STEVE WATSON has admitted York City made "hard work of the second half", but says Bradford Park Avenue's last-minute goal tarnished the result.

The manager was positive about his side's performance as goals from Macaulay Langstaff and Jordan Burrow saw off the National League North strugglers 2-1.

Once again, Watson was left ruing his a lack of efforts on goal, but was pleased to see York improve again in that area.

Bradford - who had been beaten 5-0 on Saturday - defied York fans' expectations and hopes by frustrating City and keeping the score at 1-0 until Burrows' 80th-minute strike. The frustration was audible from Bootham Crescent each time the ball went backwards or the brakes were put on an attack.

Watson said: "Somebody shouted earlier, 'You have to take criticism'.

"I'm the most self-critical man you'll probably meet in football - I was as a player and I am as a manager.

"I'm under no illusion we made such hard work of it in the second half, but it wasn't a tactical thing.

"It was the case that when they had a bit of a leg-up and pressure on us - which teams are going to do no matter how far up the league you are - the lads didn't respond as well as we keep working on them doing.

"Kieran gave the ball away a couple of times and Kallum gave the ball away, and each time, it was met with almighty negativity.

"I turned round and almost had to giggle, otherwise I'll get fumingly angry, and that'll rub off on the players as well.

"Kieran nearly didn't play today, he was ill all night, but I said to him, 'With the way you're playing, can you give us a good 60 minutes?' and he did, and he nearly scored again.

"We need to get to the bottom of it. We've got an opportunity now, maybe not before Southport, to look at things and the three lads coming back from loan and where Dan is at."

He added: "When the fans get nervy, that's why the players get nervy.

"Whether it was one or 2-0 today, (their goal) was on full time.

"Alex held his hand up. You need to look after the ball better in those situations.

"It made the score go from another comfortable 2-0 to what looks like we were hanging on for dear life."

On the game as a whole, Watson said: "I thought we played very well first half and we started the second half within 10 seconds with a shot on goal (through Langstaff).

"They changed the way they played and had more possession in their half but they didn't get beyond us.

"I wouldn't say we made hard work of it in that they never really looked like breaking us down.

"For all our forward play and positivity, we didn't test their keeper enough. That's the story of what I've said a lot of times.

"I don't know how many times we missed chances to hit the target and good opportunities.

"Other times we haven't got on the end of them.

"I thought we got a lot today, especially in the first half.

"We still had chances second half."