YORK City boss Steve Watson hailed captain Jordan Burrow’s importance to the team after the striker scored for the first time in 11 games.

The 26-year-old forward took his tally to 18 for the season with City’s second goal in a 3-1 victory at National League North play-off hopefuls Bradford Park Avenue.

He went on to be hauled down in the incident that saw home defender Shane Killock sent off before teeing up Macaulay Langstaff for the final goal of the game in stoppage time.

Afterwards, a pleased Watson declared: “Everybody in the dressing room, including the coaching staff, will tell you how important Jordan is to us. Strikers are sometimes judged by goals and, quite rightly so, I suppose, but he gives us so much more as well with his defending at set-pieces and his willingness to run the channels and give opposition defenders a nightmare.

“He’s also still got a really good goal tally for the season and, hopefully, he’ll be able to add to that with one game to go. It was a proper striker’s goal as he took one touch before producing a really good finish, so I was very pleased for him.”

Midfielder Paddy McLaughlin also earned plaudits from his manager after netting for a third time in five games, as he levelled the scores following Lewis Knight’s early second-half opener.

“I thought Paddy was outstanding and at the heart of everything we did well,” Watson enthused. “We played a 4-2-3-1 but he and Scott Burgess still managed to go beyond their back line, and he got another well-struck goal.”

Watson went on to hail the team’s improvement from the 3-2 Good Friday home defeat to Spennymoor when he was unimpressed with the quality of defending on show as the Minstermen fell behind three times before succumbing to defeat.

“The big change from Friday was that, when we did concede a goal, it was from a good free kick and, if teams score a great goal like that, you just have to take it on the chin,” the City chief reasoned. “You don’t let it affect you and we made sure it didn’t.

“We were playing well, and we kept to the game plan and didn’t panic, and it was a solid 90-minute performance mentally, as well as with the ball.”

The result lifted City up to 12th in the table, but the team can only finish one place higher to match the disappointing position of last season’s side.

On that reality, Watson admitted: “That’s frustrating because we’ve shown that we are a match for anyone on our day. Bradford are a team who have been in the play-offs all season, so the result shows how good we can be when it all clicks, but there’s obviously a lot gone wrong from the start of the season to now that we have to learn from, so we can all be positive going into next season.”

Adriano Moke missed the match with a groin injury with Josh Law also dropping to the bench, as Watson changed system, recalling Alex Kempster and Wes York to the starting line-up.

Centre-back Joe Tait was also preferred to on-loan Barnsley teenager Jasper Moon with Watson explaining: “Jasper has come straight out of under-23s football and this is a really tough league physically and mentally. Joe Tait was fully fit after playing really well in his last game at Guiseley, so I thought it was a good chance to give Jasper a breather with the turnover time between games so short and Taity didn’t let us down again.”