YORK City Knights finally made their bow at the LNER Community Stadium on Thursday night in a 28-22 pre-season friendly defeat to Hull FC. Here’s five things we learned from the match.

1. There’s little doubting York’s character

A feature of the Knights’ run to the Betfred Championship play-offs in 2019 was their ability to get over the line in tight games. All seven victories from the final nine games were won by eight points or less.

While York couldn’t quite snatch a result against Hull - had Jack Teanby stayed onside in the final minute they would have done - they performed admirably to cut the 22-point deficit.

It must be said that Hull were without their more established names for the second period. At the same time though, York had teenagers AJ Towse and Myles Harrison - both on community dual registration from Heworth - in their side, so they weren’t at full strength either.

Having gone 12-0 down inside 10 minutes and being four scores behind after an hour, York could have caved in. But, that’s not a feature of Ford’s side, who rallied to score three tries without reply.

2. A promising start from Brendan O’Hagan

You’d have been hard-pushed to find a British hardcore rugby league fan that had heard of Brendan O’Hagan prior to signing for York. But Ford looks to have unearthed a gem, if he can build upon these early signs.

Judging a player on a pre-season friendly would be foolish, of course, though O’Hagan’s high kicking caused several problems from Hull’s back three.

His grubber work was impressive too, setting up Tyme Dow-Nikau’s try and, had Teanby stayed onside, he’d have assisted the leveller.

He was a deserved winner of the Our League Man of the Match.

3. Half-back pairing yet to be resolved

The question now for Ford is: Who will partner O’Hagan in the halves?

Warrington loanee Riley Dean played 50 minutes and bagged the club’s first try at their new home - a brilliantly worked move he started and finished.

Yet Matty Marsh’s kicking caused Hull countless problems in the second half and, as a former half, it’s a position he knows inside out.

In Ben Jones-Bishop, York have great cover at full-back, though whether Ford will move Marsh from the position he top-scored at in 2019 remains to be seen.

4. The LNER Community Stadium is immense…

Back in 2015, it is easy to forget, York City Knights were without a permanent home ground.

In his maiden season, James Ford led his League 1 side out at amateur clubs and opposition grounds in order to fulfil their fixtures.

On Thursday night, he watched on from a glorious 8,500-seater stadium at a team he’s built that was on the verge of Super League in 2019 and now boasts many ex-stars of the top-flight.

How far the Knights have come in such a short space of time is testament to the coaching craft of Ford and the strategic direction of chairman Jon Flatman.

5. … But there are areas for improvement

Of course, like in any home move, there were teething problems.

The clock on the big screen was behind in the first-half and then both the clock and scoreboard were abandoned altogether for the second-half.

Those issues should be ironed out by time, one would expect.