STEVE WATSON singled out York City’s strikers for praise after their 2-0 victory in the FA Cup at Irlam.

York have never exited the competition at the second qualifying round stage in their history and they maintained that record with victory over the ninth-tier Irlam, who play their league football in the North West Counties League premier division.

Manager Watson admitted that there weren’t too many positives to take from the game, although two strikers did get themselves on the scoresheet.

Alex Kempster scored his seventh goal in all competitions this season, while Kyle McFarlane came off the bench to bag his first for the club on his debut.

“Kempster is an instinctive finisher, and he showed that with the first goal,” said Watson.

“When I first came here, he was the wide man of a three-man attack. But he’s now down the middle and he’s always around the goal area.

“He made the run to the near post, which we’ve been working on, and then he got his reward.

“For Kyle, only two or three touches into his game, he scores on his debut and it was a really good striker’s goal.

“Again, it was put on a plate for him by David Ferguson. He’s got a bit of pace. I think you probably didn’t see it as much, but for quite a slight lad he’s quite reliable with his back to goal.

“There was a temptation to start him but he’s not played an awful lot of football this season.

“The plan was to give him a good half hour and that’s what we managed to do."

While not managing to get on the scoresheet like his fellow forwards, Jordan Burrow also came in for mention by Watson.

Having seen Kieran Green and Kallum Griffiths join Steve McNulty and Dan Maguire on the injury list, Watson was pleased to see City seemingly come through the fixture unscathed.

“Jordan is still feeling it a little on his calf, the knock from a few weeks ago, so we didn’t start with him," said Watson.

“When he came on, he was really effective for us and I think sometimes we don’t realise how important he is for us.

“Saturday was just about getting into the next round and not picking up any injuries, which we’re hopeful we haven’t.

“We didn’t risk Harry Spratt because of a slight knock, but the plan was to always let Tom Allan play because he’s done really well when he’s been out on loan (at Farsley Celtic)."