ALEX KEMPSTER scored his third goal of pre-season to help York City narrowly overcome North Yorkshire rivals Scarborough Athletic 2-1.

It was the striker's second-minute effort that separated the sides for the whole of the first half - though City had the chances to have been well clear by half-time.

As it was, James Walshaw levelled matters just after the break following good play from Michael Coulson, who threatened to put Boro ahead against his old club.

But summer signing and man of the match Kieran Green ensured victory over the lower-tier opponents, driving home from 25 yards.

Assistant manager and former Minsterman Dave Merris took charge of the game in place of boss John Deacey.

The potent forward combination of Walshaw and Coulson were on from the start, though fellow marksman Joe Lumsden – signed from Tadcaster Albion at the start of summer – has already moved on, work commitments forcing a move to Pontefract Collieries.

Another former Brewer, midfield enforcer Pete Davidson, was joined in the centre by 18-year-old prospect Kian Spence, who moved to the Flamingo Land Stadium from Middlesbrough.

City suffered a blow just before kick off as young centre-back Josh King pulled up with a hamstring injury in the warm-up.

Scarborough threatened an explosive start from kick off – but they were soon quietened down.

It took York just two minutes to break the deadlock, Alex Kempster slotting low to keeper Tommy Taylor’s right after Boro failed to deal with Billy Beresford’s square ball.

And the ever-lively Kempster threatened to add to City’s tally, making a precocious diagonal run through a crowd of white shirts before being halted, then nearly setting up Dan Maguire for a near-post finish.

Maguire had a couple of chances either side of putting Kempster’s ball the wrong side of the post, cracking the base of the upright from a neat Kieran Green touch and seeing an effort from distance comfortably collected by Taylor.

Scarborough started to gain a foothold in the game after this flurry, though York stopper Ryan Whitley was untroubled.

King’s replacement, Triallist ‘A’, had little to do for the first quarter of an hour, but showed good awareness to comfortably cut out a couple of passes destined for Coulson, while Tom Allan showed composure at left back, dummying his way out of trouble with the help of Beresford and Smith before holding off Luke Lofts to shepherd the ball out of play.

There were some lovely flashes of skill throughout from the men in red. Possibly aided by the rain-slicked surface, both Maguire and Beresford left Scarborough defenders on the deck as they jinked into the area and young left-back Nathan Dyer unleashed a couple of rasping left-footed drives from the angle.

With five minutes of the half remaining, Green let loose with a sweet strike from outside the area that Taylor just got down to stop.

On his old stamping ground and playing towards the travelling Scarborough fans, Coulson came alive at the start of the second period, creating one and coming within inches of a quickfire second.

Four minutes after the restart, Coulson’s clever play into the area saw the goal open up for him but he unselfishly offloaded to strike partner and top scorer last season Walshaw to tap into an empty net.

And just two minutes on, he almost had one of his own as again he wriggled in from the left. Letting fly for himself, this time, Whitley got just enough on the effort to tip it onto the post and recover the rebound.

The number 10 had the ball in the net just before the hour but was called offside before dinking in.

The pendulum seemed to have swung and it was Boro now playing with confidence, limiting City’s chances.

Defender Dyer continued to impress going forward, linking up with Triallist ‘B’ with a marauding right-wing run and seeing a fierce low drive saved, Kempster just beaten to the follow-up by Taylor.

A driven cross from Kempster was just too far away from Triallist ‘B’ but, with the final quarter approaching, Green buried a sweet strike from 25 yards inside Taylor’s right-hand post, with the keeper rooted to the spot.

There were still chances to be had as Jebson-King fired over after Triallist 'B' laid off a sweeping Green ball to him before embarking on a driving run, only to be dispossessed by Harry Coates.

Triallist 'B' had a low effort stopped by Taylor while, at the other end, Spence and Wayne Brooksby looked the likeliest to make something happen for the Seadogs, the former firing over in the dying stages.

York: Whitley, Dyer, Beresford (Griffiths 65), Triallist ‘A’, McNulty (Jebson-King HT), Allan, Moke (Ferguson HT), Green, Kempster, Maguire (Triallist ‘B’ HT), Smith (Burrow 65). Subs: Jebson-King, Triallist B, Ventura, Harrison, Jameson, Burrow, Ferguson, Griffiths.

Scarborough first half: Taylor, Barkworth, Lacey, Davidson, Coates, Lowe, Deacey, Spence, Walshaw, Coulson, Lofts. Subs: Johnson, Morgan, Howarth, Watson, Dawson, Brooksby, McNaughton, Merris.

Scarborough second half: Taylor, Lacey (Merris 67), Coates, Deacey (Spence 78), Walshaw (McNaughton 59), Coulson (Lofts 84), Johnson, Howarth, Watson, Dawson, Brooksby.

Subs: Johnson, Morgan, Howarth, Watson, Dawson, Brooksby, McNaughton, Merris.

Attendance: 1,055