YORK City remain winless in pre-season after falling to a 4-0 loss to Macclesfield at the Leasing.com Stadium.

James Berry’s early first-half strike, as well as a second-half brace from Tom Clare and an additional goal from Neil Kengni, were enough for the hosts to win their sixth pre-season game of seven.

York meanwhile fell to their fourth successive defeat, after losing 3-2 to Middlesbrough, 4-1 to Bradford City and 1-0 to Guiseley in their previous friendlies.

It is of course worth noting that pre-season results do not dictate how a regular season will unravel. 

City were able to beat Newcastle United, ‘Boro and Notts County ahead of their 2021/22 term, before falling to three-straight defeats in the Vanarama National League North.

It is clear that York manager Askey is utilising pre-season to seek out his best team with the Vanarama National League campaign nearing. 

In a line-up much changed to the one that began the Guiseley game, Ryan Whitley, Ryan Fallowfield, Adam Crookes, Scott Burgess, Mitch Hancox, Alex Hurst, Scott Boden and Maziar Kouhyar came into the team in place of Ethan Ross, Michael Duckworth, Alex Whittle, Olly Dyson, Gus Mafuta, Manny Duku, Lenell John-Lewis and Luke James.

York started the game brightly, with some nice inter-linking passes being sprayed across the pitch.

Fallowfield found Hurst with a cross-field ball which eventually found its way to the feet of Burgess, who could only stab a shot on goal wide.

The hosts were able to open the scoring fairly early on. Just six minutes into the game, Macclesfield came forward and, although the initial shot on goal was blocked well by City, Berry was able to pick up the rebound and calmly slot it beyond Whitley.

Hancox had a great chance to level the game for York just moments later, driving forward with the ball at his feet.

Unleashing a strike from the edge of the box, he would have levelled the game were it not for a magnificent save from goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga, the shot-stopper who is on loan at the Silkmen from Liverpool.

The Minstermen showed some promising signs in the first half, often keeping hold of the ball and, while maintaining possession, looking to create something on the attack.

Burgess was once again involved in an attacking move when he was able to create some space on the right wing. Pitaluga though was able to punch away his cross.

With just under 20 minutes remaining in the first half, Hancox did brilliantly to keep the ball in midfield.

He found Boden with a quick pass forward, who went on to find Kouhyar. The Afghanistan-international’s cross however wasn’t quite enough as the hosts were able to clear the threat posed.

Hancox had another chance in the last knockings of the first half, but could only muster a shot that was low-rolling and straightforward for Pitaluga to gather.

It took Macclesfield just three minutes of the second half to double their advantage in the game.

Kengni picked the ball up in the box and fired a relatively tame shot towards Whitley, but the ex-Scarborough Athletic loanee was unable to prevent the ball crossing the line.

York had a chance to get themselves back in the game not long after, when the ball was crossed in towards Boden.

The former Boreham Wood striker had an unmarked header at goal, but could only guide his effort straight at Pitaluga.

Mere moments later, the Silkmen scored their third of the game. Macclesfield won a free-kick about 30-yards from goal, which was struck powerfully towards Whitley by Curran.

Though the goalkeeper saved the initial effort, the rebound fell kindly for Clare who notched his first goal of the afternoon.

Duku, who came on as a substitute early in the second half, tried to score from a tight angle not long after coming on, but could only fire his effort along the box and out for a throw-in.

Pitaluga would once again be the hero for his side when, on the hour mark, he was called into action yet again. 

This time, it was Hurst trying to break his clean-sheet, with his low shot from just inside the box well-saved by the Brazilian.

In the 65th minute Mafuta tried his luck with a volley that soon spiralled off target. It fell to the feet of AJ Greaves, who was introduced at half-time and replaced Trialist ‘A’, but his own effort was blasted wide of the post.

Right-back Fallowfield and new introductions Duku and James were able to apply some good pressure on the right-wing, but their move was rendered to nothing when, on receiving the return pass, Duku was flagged for offside.

Dyson, who was brought onto the pitch in place of Hancox with just under 20 minutes left to play, rifled a strike towards goal that went inches wide of the post.

In spite of the result already being decided, Macclesfield were able to add a fourth to their tally before the game’s conclusion.

Berry did really well to charge into space, breaking into the York box before being taken down by Kouogun in what was a clear penalty.

Clare was able to slot his effort coolly past Whitley, giving him his second, and Macclesfield their fourth, goal of the game.

York: Whitley, Fallowfield, Kouogun, Sanders (Whittle 71’), Crookes, Trialist ‘A’ (Greaves 45’), Burgess (Mafuta 57’), Hancox (Dyson 71’), Hurst, Boden (Duku 57’), Kouhyar (James 65’).

Unused subs: Ross, John-Lewis

Macclesfield: Pitaluga, Pemberton, Lee, Fensome, Cowan, Mendy, Kengni, Dannis, Owens (Clare 45’), Curran (Bower 83’), Berry

Unused subs: Bell, Grimshaw, Freedman, McColl, Blake, Greaves

Star man for York City: Ryan Fallowfield. The right-back made some thundering runs forward, constantly looking to create while putting in a solid individual defensive performance. He too was very vocal towards his side.

Stats for Macclesfield v York City

Shots (on target): 10 (6) | 10 (4)

Fouls committed: 8 | 12

Offsides: 1 | 1

Yellow cards: 0 | 0

Corners: 0 | 7

Goals: Berry (6’), Kengni (48’), Curran (56’, 85’)

Attendance: 871