YORK City finished pre-season on a high as they staged a superb second-half comeback to win 4-2 at Pickering Town.

The Pikes went into the break two goals to the good but three goals in 11 minutes following the restart turned the game on its head.

Wes York, coming back from injury, was the first to turn home before Liam Smith and Macaulay Langstaff joined him on the scoresheet. Smith’s second 15 minutes on sealed the Minstermen’s sixth win on the bounce.

The first half was low on quality as both sides toiled for fluency but the second was a far more entertaining North Yorkshire derby spectacle.

Pickering Town boss Denny Ingram has done business early this pre-season, bringing in Matty Savage, Joel Dixon, Michael Hollingsworth and Jackson Jowett following the departures of attackers Joe Danby, Lewis Taylor and Josh Greening, as well as defensive midfielder Stuart Mott.

The Pikes began pre-season with a 4-0 win at Barton Town but could not keep the pace going and have since lost their subsequent three, conceding 13 goals in the process.

After City in the Pikes’ build-up to the Northern Premier League north/west division – which kicks off on Saturday, August 17 at Workington – Pickering face fellow North Yorkshire rivals Scarborough Athletic and Whitby Town.

As promised, York’s line-up had a youthful look to it, with only Ryan Whitley, Tom Allan and Billy Beresford among the few who have seen regular action so far this pre-season.

There were flashes of quality in the opening exchanges but, by and large, it was not a pretty start to the spectacle.

Dan Davison showed a lovely touch to bring the ball under his spell before getting a pass away to former Tadcaster Albion midfielder Savage, while Beresford nearly set Macaulay Langstaff free down the right with an excellent long-range pass.

Chances started to come midway through the half as the game became more open and free-flowing.

Langstaff came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock 25 minutes in, his head mere inches from Nathan Dyer’s whipped inswinging free kick.

But the honour of the first goal of the game went to Pickering’s first-half substitute triallist Issy Pearson, who was the beneficiary of a horrible mix-up at the back. Mark McManus lobbed a long ball over onrushing keeper Whitley and Pearson was able to simply roll into the empty net.

James Caton was not far from levelling with 10 minutes of the half remaining, taking a few neat touches on the edge of the area before rolling a left-footed effort just wide.

Otherwise, it was a game of few chances, and even fewer clear-cut – but there was no doubt about the way Hollingsworth buried his 43rd-minute header. Talismanic veteran forward Ryan Blott curled in a left-wing inswinger and the former Nottingham Forest youngster powered in at the far post.

Three minutes after the restart, York made it an ideal opening to the second half for City, getting on the end of Dyer’s cross to turn into the empty net.

It got even better for the visitors very shortly after as Liam Smith drove left-footed from the edge of the area into the bottom left corner following persistent work from Wes York.

The game really started to hot up following the equaliser. City had started the half with a far greater intensity and Pickering were happy to try and match it.

And as if to emphasise the upturn, Langstaff made it 3-2 to York, tapping it over the line after Smith had rounded Myers and rolled an effort goalwards.

It really should have been four just after the hour as Caton headed against the post after good work again on the right of the area by York, who almost tied himself up in knots – as well as the defender – getting the cross away.

Kiari Ventura – on for Langstaff for the final half hour – was next to come close, seeing his effort tipped away by Myers before Jack Simpson had a soft header saved.

Smith grabbed his second of the game after 71 minutes, tapping into an empty net with Myers stranded after Ventura – who did well to get away from his man – hit the inside of the post.

Pickering came close twice in the closing 10 minutes through Davison and Simpson, the latter unable to keep a very tricky effort under control.

Pickering: Myers, Hollingsworth, Tilsley, Turnbull, Brettell, Smalley, Savage, Simpson, Davison, Blott, Jowett (Pearson 27). Subs: Ward, Thurston, Pearson, Freer, Macauley.

Booked: Hollingsworth.

York: Whitley, Dyer, Jebson-King, McManus, Barret, Allan, York (Cawthorn 78), Beresford, Langstaff (Ventura 64), Caton, Smith. Subs: Ventura, Harrison, Jackson, Whitfield, Cawthorn, Teale.

Booked: Ventura, Allan.