YORK City boss Sam Collins admitted he was “devastated” by the nature of his side’s 2-1 defeat at Blyth Spartans.

Former Minsterman Bradley Fewster grabbed the 83rd-minute winner for the hosts in controversial circumstances, with half of the away team still celebrating a disallowed Macaulay Langstaff goal at the other end.

Earlier, City had recovered from falling behind to a 15th-minute Sean Reid penalty as Jake Wright levelled to send the sides into the break on level terms.

But Langstaff and Wright also aimed simple chances straight at home keeper Peter Jameson during the first period, before Fewster condemned Collins’ seventh-bottom men to a sixth straight National League North away defeat and a ninth loss in 14 fixtures, marking a dismal end to 2018.

Delivering his verdict on the latest setback, Collins admitted: “I’m devastated.

“I was pleased with the way we went about the game in the first half and, aside from the silly penalty we gave away, I didn’t think they looked like scoring, but we had some really good chances and could have killed the game off by half-time. Then, for their winning goal, we were out of shape because we were celebrating what we thought was a goal and that’s so tough to take.

“It felt like a real kick in the teeth, because there wasn’t much difference between ourselves and a team that have been doing really well.”

Collins made five changes to the side that started Boxing Day’s 5-1 debacle at Darlington, with under-23 quartet Liam Agnew, Kennedy Digie, Macaualy Langstaff and Jake Wright all coming in, along with 30-year-old Hamza Bencherif, who played his first minutes since November 3.

The former Algerian under-21 international gave away a penalty and was later cautioned for deliberate handball, but Collins was pleased with the industry shown by the called-up players, adding: “At the end of the game, the fans clapped the players off because they appreciated how hard they worked, even though, sometimes, you still have to accept a bad result.

“I couldn’t fault the effort, attitude and commitment from a really young team in areas and I knew I’d get that from the players I picked. I have a soft spot for young players because they give you honest performances and I thought Macca and Wrighty caused them problems with their pace down the sides.

“Kennedy also did well, and Liam Agnew had a really good game. I’ve seen him play numerous times over the last two or three years and I’ve always liked him as a player.

“Harrogate contacted me to say he might be available and have been great in terms of letting him come here. As soon as Lewis Hawkins went back, he was always somebody I was interested in bringing in.”

But teenage striker Flynn McNaughton has been released by the Minstermen, despite impressing for the reserves last season and during three first-team substitute outings.

Explaining that decision, Collins said: “It was a difficult one, because he’s had a couple of injuries, so I’ve not seen lots of him, but we need players who are going to make a difference on the pitch.”