YORK City manager Gary Mills was left cursing a failure to convert chances again after watching his team lose 2-1 at Darlington.

The Minstermen chief added that defeat was difficult to take with the visitors the better side but only getting on the scoresheet through Chris Carruthers’ 87th-minute consolation.

Darlington, meanwhile, had earlier forged in front with two goals in three second-half minutes from Tommy Wright and Ian Miller.

Neil Barrett and Leon Constantine both squandered great opportunities for City on a frustrating afternoon with Mills saying: “We’re all gutted and hurt but it all came down to the same old thing – we’ve not taken our chances and there was one after another, after another.

“It should have been game over at half-time and 3-0 to us. They’d only had one header early on but nothing else. The second half was more even and, if you don’t take your chances, it comes back to bite you and it’s cost us the game again. All the other aspects of our performance were good but you’ve got to score goals and that’s why strikers get paid fortunes.

“I can’t question the players’ commitment, desire or work rate but the chances we had to score were unbelievable. It was a game we should have won, as simple as that. There were lots of positives because we were excellent at times but, ultimately, we have lost and this match was all about winning. We were the better team but that does not get you any points. I’d rather have been the worse team and won.

“As we’ve climbed up the table, we’ve proved that we are a good side but we probably need that little bit extra.”

Home ’keeper Sam Russell tipped headers from Barrett and Constantine over the bar but Mills suggested he should not have been given the opportunity to save either chance.

He added: “If the ’keeper wants the headers to go anywhere, he wants them where we put them to give him a chance.”

With the Minstermen already without the suspended Scott Kerr and crocked pair David McGurk and Daniel Parslow, Mills also lost captain Chris Smith for the match after worries involving the birth of his son.

Mills admitted that had the quartet been available then Saturday’s outcome might have been different, adding: “When you lose Scott Kerr, Chris Smith, Daniel Parslow and David McGurk that knocks the stuffing out of a team because all four would be in my side.

“None of the players that came in were the reason we lost the game but if those four had played they help you keep clean sheets and pull through.”

With centre-halves McGurk, Smith and Parslow all ruled out, Mills opted to play two left-backs in the middle of the defence but was pleased with James Meredith and Jamal Fyfield’s partnership.

He also praised Carruthers following his recall at full-back.