YORK City boss Sam Collins has promised to brush unlikely two-goal hero Hamza Bencherif’s teeth at Curzon Ashton on Saturday.

Bencherif ended a two-year wait to open his Minstermen account by bagging a brace in City’s 4-0 New Year’s Day home victory over Darlington, joining Jordan Burrow and Jake Wright on the scoresheet.

The 30-year-old defender’s unusual pre-match routine was then revealed by Collins, as well as the associated side-bet that was agreed between manager and player before kick-off.

“Hamza does something that I’ve never seen any other player do, because he brushes his teeth just before we go out for the game,” Collins smiled. “I told him, before kick-off, that I would brush his teeth for the next game if he got me a couple of goals and he went and did that, so he reminded me of our chat when he got his second.

“I’m pleased for him because he’s been disappointed not to be in the team, but he’s a really good bloke, who is honest, hard-working and will have a really good go for you.”

Collins added that he was happy with his team’s efforts for gaining revenge against the Quakers after the 5-1 Boxing Day debacle at Blackwell Meadows and recovering from getting no reward following an improved display during Saturday’s 2-1 loss against Blyth.

“We got a performance and not the result at Blyth when our goal was wrongly disallowed, but we got both from this game and bounced back from what they did to us on Boxing Day,” Collins reasoned. “The team-talk was easy really – I just asked the players to ram it back down their throats and that’s what they did, with everyone on the front foot.

“I think Adam (Bartlett) only made one save all game against a team who are a threat with a lot of good young footballers and we defended really well, which started with our three forwards.”

Collins also hopes that the comprehensive win will silence critics of his touchline body language, pointing out: “I heard a fan shout at me that I don’t care at Blyth because I was stood with my hands in my pockets, but I had my hands in my pockets during the whole of this game too and I can assure everybody that I do care and care about the players too.”

Simon Heslop returned to City’s starting line-up for the first time since undergoing minor knee surgery in mid-October but had to exit the action early in the second half with an unrelated complaint and will now be assessed before the Curzon Ashton clash.

“We’re not sure how bad Hessie is, but he makes a big difference to us and, working with him, you see that he’s a really good player,” the City boss declared. “It’s nothing to do with his knee and I think his back just tightened up a bit.”

Macaulay Langstaff was the only member of the Minstermen’s three-pronged strikeforce that didn’t get on the scoresheet, but Collins heaped praise on the former Gateshead forward’s standards during his return to the first XI for the last two matches, saying: “Macca came to see me before the Blyth game to say he wasn’t enjoying things, because he wanted to be in the team all the time, but I told him to be ready, because he was going to get his chance and he’s a brilliant kid with a great attitude.”

The Bootham Crescent chief would not elaborate, meanwhile, on unconfirmed rumours that Sean Newton had made himself unavailable for selection against Darlington.

“I can’t comment on Sean Newton,” Collins said. “It’s something that might be dealt with above me and will have to be sorted behind the scenes.”

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