A PAIR of former Minstermen came back to haunt Bootham Crescent as York City suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Guiseley.

Hamza Bencherif opened the scoring in the fourth minute, 10 minutes before Kieran Green netted for the second game running to level.

York looked to dominate for much of the game as Guiseley - as many have before them - drew disapproving shouts from the crowd as they appeared to play for a draw.

But with time running out, Kaine Felix hit the bottom left corner of Pete Jameson's goal with a neat strike.

Despite the result, this was another improved performance from York, with Green again a major driver in the middle of the park.

York are now four points off the top of National League North.

Guiseley bosses Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neil opted for the same team that beat West Yorkshire rivals Farsley Celtic 2-0 on Boxing Day.

On loan from Sheffield United, 18-year-old keeper Marcus Dewhurst kept his place between the sticks, while Barnsley loanee striker Chris Sang made his third appearance after scoring on his home debut.

Former Minsterman Hamza Bencherif started in defence, with the lively Lee Shaw returning to the bench after scoring the Lions’ second as a substitute on Thursday.

York made just the one change from the Boxing Day win at Bradford Park Avenue. As suspected, captain Steve McNulty slotted back into the defensive line, with striker Macaulay Langstaff the player to make way.

He started the day on the bench alongside returning striker Dan Maguire. Midfielders Kieran Green and Paddy McLaughlin earned starts again after receiving plaudits from Steve Watson in the week.

Guiseley were ahead in the fourth minute. A left-sided corner was played back to Aram Soleman and his dangerous inswinging cross was turned in by Bencherif.

City’s first clear sight of goal fell to Alex Kempster four minutes on. Adriano Moke turned Soleman in the Guiseley man’s half and played through for Kempster, who fired over.

There was a clear sense of adventure in the early stages from York. Apparently following through on Watson’s post-Curzon statement that he wanted to see them trying things in attack, Kallum Griffiths chipped a through ball for Kempster early on and David Ferguson linked up neatly with Sean Newton to get through clear in the box.

It did not always work – in one instance, Joe Tait needed to cover well from a misplaced Green pass to retrieve the ball off Kaine Felix – but it was promising to see and a good reaction to previous, less confident home performances.

By the 14th minute, York and deservedly levelled through Green. He made a strong run beyond a handful of visiting players and fired in left-footed across the keeper from just inside the area.

With their pace, Guiseley remained a threat on the counter and good play between the busy Sang, Soleman and Brad Nicholson earned them a succession of corners.

After their third consecutive corner, the ball was cleared from a scramble in the box and Kempster broke, showing some of his early-season determination to win York a corner of their own, the attack ending with a foul on Dewhurst.

The Lions were coming back into the game as the half-hour mark approached and Kennedy Digie put a header wide, though the whistle had already gone for a foul.

Newton unleashed a left-footed rocket which Dewhurst was equal to before the keeper then parried away a characteristically wicked low delivery from Ferguson.

With 10 minutes to go to the break, Guiseley seemed to be enjoying the more possession but were being largely well contained, if a little nervily at times. Ferguson hoofed clear from inside the area with Pete Jameson retreating to his line after cross was half cleared. The chance itself came from Newton’s mistake at the back under pressure from Felix.

Green came close to a second with two minutes to go to half-time. Kempster’s pressure down the right paid off and he nicked off Digie, the ball being played across the box and out for Ferguson to deliver from the left. Dewhurst did well to make himself big on front of Green’s header from a yard out.

McNulty picked up the first yellow of the game five minutes after the break for dragging back Felix. This was followed swiftly by the game’s second as Andrai Jones cynically clipped the heels of Green as he powered forward.

There was a roar of excitement as Dewhurst and his defence wildly misjudged a Jameson ball forward, which bounced over the keeper and saw Kempster running clear towards an empty net, but Dewhurst made a quick recovery to gather.

Guiseley’s corner count was approaching double figures by 10 minutes after the restart, though they were yet to muster a second shot on target. Felix skewed a shot over after the hour.

Maguire had made his long-awaited return to action in the 59th minute, replacing Kempster, and every time he approached the ball was greeted with shouts of anticipation and encouragement from the crowd.

There had, however, been relatively little to trouble either keeper by the midway point of the second half, though York were in control in the middle areas.

Griffiths – one player putting in a good shift down the right – made a good interception and clearance, which Maguire did well to get on the end of. The ball was worked to Moke, who fired over.

Then Green, running on confidence, did fantastically to pick the ball up just inside his own half and drive to within 25 yards of the goal, beating three men in the process, and drive just a whisker over.

But Guiseley reminded York of their threat with a header which went just wide with Jameson rooted to the spot.

Two York corners put the visitors under pressure and Bootham Crescent bayed for a penalty as Green went down under pressure from Jones.

With two minutes left on the clock, Felix curled in the winner with the outside of his left boot first time as the ball came out of the box to him.

York: Jameson 7, Griffiths 8, Ferguson 7, Newton 7, McNulty 8 (Langstaff 75), Tait 8, Moke 7, McLaughlin 8, Burrow 7, Green 8, Kempster 7 (Maguire 59). Subs not used: Bond, Durrell, Whitley.

Goals: Green

Yellow cards: McNulty

Star man: Kieran Green. Embodied the drive and optimism York have sought the past few weeks, scored a fine solo goal and came close to a second.

Guiseley: Dewhurst, McNally, Nicholson, Jones, Bencherif, Digie, Felix, Cantrill, Soleman, Johnson (Barkers 93), Sang (Shaw 78). Subs not used: Smith, Clayton, Newall.

Goals: Bencherif

Yellow Cards: Jones

Referee: Aaron Bannister

Attendance: 3,136 (216 away supporters)