Harrogate Town forward picked up a daft yellow card against St Ives after shooting for goal having being flagged and whistled offside and is now just one more caution away from receiving a one-match ban.

Wright has received more bookings than any other City player this term, which is a record that is not commensurate with his position in the team or relative minutes on the pitch. Whilst his tigerish pressurising of defenders is a massively important aspect of his game, the former Sheffield United reserve also needs to control the impetuous nature of his challenges a little to reduce the number of times his name is taken by National League North officials.