FOOTBALLING phenomenon or fallacy? The validity of the new manager bounce has divided opinion for many years.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s impact at Manchester United has offered topical encouragement for advocates of the theory but an analysing the recent fortunes of York City managerial appointments would present a counter-argument.

From the last eight bosses to take the reins, only Martin Gray has got off to a winning start, while Steve Watson has now joined Gary Mills, Jackie McNamara, caretaker Richard Cresswell, Russ Wilcox and Nigel Worthington by losing his opening match in charge.

Watson’s predecessor Sam Collins, meanwhile, fared better than most, having begun his four-and-a-half month tenure by sharing the spoils at Brackley.

But, in the majority of the above cases, the situation inherited handicapped the next man in the hot-seat and ex-Everton and Newcastle right-back Watson could certainly point to such extenuating circumstances, inheriting an under-performing squad that has also been shorn of four loan signings since their last contest.

Avoiding an eighth straight away league defeat, therefore, was always going to be a tall order at a Stockport side that were bidding for a fifth consecutive home success.

And so it proved, with the impressive Matty Warburton, seemingly operating at least two divisions beneath the level his talent merits, grabbing his third hat-trick of the season and second in as many matches by capitalising on some severely slipshod defending.

In doing so, the former Salford and Curzon Ashton attacker also mustered one more shot on target than a City team, who are the second-lowest away marksmen in National League North.

Both visiting efforts came from Alex Kempster – the first a one-on-one chance for an equaliser that he directed straight at home keeper Ben Hinchliffe and the second an emphatic first-time finish at the end of, arguably, the best move of the match to reduce the deficit to 2-1 on 74 minutes.

Frustratingly, for Watson and the 455 travelling fans, the Minstermen contrived to concede virtually straight from the restart, with Warburton again the gleeful beneficiary.

Earlier, it had only taken 45 seconds for Kempster, who was making his first start since August, to provide the game’s opening shot, but he sliced a 30-yard attempt well wide and Stockport went on to forge in front on four minutes when Adriano Moke conceded a corner that was swung in from the left by Adam Thomas and, after home players won three aerial balls, an unmarked Warburton profited from statuesque defending to crash a ten-yard volley into the roof of the net.

City should have levelled just past the quarter-hour mark when Jake Wright cleverly headed Liam Agnew’s pass in the direction of a forward-surging Kempster.

The former PE teacher went on to burst clear on goal but aimed weakly at Hinchliffe and, after Adam Bartlett had pushed away Frank Mulhearn’s overhead kick a little theatrically, Warburton doubled the lead midway through the first half.

It was all too easy again, as Sam Minihan was allowed to cross in from the right and Mulhearn laid off for Warburton to beat Bartlett from 15 yards with the aid of a deflection.

Mulhearn’s low curling edge-of-the-box effort was subsequently safely gathered by Bartlett, while Jordan Burrow’s 25-yard half-volley also routinely collected by Hinchliffe as it drifted off target.

City continued to react slowly, meanwhile, at the back and were caught napping from a quickly-taken throw in that saw Warburton play Mulhearn in, but his scuffed shot failed to extend Bartlett.

After the break, Wright drilled into the sidenetting from an unfavourable angle after robbing Mininhan of possession in the penalty box.

Mulhearn then saw another 20-yard attempt diverted away from goal by David Ferguson, while Sean Newton’s free kick was deflected over from a similar distance.

Agnew also sidefooted wastefully over from the edge of the box after Hinchliffe could not gather a Ferguson up-and-under.

At the other end, Bartlett dived to his right to keep out Nyal Bell’s downward header from a Minihan centre, before the visitors became the first team to net in open play against the Hatters for nine matches.

Jon Parkin slid the ball through the left channel for fellow sub Wes York to chase and when he laid the ball off to Ferguson, the former England C international swept in a low cross from the left that Kempster sidefooted in from eight yards.

All hopes of a fightback, though, were quickly extinguished as City’s unresponsive back-line allowed Thomas to make inroads into the box before nudging the ball sideways for Warburton to squeeze a low eight-yard shot inside Bartlett’s right-hand post.

Josh Law and Newton later missed the target with long-distance strikes that lacked conviction, as the gap to the play-off positions widened to 12 points, while the advantage over those clubs in the relegation places remained at six.

City ratings

Adam Bartlett 6

Kallum Griffiths 6

Hamza Bencherif 5

Sean Newton 5

David Ferguson 6

Josh Law 5

Adriano Moke 5

Liam Agnew 6

Jake Wright 5

Jordan Burrow 5

Alex Kempster 7

Substitutes: Wes York 6 (for Moke, 57), Jon Parkin (for Wright, 71).

Subs not used: Ryan Whitley, Joe Tait, Macaulay Langstaff.

Star man: Kempster - covered good yards on the ball and made up for poor first-half finish with well-taken goal

Stockport: Ben Hinchliffe, Sam Minihan, Ashley Palmer, Scott Duxbury, Adam Thomas (Jake Kirby, 86), Jordan Keane, Sam Walker, Darren Stephenson, Matty Warburton (Dan Cowan, 78), Frank Mulhearn (Nyal Bell, 65). Subs not used: Ian Ormson, Elliot Osborne.

Stockport star man: Warburton – capitalised clinically on poor away defending

Referee: Andrew Kitchen 8/10 – no glaring mistakes to recall

Booked: Newton 43, Duxbury 65, Cowan 89

Sent off: None

Shots on target: Stockport 9, City 2

Shots off target: Stockport 1, City 7

Corners: Stockport 7, City 4

Fouls conceded: Stockport 14, City 8

Offside: Stockport 0, City 0