YORK City Knights came from behind to steal a 16-14 victory against Widnes Vikings at the DCBL Stadium.

York led for just seven minutes of their 36-34 victory over London Broncos last time out while here in Widnes they found themselves in front for only five minutes.

Despite making several errors and struggling for any control or composure to numerous end of sets, they found a way to win.

Widnes were deservedly 14-4 ahead at half time but failed to kick on thereafter. And while York hardly fully capitalised on that indecision, they found a way to win with two rare moments of quality in attack.

Reminiscent of the 2019 side which finished third in the Betfred Championship, the Knights retained their spot in third in the current standings, now trailing leaders Featherstone Rovers by just three points.

Even with five changes from the youthful side which edged past London, they struggled to win at a canter.

Teenagers Toby Warren, Brad Ward and Myles Harrison dropped out along with Sam Davis, who has been loaned to the Broncos until the end of the season, and injured Jacob Ogden.

The forwards rested last week, Will Jubb, Masi Matongo, Ronan Dixon and Jack Teanby returned while Joe Brown was back on the wing. Bailey Antrobus moved from the second-row into the centres.

For Widnes, Jack Owens returned at full-back after an injury-plagued season that had restricted him to just two appearances this year, but it was their halves that caused York early problems.

Danny Craven and Matty Smith combined through the middle with the former putting the latter through the line. Smith returned the favour to put Craven in on his 200th career appearance.

Owens scored his only conversion of the match afterwards.

York only got back into the game from the back of a couple of kick-fire penalties. That gave them the field position for Joe Brown to show good feet in the corner to step inside and out to finish.

Jamie Ellis was wide from the touchline conversion.

The Knights came close to going in front when Matty Marsh collected Ellis’ neat inside ball but Towse dropped the full-back’s tough pass.

Widnes responded with a chance of their own. Straight from a scrum, Brad Holroyd went for the corner but was put in touch by James Glover.

Five minutes later, Holroyd again looked for the corner of the field, this time making it in-goal, but had the effort chalked off for a forward pass by Owens.

The Vikings had better success down the right flank, scoring twice through Ryan Ince in the space of six minutes down that side.

AJ Towse was punished for rushing out of the line, with Ince profiting, before the same winger crossed from a lovely show of hands.

Twice Owens failed to land the conversion, crucially so as it would later prove.

On the stroke of the break, York were handed a boost as Craven saw a yellow card for repetitive holding.

Early in the second half though, the Knights struggled to make that man advantage count, with so much loose play on the last tackle.

Marsh put Towse in down the left side but the assister’s pass was ruled forward.

Through a mix of good fortune and the benefit of the additional man, York had plenty of good ball but struggled to make it count, often due to a lack of composure or quality on the last.

The image of the opening first 15 minutes of the second half was seeing Liam Harris visibly call for his team-mates to calm down in possession.

On 56 minutes, the Knights finally closed the gap. On the back of a penalty, York lost nearly every physical battle through the middle and Widnes then rushed Ellis into a cross-field kick.

But it was good enough to pick out Brown who jumped high and finished strongly on the right side. Ellis added the first of two pivotal conversions.

The Vikings rallied to win a goal-line drop-out but struggled to make inroads down the York right as they had done before the break and they too lacked some composure when in sight of the line.

The visitors’ cause appeared lost particularly when the often impressive Will Jubb rushed a dummy-half pass and Widnes then raced 20m out, but coughed up the ball.

Trailing by four minutes with almost as many minutes left, York finally produced one moment of class in attack.

Harris dummied through the line and handed off for James Glover, who conjured a mazy run through the Widnes defence before tremendously offloading for Marsh to touch down.

The score came from nowhere and after 75 minutes of largely unsuccessful attacks and being second-best to Widnes in virtually every department, Ellis nudged his side in front for the first time.

There was still time for some late drama as Teanby dropped the restart and Widnes won a late drop-out.

Unable to make the pressure count however, York somehow, perhaps even to their own disbelief, finished as winners.

Widnes: Owens, Ince, Fleming, Edge, Holroyd, Craven, Smith, Farnworth, Fozard, Field, Davies, Wilde, Brown.

Subs (all used): Doro, Lyons, Lawton, Baker.

Tries: Craven (2’), Ince (30’, 36’)

Goals: Owens (1/3)

Sin-bin: Craven (40’)

York: Marsh, Towse, Glover, Antrobus, Towse, Ellis, Harris, Pauli, Jubb, Teanby, Clarkson, Kirmond, Thompson.

Subs (all used): Matongo, Dixon, Stock, Porter.

Tries: Brown (13’, 56’), Marsh (75’)

Goals: Ellis (2/3)

York’s star man: James Glover. Provided the moment of class late on with a mazy run to set up Marsh’s winning try.

Referee: Ben Thaler

Attendance: Not given

Penalties/Six-agains: 3-4

Goal-line drop-outs: 3-0