YORK City's miserable few days continued as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Leamington in National League North.

First-half goals from Dan Turner and Kelsey Mooney sealed the fate of the Minstermen, who were hoping to put Saturday's FA Cup defeat to Buxton behind them.

No such luck, and it was many of the same failings at both ends of the pitch that let them down.

City could have gone to fourth with victory at the New Windmill Ground. Instead, they dropped to 10th and Leamington joined the top quartet.

John Askey, a former Macclesfield Town stalwart and later manager of the Silkmen, was in the crowd to watch the game ahead of joining the management team on a temporary basis later in the week.

There were three changes on the field for the Minstermen, who welcomed Mitch Hancox, Jason Gilchrist and Mark Beck into the side, which shaped up in a 3-5-2 formation.

Hereford loanee Hancox, who was cup-tied for Saturday’s defeat, went in as left wing-back, allowing Sean Newton to move from left-back to the left of a back three also containing Matty Brown and Sam Fielding. Harrison Hopper was at right wing-back.

Strikers Beck and Gilchrist were favoured over Kurt Willoughby and Clayton Donaldson, who started the day on the bench, while injured attacking midfielder Olly Dyson missed out entirely.

Akil Wright returned to the centre of midfield alongside Paddy McLaughlin and Mackenzie Heaney.

Alex Prosser, whose loan from National League North high-fliers Brackley Town was announced an hour before kick off, was one of three changes for the Brakes following their 2-0 league win at Blyth Spartans.

Devon Kelly-Evans – the brother of Notts County whippet Dion Kelly-Evans who played against York in pre-season – dropped to the bench despite his weekend goal.

After a lively start from both sides, Leamington took an early lead. A long throw down the line was nodded on into the path of Dan Turner, whose first effort was blocked by Brown, but he got a second chance and curled it with some pace beyond Pete Jameson.

Heaney, who had caused Brakes keeper Jake Weaver to flap at a swirling free kick as City started well, then blazed one over after strong work from Gilchrist as York looked to respond quickly. The move was kicked off by a swift ball forward from Hancox.

City were playing early doors like a team who correctly guessed they had a point to prove. Leamington were running on distilled confidence.

It was an intensely watchable opening which lacked any sustained control from either side, though after Jack Edwards’ quarter-hour header from a corner flashed past Jameson’s right-hand post, City started to get their foot on the ball.

Wright, freed from the shackles of defence, showed brilliant tight control to beat a couple of Leamington attackers before winning a free kick from Prosser, who cleaned him out when well beaten by another good Wright touch.

Gilchrist had a good chance following a fine piece of play from Hancox, whipping a ball across from Jameson’s quick clearance but the stretching striker got well under it and put it handsomely over. The same fate befell a decent Newton volley.

But as close as York were getting to the Leamington goal, they were too lax in front of their own and, from a quick ball forward, Turner skipped through a crowded area where Kelsey Mooney was well placed to hammer home from close range.

York were in disarray heading into half-time, McLaughlin picking up a yellow for clipping Dan Meredith’s heels as the defender looked to break forward and Jack Lane came close to getting his head on the free kick. Prosser fired wide as the ball was recycled.

At the other end, another Heaney put another dangerous free kick too close to keeper Weaver.

It was an all-too-familiar tale for York - nothing dropped for a stranded attack, there was little drive from midfield, and a sticking-plaster defence just too fragile.

City started the second half with more drive, but were still fell foul of both errors in out of possession. On the ball, quick passing more often ended with the ball ending up trapped under the feet of City players, and when Heaney tripped himself up trying to beat Meredith, it destined to be one of those for York.

Still, the visitors gave it a good go, and after a decent spell of attacking play, York must have thought a goal had arrived when Brown arrowed a header to Weaver’s top-left corner from a Fielding corner – but the Brakes keeper somehow clawed the ball off his goal line.

Half-time substitute Willoughby then had a golden opportunity to get on the scoresheet in the 67th minute. Beck nodded on Jameson’s long ball forward, Heaney collected in space in the area and delivered a perfectly weighted ball to an unmarked Willoughby on the penalty spot, only for the striker to side-foot wide.

That looked to be the death knell for York’s hopes, even with 20 minutes remaining. Once Leamington relieved the pressure, composure and imagination left York. The Minstermen had started the game with a steely determination; Heaney’s slumped shoulders as another ball ran away from him told the story at the end of the game.

Leamington: Weaver, Meredith, Morley, Clarke, Morrison, Lane, Parker (Anderson 84), Prosser (Willis 83), Mooney (Kelly-Evans 77), Edwards, Turner. Subs not used: Cooke, English.

Goals: Turner (5), Mooney (33)

Yellow cards: Prosser, Mooney, Clarke

York: Jameson 5, Newton 4, Brown 5, McLaughlin 4, Gilchrist 5 (Donaldson 4, HT), Hopper 4 (Willoughby 4, 59), Heaney 5, Beck 4, Fielding 4, Wright 5, Hancox 5. Subs not used: Haase, Campbell, Cunningham.

Star man: Mackenzie Heaney. The midfielder gave plenty of effort to a lost cause. A pity his on-and-off skill was not matched by composure in the final third.

Yellow cards: McLaughlin

Referee: Sam Mulhall

Stats for Leamington / York

Shots (on target): 10 (3) / 15 (4)

Corners: 4 / 4

Offsides: 1 / 1

Fouls: 10 / 9

Yellow cards: 3 / 1