YORK City gave fans a belated Christmas present as they came away from Bradford Park Avenue with a convincing 2-0 win on Boxing Day.

The Minstermen were left calling for a quicker start after a poor showing against Darlington last week, and the players responded.

Though occasionally a disjointed game - the conditions no doubt playing a part in drizzle on a heavy pitch - it was a professional performance from York, who got the goals and made sure to stay switched-on in the defensive third.

Kieran green got the opener midway through the first half, burying the rebound after his header was saved, and Jordan Burrow - York's captain in lieu of Steve McNulty - nodded in a free header.

The basement side hosts looked to impose themselves after York's second but - as City were last week - struggled against opponents faster to the ball across the pitch.

Avenue boss Mark Bower made five changes to the squad from the 3-0 league defeat at Spennymoor Town, Mitchell Lund, Adam Nowakowski, keeper Steve Dickinson and Lewis Knight all dropping out. Isaac Marriott made way in the starting line-up to join incoming substitute keeper Joe Green on the bench.

In came defenders Ryan Toulson, Reece Staunton and midfielder Alex Hurst. Wearing the captain’s armband was former Minsterman Keith Lowe.

Steve Watson made three changes to the starting 11 from Saturday’s defeat to Darlington on Saturday, employing four at the back from the off for the first time this season. Steve McNulty was rested, while Andy Bond and Elliott Durrell began the day on the bench alongside Josh King, in for Harry Spratt.

Paddy McLaughlin and Green were on from the first whistle, and Dan Maguire was able to make the bench.

McLaughlin made a good early impression on the game, figuring in each of York’s first forays forward before having a left-footed effort from outside the box after a good turn.

Toulson almost played keeper Tom Nicholson into trouble as Langstaff gave chase and McLaughlin almost squeezed through into the box following good interplay with Burrow.

Despite an improved start from York on last week, there were still a few mistakes that Avenue threatened to punish. Sean Newton recovered the ball from Nicky Clee after a scuffed clearance at left back, and Hurst nicked off Kallum Griffiths a few yards out of the penalty area but dragged his shot just wide of the post from an angle.

Green came the closest of the first 20 minutes to creating the opener. He forced his way down the right-hand side of the pitch beyond left-back Staunton and played a dangerous ball in, which a sliding Burrow could not quite reach.

And the powerful midfielder did break the deadlock in the 26th minute. David Ferguson swung in a left-sided free kick, which Green headed from close range. Nicholson palmed the ball straight back into his path and he finished from even closer in.

The goal galvanised York, who won two corners in quick succession after from positive play forward. Adriano Moke, seemingly feeding off this confidence, tried an audacious flick and volley from a tricky angle off the latter.

Striker Langstaff was among those City players in a determined mood. With eight minutes to go to half-time, he got his head to Nicholson’s scuffed clearance, chased down the rebound on the right wing and delivered a very dangerous inswinging cross to the back post. It went all the way out for a goal kick.

The hosts had a couple of moves forward, but the final third of the half belonged to York, who were diligent in defence on the rare occasion it was needed.

With two minutes to go before the break, Green was inches away from making it two. Another impressive run and nice footwork carried him a good quarter of the pitch before he was brought down, and his header from McLaughlin’s free kick cracked Nicholson’s left-hand post.

York thought they had their second in first-half stoppage time. Langstaff did well to beat Toulson down the left and his dangerous low ball across goal was turned in, but the offside flag was raised.

After a bitty first five minutes of the second half, Burrow headed in York goal number two. Green played forward for the marauding Griffiths to run onto, and the right-back did well to slide in, bring it under control and dink in a floating ball which Burrow nodded in unopposed.

Bradford were not far from getting one back a couple of minutes on, though. Hurst collected a through ball in space on an angle and he hit a low cross-cum-shot, which Tom Clare might have been able to reach for a tap-in had he slid for it.

York had made a promising start to the second half and a third looked likely, but as Bradford battled their way back into contention, the visitors needed to show grittiness in their defensive third to prevent them creating any clear chances.

On the break, Moke and Green both lost possession before a deep McLaughlin corner kick was bundled clear.

As the game went into the final 15 minutes, York looked fairly content to keep hold of the two-goal advantage. Moke provided good cover in front of the back four and his pace was a useful attribute when the hosts did break the line.

Up top, York still looked the greater threat but were lacking the final ball, illustrated by Moke’s curiously looped ball to Kempster at the back post when inside the area.

Avenue: Nicholson, Toulson (Hughes 74), Staunton, Lowe, Priestley, Royle, Knight, Hurst, Clare, Johnson (Marriott 58), Clee (Bazeley 74). Subs not used: Green, Lyons.

Yellow cards: Bazeley

York: Jameson 8, Griffiths 8, Tait 8, Newton 8, Ferguson 7, Moke 8, McLaughlin 8, Green 9 (King 86), Langstaff 8 (Durrell 7, 75), Kempster 7 (Bond 86), Burrow 8. Subs not used: Whitley, Maguire.

Goals: Green, Burrow

Yellow Cards: Ferguson

Star man: Kieran Green. As he has threatened to prove this season, Green provided the midfield power and drive York have been looking for, particularly in the first half, when he made the necessary breakthrough.

Referee: Simeon Lucas

Attendance: 1,127