KURT WILLOUGHBY scored his first two goals in York City colours to help the Minstermen record a superb 4-2 win over National League North rivals Chester.

With King's Lynn Town beaten 2-0 at home by Kidderminster Harriers, the win moves York to within a point of the summit, while Chester dropped to fourth.

Sean Newton got the ball rolling with a ninth-minute header, which was just reward for City's purposeful flying start. Perhaps a little disappointingly, Jamie Morgan levelled as York allowed their visitors more time on the ball, but Kieran Green soon restored the hosts' advantage.

Willoughby netted the first of his brace five minutes before the break after which George Glendon got Chester's second. With just over half an hour remaining, Willoughby glanced a gorgeous header in to lighten concerns of a Chester comeback.

An occasionally firey affair, Morgan was sent off for a second bookable offence and Anthony Dudley picked up a yellow late on after clattering Kallum Griffiths.

Steve Watson made two changes to the squad from last weekend’s 1-0 win over Kettering Town, with Adriano Moke returning to the starting 11. Dan Maguire dropped to the bench while Elliott Durrell was left out of the team altogether, young centre-back Josh King taking his place among the substitutes.

Chester joint-managers Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson opted for more of a shake-up from the 2-0 midweek defeat at Gateshead. Jamie Morgan was reintroduced into the backline for his first start since the end of December.

He was one of four changes, with captain Scott Burton, George Glendon and Elton Ngwatala also coming into the starting line-up after being on the bench for Gateshead.

With 16 league goals prior to kick off, Dutch striker Akwasi Asante was named up front.

York started like a freight train and had their first effort on goal after just 40 seconds. Good link-up play between Joe Tait, Kallum Griffiths and Kieran Green produced a corner. Sean Newton helped on Paddy McLaughlin’s cross and Kurt Willoughby flicked over his head and wide.

The high wind was having a noticeable impact on the game. A long York ball forward hung up and Simon Grand’s header back to keeper Russ Griffiths was not strong enough, allowing Jordan Burrow to sneak in behind and get away a snap shot. It was saved and Willoughby curled just over.

The hosts’ intense start was rewarded after nine minutes. The third of a succession of Kallum Griffiths corners was lofted into the area and Newton rose the highest to nod into the bottom right corner.

Asante almost had a sight of goal a couple of minutes after when John Johnstone deftly flicked him through into the box between Steve McNulty and Joe Tait but Pete Jameson was well placed to calmly collect.

However, York had dropped off and allowed Chester more time on the ball. After quarter of an hour, the scores were levelled when Morgan collected in midfield and drilled low to Jameson’s right.

Six minutes later, City were back in front. The Minstermen had enjoyed a more threatening period of possession, and another set of corners caused more trouble for Chester. They struggled to clear, and Tait collected the ball in the area after one defensive header went backwards. His dinked cross was met by Green, who powered his header back across keeper Griffiths and into the bottom corner.

City thought they had made it three midway through the half. Ferguson delivered a superb low ball into the box and Burrow had all the space he could have wanted to calmly slot in, but the linesman’s flag was up.

After having been caught offside twice before, Willoughby this time beat the trap after half an hour to meet McLaughlin’s ball forward, which again had held up kindly in the wind. The loanee shook off the immediate attentions of Grand, but the defender had the final say when he got enough on Willoughby’s effort for Griffiths to gather with no trouble.

At the back, McNulty had to be alert and well-positioned to prevent a cross reaching Asante in the six-yard box before Joel Taylor sent a long-range effort sailing into the top of the David Longhurst Stand.

With five minutes to go to half-time, Willoughby made it three. A mix-up at the back allowed Green into the area and his ball across bobbled all the way to the back post where Willoughby was able to tap in the simple finish.

Willoughby had a couple of opportunities within the opening five minutes of the second to impact the game further. He was first held off by good defending from Danny Livesey as he looked to latch onto Burrow’s flick on, before being played through on the edge of the box by Green, but his cross was behind everyone in the area.

Glendon pulled back a second for Chester 10 minutes after the restart. A ball into the area was not dealt with and Glendon picked out Jameson’s bottom right corner.

Just before the hour mark, Willoughby restored York’s two-goal cushion. Moke spun away from Johnston on the halfway line and teed up Newton for a glove-stinging effort from range. Newton collected the rebound and crossed perfectly first-time into the area, where Willoughby glanced a header inside Griffiths’ left-hand post.

With just over 20 minutes remaining, Chester’s task became harder as Morgan received a second yellow for a heavy challenge on Ferguson.

There was to be no hat-trick for Willoughby, whose final major involvement was a goalbound flicked effort from Newton’s cross easily saved. He went off the field to a standing ovation, replaced by Dan Maguire.

Maguire almost had a chance of goal soon after following neat link-up play with Green, but the latter’s through ball was overhit and Griffiths cleared ahead of the onrushing striker.

Otherwise, the attacking thrill of York’s earlier play had mostly subsided as the game entered its closing stages. Chester saw a bit more of the ball as they were under les pressure, but never looked like scoring another.

York: Jameson 7, Griffiths 7, Ferguson 7, Newton 8, McNulty 8, Tait 8, Moke 8, McLaughlin 6, Burrow, Green 8 (Bond 7, 84), Willoughby 8 (Maguire 7 73). Subs not used: Langstaff, Kempster, King.

Star man: Kurt Willoughby. A man who is finding his way back into competitive football following injury, but twice found himself in excellent positions to get the goals his work-rate merited.

Goals: Newton, Green, Willoughby 2

Yellow cards: Griffiths

Chester: Griffiths, Morgan, Taylor, Burton (Stopforth 67), Livesey, Grand, Jackson, Glendon, Asante, Johnston (Dudley 67), Ngwatala (Jones 52). Subs not used: K Roberts, G Roberts.

Goals: Morgan, Glendon

Yellow cards: Morgan, Dudley

Red cards: Morgan

Referee: Scott Tallis

Attendance: 3,543 (677 away supporters)