YORK City manager Martin Foyle has warned his players to cut out their on-pitch squabbling after a 2-1 opening day defeat at home to Kidderminster Harriers.

Substitute Michael Rankine and fellow striker Richard Brodie attempted to wrestle the ball off each other when City were awarded an 83rd-minute penalty in Saturday’s Bootham Crescent clash.

Rankine, who had been fouled for the spot kick, eventually won the argument and levelled the scores.

But, at the final whistle, the 6ft 3in striker was also involved in a spot of angry posturing and finger pointing with debutant Duane Courtney after the former Kidderminster right-back conceded another late penalty, which was converted by Tom Shaw at the other end.

City players had to separate the petulant pair and, although Foyle initially dismissed the incident as “handbags”, he made it clear that he would not accept such behaviour in the future.

It is not the first time Rankine has flouted team orders, however, having shoved Brodie to one side last season at Eastbourne before also successfully converted from 12 yards.

About the unprofessional scenes, Foyle said: “Brodes is on penalties but Ranks came on full of confidence and I don’t mind that. It looks a bit petty though when they are arguing with each other and I had a pop about that “At the end of the game, it was handbags really. Sometimes players play with a bit of passion and I wish they’d shown more from the start of the game and during the first 45 minutes.

“That type of thing makes me look bad though and I won’t condone it. They won’t be doing it again.

“We will keep everything in camp and it’s been sorted out in the changing room so there’s not a problem.”

City ’keeper Michael Ingham was beaten direct from a Callum Gittings corner for Kidderminster’s first goal and Foyle was unhappy with his side’s defending in general.

He is hoping, however, that the defeat will act as a “wake-up call” ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Grimsby and Saturday’s long trek to Bath.

City boss Foyle added: “Michael got under the ball from the corner and it was a disappointing goal but defensively we were poor and I never said that much last season.

“Their front two caused us problems. We could not get tight or stick with them when they spun off and looked for one-twos and they ran us ragged for the first 25 minutes.

“We huffed and puffed and looked a bit off the pace and we can’t afford to be opened up like that on so many occasions. I’m a bit disappointed but sometimes you need a wake-up call.

“We’re on a learning curve and this has brought a few people down to earth. I won’t be too downbeat though. I can’t afford to be as we have two hard games on our travels now.”

Foyle also had no complaints about referee Jake Collin’s decision to award the 89th-minute penalty against Courtney for pushing over Chris McPhee, saying: “It wasn’t a jump or a challenge. He just shunted him off the ball so it was a penalty.

“It usually happens one way or the other against your old club. You’re either involved in a goal for your own team or drop a clanger at the other end.”

Despite missing a hat-trick of chances, Foyle was in no mood either to make last season’s 37-goal leading marksman Brodie a scapegoat for defeat while praising his striking partner Michael Gash’s display too, saying: “We created some good chances but I won’t be making Brodes my excuse.

“I felt slightly sorry for Michael Gash as well because he held the ball up well, but people were not feeding off him.”

All talk of a Wembley play-off final hangover was just as firmly dismissed.

“That’s no excuse,” Foyle insisted. “It was three months ago and is well and truly out of my mind.”

Levi Mackin, meanwhile, could face a lengthy lay-off after hobbling out of the action following a first-half midfield clash. The City chief said: “It looks a bad one and he might need a scan. We lacked a bit of fluency when he went off because he’s our anchor man.”

Summer signing Greg Young remains doubtful for tomorrow night’s trip to Blundell Park, having failed to make Saturday’s 16-strong squad as he still lacks fitness after missing most of pre-season with a badly-bruised foot. “Greg has been doing more running but is still playing catch up,” Foyle added.