JOHN ASKEY admitted that he did believe his side could beat Brackley Town after York City’s 1-0 win at St James’ Park.

Two moments late in the first half decided the Vanarama National League North play-off semi-final.

Lenell John-Lewis forced in a rebounded opener before Peter Jameson was forced into a brilliant penalty save just a minute later.

The victory puts York 90 minutes away from promotion with either AFC Fylde or Boston United next up for City.

The Minstermen finished 21 points behind Brackley in the regular season and after a straining play-off eliminator win over Chorley in mid-week, Askey conceded his lack of confidence at progression to the final.

“It was an unbelievable performance,” the manager enthused.

“I didn’t think we could do it, to be honest. I thought (we couldn’t do it) with the games that we’d had, having played Saturday-Tuesday (for so long), because we got hit more than anything other team by games being called off over Christmas.

“But it just shows what a great amount of character that the players have got.”

John-Lewis’ crucial strike was his fifth goal in his last six matches, with the Grimsby Town loanee hitting form at the perfect moment.

“He’s been invaluable since he’s come in,” beamed Askey. “He had a bit of a blip where his form dropped a little bit but in these last eight games he’s been really good.

“But it was an all-round performance. Every man has put a shift in.”

The ugly post-match scenes seen after the play-off eliminator win over Chorley rightly made the headlines in mid-week.

However the club’s continued division-high support should not be forgotten. 600 away fans were at Brackley, with the ticket allocation selling out in just two minutes.

“For them to get their tickets and come down here, even when it’s expensive for everybody with the amount of games we’ve had, I’m really pleased for them,” Askey added.

“They’ve suffered over the last few years so if we can go one step further I’ll be a happy man.

“If we keep showing the commitment we keep showing, whoever we play next, we’ve got a great chance.”