YORK City confirmed their spot in the Vanarama National League North play-offs with a 2-1 win over AFC Fylde.

Lenell John-Lewis gave York a deserved lead towards the end of a good first half before Fylde’s danger man Ben Tollitt equalised a quarter of an hour into the second.

But Mitch Hancox popped up with a superb finish just minutes later to score what ultimately became the vital winning goal.

Fylde came on strongly during six minutes of added time but were unable to breach the resilient Minstermen, who had controlled the large part of the game.

The question now is whether, with their upcoming final game of the season, City can squeeze above Chorley and into fifth place.

York boss John Askey made two changes from the team that won late on at Farsley Celtic on Saturday, with goalscorer Lenell John-Lewis coming in for Kurt Willoughby.

Meanwhile Clayton Donaldson – who netted at the Citadel his first goal in 13 games at the Citadel – began the day on the substitutes’ bench as Jack McKay returned to the

That win put York within one win of securing their place in the play-offs, where Fylde were already firmly entrenched.

It was nearly all change for the third-placed Coasters’ line-up from their goalless draw with Kettering Town at the weekend. The only player to keep his place in the starting 11 was keeper Bobby Jones as all 10 others were either promoted from the bench or brought fresh into the side.

Of the side that started in York’s 2-0 win earlier in the season at Mill Farm, just four remained in Monday’s team, including star winger Ben Tollitt. Top scorer Nick Haughton began the day on the bench.

York came flying out of the blocks on Monday. A couple of very early throw ins for Scott Barrow – one of which was put wide by John-Lewis – were followed by some good intense, dynamic football. Mitch Hancox switched play delightfully with some pinged balls out to Maz Kouhyar, while the former Hereford man was pulled up for taking a free kick before referee Dean Watson was ready.

City were enjoying the better of the football as the midway point of the half approached but their only real chances to speak of were both comfortably stopped efforts from John-Lewis.

At times, perhaps things were a bit too fast as Hancox and Sam Sanders both put balls out of play under limited pressure. Fylde came into the game much more as the half went on, winning the game’s first corner, but failing to pressure freshly minted Clubman of the Year Pete Jameson’s goal.

In the final 10 minutes of the half, City came back to life and threatened twice through McKay, who should have done better with his first chance – a strike of the bouncing ball following a good John-Lewis lay-off – before hitting the outside of a post with a turn and volley from inside the area.

John-Lewis was instrumental in setting up both of those with strong hold-up play and aerial presence, and his own chance at goal was not long in coming. Winger Maz Kouhyar whipped in an inswinging cross from the right wing, and John-Lewis had only to glance it into the Jones’s bottom-right corner.

York finished the half on a high with their first two corners of the game, the second of which was delivered wickedly, flat and hard across the goalline by Kouhyar.

The second half took a while to get going, staccato play punctuated by a couple of City corners which seemed to come from nowhere, and return there without troubling Jones.

Tollitt provided the spark for Fylde shortly after their 57th-minute triple substitution, which introduced Haughton and Danny Philliskirk to the action. Tollitt first cut in and fired off a warning shot which cleared the bar before – from nearly the same action – he drilled low to Jameson’s right.

But parity lasted just seven minutes. As the game took on a bit more of a competitive edge, Hancox strode towards the edge of the area and unleashed a fine left-footed effort beyond Jones from a tricky angle.

City took that as their cue to perk up, and they regained control of the game. John-Lewis had a cross snatched off his forehead by Jones while Philliskirk picked up a yellow card for an ungainly challenge on McLaughlin.

Fylde came on strongly at the end looking for the equaliser but Jameson showed just why he is so highly valued by spreading himself well to block from Tollitt, who was through on goal following a mistake by Kouogun.

York: Jameson 8, Dyson 8, Kouogun 8, Sanders 8, Barrow 8, McLaughlin 7, Wright 8, Hancox 8 (Woods 85), Kouhyar 8, John-Lewis 8 (Donaldson 90), McKay 7 (Willoughby 7, 63). Subs not used: Campbell, Brown.

Star man: Lenell John-Lewis. There were plenty of candidates to choose from. John-Lewis, particularly in the first half, was impressive in hold-up play, created a few good chances and deserved his goal.

Goals: John-Lewis (38), Hancox (69)

Yellow cards: McLaughlin

Fylde: Jones, Burke, Obi, Tollitt, Joyce, Shaw, Perkins, Dobbie (Haughton 57), Gregson (Taylor 57), Stott, Slew (Philliskirk 57). Subs not used: Morrison, Evans.

Goals: Tollitt

Yellow cards: Shaw, Philliskirk, Stott

Referee: Dean Watson.

Attendance: 4,387 (153)

Match stats for York | Fylde

Shots (on target): 12 (3) | 6 (3); Corners: 3 | 3; Offsides: 1 | 0; Fouls: 7 | 13; Yellow cards: 1 | 3