YORK City were made to work for it at lower-league Ossett United but they got the job done 1-0 in their penultimate game of pre-season.

Kurt Willoughby's 53rd-minute goal, tucking home after Michael Woods had made it near-impossible for him to miss, was the difference between City and their Northern Premier League east division hosts.

In a bid to have a first-choice senior team fit for Saturday's trip to Notts County, City went with a young and unfamiliar side featuring just four regular first-team players.

Here are five things we learnt.

1. City will need that grit next season...

York have treated spectators to some fine fixtures in recent weeks, an unbeaten run at the LNER Community Stadium against North East giants Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough a particular jewel from the past few seasons.

Tuesday's encounter was much less easy on the eye but more the sort of encounter York are going to face during this coming National League North campaign.

The physicality of the West Yorkshire outfit quite literally brought York players down to the leaden earth with a bump.

2. ... and they have shown they can use it

City were on top but did not have the game their own way anywhere near as much as they or their travelling supporters would have wanted.

But barring a couple of flash points and hopeful hits, keeper Ryan Whitley and substitute Maison Campbell went fairly untroubled as York toiled away on the edge of the final third.

When the chance arrived, Michael Woods showed class to set up Willoughby for a simple finish to see the game out.

No doubt tougher tests will come along - last season's win over a brutal Kettering Town outfit springs to mind - but then York will not be fielding a side as inexperienced as Tuesday's if they can help it.

3. This front line can play long

Overused, it is far from what paying punters want to see, but sometimes the long ball to the target man is a necessity. As the butchered saying begins, when in National League North...

And there was something reassuring about striker Mark Beck's presence under a long lump forwards, while the darting Willoughby showed he can keep possession until reinforcements arrive. Clayton Donaldson, who did not play on Tuesday, is also strong the ball.

City might have more success than in previous campaigns with the long ball - just as long as it is used sparingly.

4. Clear-cut chances are still frustratingly hard to come by

Of York's 12 chances on goal, not many more than a handful would have registered highly on the in-vogue 'expected goals' metric.

Two of those efforts were worryingly snatched at from inside the area by Woods - who is still waiting for his first 90 minutes of pre-season - while Mackenzie Heaney sent a long-range effort mightily off-target.

Marksman Beck barely had a look-in.

5. Scott Barrow will be a miss

The left-back was absent on Tuesday with an Achilles injury, and thus unable to balance out fellow experienced full-back Michael Duckworth on the other side.

After a tough 2020/21 campaign, the pair have started pre-season promisingly, Barrow providing the two assists for both York goals against Middlesbrough.