YORK City boss Steve Watson has admitted an attacking shake-up on Saturday was a bit of a risk - but saw it pay dividends against Blyth Spartans.

In response to the Minstermen's 2-1 defeat at Boston United in midweek, Watson brought striker Kurt Willoughby back into the starting 11 and shifted the left-sided Mackenzie Heaney over to the right.

Olly Dyson played in the hole.

And the three gave City a real dynamism going forward, particularly man-of-the-match Heaney, who seemed to relish cutting inside on his favoured left foot.

Heaney was the first of the three to get on the scoresheet, netting just before the half-hour mark, while Willoughby tapped in a perfect Dyson cross to round off a dominant 4-0 win.

“We didn’t have a lot of time to work on it," said Watson. "We had a pretty disrupted week. We more or less talked about it and put it into play.

“It was a little bit of a gamble, I suppose, but they’ve done really well.

“When you lose a game, you don’t create as much as usual and you only score a goal from a set play, you look at how you can change things and mix things up.

“Kurt’s showed to great effect that coming in on his right foot is a position he really enjoys and we thought we’d try it with Mackenzie on the other side.

“He got his goal, he created a number of chances for us, and probably had one flying into the top corner when it hit the guy in the face.

“As the game wore on, we swapped them back to get some width and get some balls in the box when you’ve got people like Becky (Mark Beck) coming on.

“It’s just good to know we’ve got options."

With the defensive injuries he faces, Watson's forward department is the only area on the field where he can chop and change.

A starter on Tuesday night, Beck was left on the bench for Blyth, replacing Willoughby in the 73rd minute. Youngster Kyle Lancaster also got a 17-minute run-out after he replaced Donaldson, looking sprightly indeed.

There was another quickfire change to be made at the back, where Mitch Hancox has been brought in to supplement Scott Barrow in the left-back's continued absence.

The 27-year-old joined the Minstermen on a one-month loan from National League North rivals Hereford on Friday, and was thrown straight in for his debut in the red shirt on Saturday.

Blyth barely tested him at all defensively, and he was quite reserved going forward - though that could be explained by the circumstances of his recruitment.

"He has never trained with the boys, he never met them until (Saturday)," Watson said. "I thought he was comfortable. He knows the game. I think he's 30-odd times in the Championship for Birmingham.

"He never put himself in any danger. He's a really combative sort of player and he gives the odd foul away, which he did in the first half.

"To be able to get somebody like him at the time we needed him, I was delighted to get that one done."

Watson's left-back headaches are not quite over yet, though, as Hancox is cup-tied ahead of City's FA Cup first round proper tie against Buxton this coming Saturday.

"Mitch won't be able to play next week, which is another decision we have to make," added Watson.

"But Sean Newton's getting closer and closer. That will probably be his last full week's training he'll need before we can think about pushing him in to the team."

One who has stood in for Barrow is Paddy McLaughlin, who heralded his return to central midfield by scoring the third-minute opener.

The 30-year-old was as energetic as anybody in York's midfield and poked home from a long Clayton Donaldson throw into the box - a set play which also brought the equaliser at Boston on Tuesday, when Michael Woods finished from close range.

"He'd been here about six weeks before we realised he had a throw like that," Watson smiled.

"We don't want to send centre-halves every time we get a throw in the opposition half but when you've got a weapon like that, you test it out early on and it couldn't have worked better."