JAMES FORD said that he was “heartened” by the effort of his York City Knights side as they came up short in a 18-12 defeat to London Broncos at Bootham Crescent.

The loss extends York’s winless start to the season to four games but there was little more endeavour or chances that the Knights could have created in a remarkable game for large periods.

London took all of their three early chances to lead 18-0 after 25 minutes but York fought back to make it 18-12 at the break.

In the second half, it was the Knights who created almost all of the opportunities, though somehow the visitors defence held firm for 40 minutes.

“I’ve taken a lot of positives from that and I’m really heartened by our efforts and our performance against a really good side,” reflected Ford.

“I thought that it was a really good game of highly quality game and both teams completed (their sets) fairly high, kicking well and defending tough and both sides were difficult to break down.

“We’ve taken a lot from it.

“But we conceded a couple of preventable tries early on, Rhys Curran has come through us, which is disappointing.

“We created that situation with probably a lack of composure in their 10, with an error to end the set.

“But that’s how close we are.

“We’re so close to playing really well and we’re so close to being a good side.”

“The boys in there (the dressing room) are really disappointed, they’re disappointed not to have got the result.

“And I’ve just how proud I am of their efforts and highlighted that they need to keep believing in themselves because they are very close to being a good side and winning these games.

“There’s been four of five, I wouldn’t call them half chances, where we’ve been held up, passed slightly off target or kicked a little bit short or a little bit far.

“We’ve been really, really close.

“But, ultimately, games between good sides are won and lost by fine margins.”

After the 28-4 defeat at Halifax, when the Knights never seemed in the game after falling behind, Ford has called for “resilience and togetherness”, a trait that was in large supply against London.

Matty Marsh scored the two tries that put York back in the game before the break.

“We didn’t do an awful lot wrong to be honest to be 18-0 down, it was a strange situation to be in,” he said.

“A weak side capitulates in that game and it (the score line) blows out. But we didn’t do that, we stuck at it and hung in there.

“We showed an awful lot of resilience and awful lot of togetherness, aided by a really vocal crowd – I thought that they were fantastic.

“We fought our way back in. I thought that our bench was good when they came on.

“And Marshy is someone that I’m really pleased for because he’s been in a lot of really good positions where he’s supported half breaks and clean breaks and he’s not quite getting what he deserves for his efforts.

“We spoke in the week about if you get a little turn or two, you’ll probably get four (tries) in one game.

“I don’t why, but it’s how it happens. You get that little bit of luck and hopefully that’s a positive sign for Marshy and the team too.”

The second half was a remarkable sight, with York creating wave after wave of pressure, but to no avail in the end.

“Unfortunately we just lacked a little bit of creativity and organisation in their 10,” said Ford.

“But that’s the hardest place on the field to attack because there’s two extra defenders on their line.

“We’re working on it and I’m really confident in the players attitudes and the culture of the club that we’ll continue to work hard and we’ll be better in that area.”