SEAN NEWTON is ready to take on the task of keeping former team-mate Elliott Durrell quiet on Saturday.

Attacking midfielder Durrell signed for the Minstermen in September of last year but did not really settle and was used just 10 times before he left for Altrincham in February.

He has enjoyed an instant impact at Alty, netting four times in four appearances - but, with Altrincham the visitors to Bootham Crescent in the National League North at the weekend, Newton is keen to prevent him making it five in five.

When told Durrell had scored in Altrincham's 4-1 win over Spennymoor Town last weekend, Newton exclaimed: "Did he? He's on fire to be fair.

"I think the 4-3-3 and where he plays for them, not having to track back, suits him.

"He's a very good player but if he's on mine and Fergy's side, it's up to us to keep him quiet."

Centre-back Newton played a starring role for the Minstermen at the weekend, scoring two fine free kicks in a largely comfortable 3-1 win at Alfreton Town and earned himself a spot in the National League North's team of the week.

It was particularly important York got a positive result in Derbyshire, having picked up just one point from the two home games the previous week. A last-minute equaliser earned a 1-1 draw against Curzon Ashton, while Hereford left Bootham Crescent with a 4-1 win.

"It was a great reaction from the two previous games," he said. "We weren't at our best. Everyone knows that and everyone let us know that.

"We just needed to make sure we got a reaction from them. It was a good performance.

"Even the goal from them, there's no doubt in my mind he was offside. That's the only negative really.

"Away from home we seem to be a different team.

"We got the first two goals and it knocked everything out of them.

"Second half, we maybe took our foot off the gas a little bit and let them into it.

"They had a couple of chances but Pistol (Pete Jameson) did what he does and the third goal killed the game.

"The good thing about football is, as bad as you were in the last game, you've always got a game in the next couple of days to put it right.

"That's what it was. The gaffer asked for a reaction and that's what he got."

There were a few surprise results at the weekend. Notably, third-placed Boston United were held to a 1-1 draw at 10-man Curzon while play-off contenders Chester lost 2-1 at basement side Bradford Park Avenue.

Second-placed King's Lynn Town picked up a 2-1 win at Gateshead but, on Tuesday, Avenue inflicted a shock 1-0 defeat on them at The Walks.

The Linnets still have three more games to play than York and sit two points off the top.

"It just shows this league," Newton said of the Saturday results. "People were probably expecting us to take six points previously. It just shows that anyone at this level can beat anyone if you don't turn up.

"We just need to look after ourselves because it's out of our hands in a way whether we finish top or not because they're in the driving seat."

Another bright point for Newton is the burgeoning return to form of striker Alex Kempster, who was recalled to the starting 11 for Hereford after beginning the previous five games on the bench. He rewarded boss Steve Watson with a goal against the Bulls and another at the Impact Arena.

Kempster - who signed from Northern League outfit Whitley Bay two years ago - is York's second-highest goalscorer, now with 10 league goals.

Prior to Tuesday, though, his tally hinged on a fantastic start to the season as he had not found the net since the early December meeting with Hereford.

"It's the highest level he's played at and his second year at full-time," Newton commented.

"He's got off to flyer and it does catch up to you when you're a young lad.

"I think the gaffer's done the right thing taking him out for a couple of weeks.

"Look at him now. He's back flying and being the Alex Kempster we know and love."