ANDY BOND scored the only goal of the game to see York City to a 1-0 win over Brackley Town and maintain the Minstermen's strong start to the season.

The summer signing's fantastic strike gave City a valuable first home win of the National League North campaign on a day when both sides could have been forgiven for thinking no goal was going to come.

Barring brief forays forward for the visitors in yellow, City were the dominant force on a windy day - but could fashion few clear-cut chances. Following Bond's strike there was a spate where any one of the four efforts could have gone in, though the one sufficed in the end.

There was still some late drama to be had when Brackley's Matt Lowe received a yellow card for diving in the box, and Joe Tait was called upon in stoppage time to bravely deny Glenn Walker.

Kevin Wilkin’s Brackley began the day in 10th having won their season-opener 1-0 against Alfreton Town before going down 2-0 at Leamington.

Frenchman Thierry Audel, who spent time on the books at Auxerre during their spell in Ligue 1, was one of the St James’ Park outfit’s summer signings on show. He was partnered at the back by former Harrogate Town man Kelvin Langmead, with Dan Holman part of a two-man attack. He and Lee Ndlovu were backed up by Zimbabwean midfielder Shepherd Murombedzi – Brackley’s sole league goalscorer so far this term.

York boss Steve Watson made only one change to the side that drew with Farsley Celtic midweek, bringing back forward Dan Maguire, who recovered from a short-term injury to make his Bootham Crescent debut.

City have a good record against Brackley at Bootham Crescent, winning the last two contests, and they came close to an early opener through Alex Kempster, who flashed an effort across goal and inches wide of the right-hand upright.

Jordan Burrow had the ball in the net a couple of minutes later but the whistle had already blown for a foul on keeper Danny Lewis. The stopper collected Kallum Griffith’s looping cross and dropped it under pressure from Andy Bond.

It was quite a disjointed start to the game though, and neither side really found much rhythm during the first half-hour.

Still, as the game went on, City found themselves with the better chances, though none were clear-cut.

Eighteen minutes in, Lewis punched away from Jordan Burrow from Sean Newton’s lofted cross. Burrow then got a shot away from inside the area following good footwork from Adriano Moke.

It took Brackley 20 minutes to get away their first effort on goal as Holman – with more than 150 career goals to his name – sent one wide from distance but could not make the desired contact first time off the bouncing ball. It was a tricky chance and showed the confidence of the marksman to take it on.

Burrow had maybe the best opportunity of the half – almost. A superb ball into the box dropped agonisingly close to the striker’s boot. Unmarked, had he made the run half a second earlier, it would have been a volleyed tap-in either side of Lewis.

Moke was doing a superb job breaking up Brackley possession in the middle third, and a 37th-minute interception almost spawned a chance, just the final left-wing cross was overhit.

At the other end, Brackley toiled to break through City’s well-organised back three of captain Steve McNulty, Newton and Joe Tait.

Brackley came out after the break strongly with Murombedzi looking like they might manufacture an opening but McNulty showed characteristic composure to release City from pressure.

Bond conceded a corner with some failed acrobatics not long after but City were able to escape up the other end and win a corner of their own, Griffiths’ inswinger inches from the heads of Burrow and Kempster.

From there, the pattern of the first half re-emerged as City started to forge the best chances.

Bond broke the deadlock with a superb driven effort from 30 yards out, low into the bottom left corner – and from there, the chances started to come thick and fast.

Inside the space of 10 minutes following the hour mark, half-time substitute Macaulay Langstaff made great contact with a volley which was blocked before hitting the side netting with a diving header. Newton side-footed wide from Burrow’s lay-off inside the area and Burrow was unable to react quickly enough to some pinball dropping to his feet, nudging it just past the post to the disbelief of Bootham Crescent.

With eight minutes remaining, Burrow rose spectacularly high to meet an inswinging corner but directed his header wide.

Kieran Green tried one from distance with a couple of minutes remaining but his right-footed effort sailed wide.

York: Jameson 7, Griffiths 7 (York 55), Ferguson 6, Newton, McNulty 8, Tait 7, Moke 7 (Green 7 55), Bond 7, Burrow 6, Maguire 6 (Langstaff HT), Kempster 7. Subs not used: Spratt, Whitley.

Star man: Steve McNulty. Nothing got past the veteran, who was in imperious form at the back.

Brackley: Lewis, Myles, Audel, Byrne, Langmead (Lowe 70), Dean, Baker (Armson 64), Murombedzi, Ndlovu, Holman (Fairlamb 76), Walker. Subs not used: Daire, Franklin.

Attendance: 2039