ALEX KEMPSTER continued his fine pre-season form in York City's 3-1 win over Notts County.

The former Whitley Bay man scored one and created another as the Minstermen made it five friendly wins on the bounce.

Dan Maguire got the opener to send City into half-time a goal to the good and Macaulay Langstaff netted the other from Kempster's assist.

The goal was again just a small part of the striker's performance as he covered the front line well and caused huge problems for the County defence with his pace.

After the opening 15 minutes, City looked the most likely to score, despite the visitors' possession, but as the game wore on and City got their noses in front, York's grip on the game did not look like slipping.

City boss Steve Watson has stated on a couple of occasions that the team he plays today would be near to what he would start the season with - and if that is the case, the Bootham Crescent faithful can be justifiably optimistic.

Notts County came into the game with six months of uncertainty having been to bed following their acquisition on Friday by brothers Alexander and Christoffer Reedtz, who own the football analysis company Football Radar. The Meadow Lane club were put up for sale by previous owner Alan Hardy in January and it is hoped the deal should ensure their survival.

Uncertainty or not, County have made a good start to pre-season ahead of their first-ever season outside the Football League, winning three and drawing one of their five friendly fixtures.

Veteran midfielder Michael Doyle was handed the captain’s armband by Magpies manager Neal Ardley, who also gave starts to former Dutch Eredivisie winger Enzio Boldewijn and full-back Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, the younger brother of England international Alex.

Young keeper Max Culverwell was one of just three County substitutes, along with fellow youth team graduates Tyreece Kennedy-Williams and Alex Howes.

City stopper Peter Jameson retained his position between the sticks following his midweek clean sheet at South Shields while Steve McNulty was recalled to the centre-back berth alongside Tom Allan and Joe Tait.

Livewire forward Kempster started the day on the bench, where he was joined by triallist defender Mark McManus.

Neither side looked particularly like scoring in the opening quarter of an hour – although City came the closest when Kallum Griffiths cross-cum-shot had to be tipped over for a corner by a back-pedalling Ross Fitzsimons.

It would have been against the run of play, however, as the visitors enjoyed the majority of possession and tested City’s defensive mettle without really threatening an opening.

York coped well with being out of possession with Adriano Moke and Kieran Green pitching in at the back, nicking the ball off County toes, while McNulty used his strength to good effect.

But Griffiths’ effort seemed to breathe life into City, and on 24 minutes they were ahead.

Ferguson, captain for the day, cut in from the left, feigning the right-footed shot, before carving the defence open with a strong ball to Dan Maguire. In space and 12 yards out, he could not miss, firing low to Fitzsimons’ left.

As the half drew to a close, County continued to retain the ball well, but if anyone was going to get the next goal, it would be City.

Man-of-the-match Andy Bond was nearly played through by accident as the ball pinged between Notts County players and Maguire came very close to a second, holding off his man well and getting away a left-footed curler.

Oxlade-Chamberlain had looked very composed on the ball for much of the game but had to recover from a small lapse towards the end of the period that almost saw Maguire through on goal.

Kempster, brought on at half-time, was immediately at it down the right wing, nearly rounding left-back Damian McCrory and winning a corner, from where a mass flare-up in the box earned both Joe Tait and Mitch Rose yellow cards.

It remained a well-balanced match into the second period, and City again looked the more likely to make the most of the scant opportunities.

By the hour mark, Bond had got two shots away for the Minstermen. The first was unconvincing and always rising but the second was fierce from inside the area, denied only by a brave block, after Bond tricked his way into space.

The second arrived midway through the period, with half-time substitute Macaulay Langstaff firing in off the post from very close range. Griffiths put in a strong tackle to win the ball back and Kempster played Langstaff through. He still had a bit to do to keep his marker at bay and he did well to get the shot away.

County pulled one back in the 80th minute through Pierce Bird, who got away a header down to half-time sub Ryan Whitley's left.

But City's two-goal cushion was restored almost immediately through Kempster, who powered a header home off Griffiths' inswinging corner.

York: Jameson (Whitley HT), Griffiths (Dyer 84), Ferguson, Allan, McNulty (McManus HT), Tait, Moke, Bond, Burrow (Kempster HT), Maguire (Langstaff HT), Green. Subs: Kempster, McManus, Dyer, Langstaff, Beresford, Whitley, Harrison, Jebson-King, Smith.

Notts County: Fitzsimons, Rose, Bird, Reid, Doyle, Tyson, Boldewijn, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kellet, Kelly-Evans, McCrory. Subs: Howes, Kennedy-Williams, Culverwell.

Attendance: 779