“WE weren’t good enough in front of goal and that’s the simple reason why we didn’t win the game today.”

So said manager Steve Watson as York City’s promotion hopes came to an end after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Altrincham in their National League North play-off semi-final.

An early strike from Josh Hancock and third goal at Bootham Crescent this season for Tom Peers saw Altrincham progress at York’s expense.

As Watson neatly summarised, York had plenty of chances in the game, with strikers Alex Kempster, Jordan Burrow and Dan Maguire all having major opportunities during the 90 minutes.

Goal-scoring has been a recurrent problem for the Minstermen. Five other sides scored more goals than them in the regular season while York were the only team not to score a goal in the play-offs.

York Press: Upset for Adriano Moke at the final whistleUpset for Adriano Moke at the final whistle

“We did a lot right and I don’t think that there was a great deal in the game,” reflected Watson.

“I think on chances created, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist, I think you’ve got the stats between you all.

“But that kind of sums up the reason why we didn’t win the league before points per game came into play.

“That’s not pointing the fingers at any particular positions, I’m talking about as a group, if you look over this season at the amount of balls that we’ve had fizzed across the goal from David Ferguson and Griff (Kallum Griffiths) and the amount of great balls in we’ve had from set pieces.

“We simply haven’t scored enough goals. We haven’t scored enough goals from set pieces, we haven’t scored enough goals from midfield, we haven’t scored enough goals from the wing-backs.

“We’ve scored goals from the strikers. Could they have scored more? They possibly could.

York Press: Manager Steve WatsonManager Steve Watson

“Ultimately that’s the reason why we went into the play-offs.

“It was a bitter pill to swallow. I don’t think there was a great deal between the teams.

“One of things that I wrote on the wall in there (the dressing room) was ‘We must score’.

“We can’t win a cup final, which is what this is, unless you a score a goal and that’s where we find ourselves.

“Goal-scorers scoring goals are why people win leagues.

“We’ve been strong enough with our shape throughout the season, taking away the odd game, like Hereford at home and Boston away.

“Our defensive record, as a team, would stand up to anything in the country probably.

“That’s the reason that we haven’t gone up automatically in this situation, the fact that we haven’t scored enough goals from all areas.”

Kempster’s chance, before Hancock’s opener, was arguably York’s best. The ball fell to the forward from close range but he could only find the stand.

Watson said: “I think Alex has got himself into a great position but maybe not realised, maybe (it’s) how young he is.

“It was a big game for him. Maybe he could have taken a touch. He’ll not want me or anyone else to remind him of that because he knows himself.”