YORK City Knights were beaten 16-12 by Featherstone Rovers as their wait for a first win at the LNER Community Stadium goes on.

Here are five things we learnt from the dramatic 80 minutes.

1. More positives than negatives for York

The defeat and its manner will justifiably have left York’s players crestfallen in the immediate aftermath, but there remained plenty of positives for the Knights.

To have gone toe-to-toe with the unbeaten Betfred Championship, in a performance that was not near their best, as James Ford later admitted, is a clear sign for optimism.

Also cause for optimism is that the game was decided by the bounce after a missed field goal, further showing York’s proximity to the division’s best sides.

2. Another cracker in the Championship

For years, Championship afficionados have talked up the prospect of the division having its own broadcast deal and, putting aside the financial viability thereof, once again the competition served up an enthralling match.

This year, the majority of teams look evenly matched and, barring Toulouse and Featherstone, there could well be as many as seven or eight sides vying for the remaining four play-off spots.

Expect more thrilling action to come.

3. Ryan Atkins looks an inspired signing

The performances of Ryan Atkins continue to get better and better. Although he was unable to get on the scoresheet this week, Atkins’ display was a huge positive for York.

Injuries to Danny Kirmond and Tim Spears meant that the outside backs were given greater responsibilities for their carries, and Atkins certainly delivered by making plenty of metres.

The ex-Warrington Wolves centre is also not shy to offload, and he managed to keep Knights attacks alive with some clever handling.

For Atkins, now 35, it appears that class is indeed permanent.

4. York continue to be dogged by injury problems

While it may feel like a shirking of responsibility to consistently talk about injury, in York’s case, it seems only fair to highlight their struggles this year.

It is not just the players that they have been unable to call upon through injury that has harmed their cause, but that a fair percentage of these injuries have left York missing players in a match’s final stages.

Against Featherstone both Kirmond (head knock) and Spears (calf) were unable to play as many minutes as they would have liked.

With more players expected to be fit for this weekend’s trip to Widnes Vikings, hopefully the injury picture can be brighter.

5. Hope for consistency in key areas

Due to the aforementioned injury concerns, compounded by players being recalled from loan spells, York have had to chop and change through their spine, where one would hope for consistency and key combinations to be built.

At the weekend, Kieran Dixon went again from wing to full-back after Connor Wynne’s return to Hull FC.

While his efforts under the high ball were laudable, his attempts at twice tackling double try-scorer Gareth Gale were less so and he will feel disappointed when he watches those back.

Should O’Hagan and Brining return at Widnes, we should start to finally see players featuring in their best positions again.