PRE-SEASON friendlies are a poor substitute for competitive football, much in the same way as vegetarian-friendly food product Quorn has never really provided a satisfactory alternative to meat.

York City’s trip to the identically-named Leicestershire football club certainly did not seem to whet the appetite judging by Saturday’s sparse crowd, but it will still have been of value to visiting manager Gary Mills as he steps up his preparations for the new Blue Square Bet Premier season.

Several players were given their first 90 minutes of action since the end of last season but, perhaps most importantly, the match also took place on a playing surface that reduced the likelihood of a repeat injury to that suffered by David McDermott at Garforth Town.

City won 3-1 with goals from Jamie Reed, Lanre Oyebanjo and Jason Walker but should have enjoyed a greater winning margin.

The ease with which the Minstermen created a succession of chances against their EvoStik League hosts, especially in the first half, led to the team becoming a little casual in front of goal, although home stopper Matt Nurse was also in inspired form to keep the score down.

Earlier, after Reed had glanced a header wide from Walker’s excellent left-wing cross, Quorn had taken a surprise ninth-minute lead.

Dan Parslow’s poor clearance was intercepted in midfield and Tony Law then kept his composure to find Michael Ingham’s botton right-hand corner from 12 yards.

Moments later, Ashley Chambers’ deflected edge-of-the-box drive forced a diving save from Nurse and, while Reece Lester called Ingham into action at his near post with a well-struck free-kick on 14 minutes, City quickly began to dominate proceedings.

Scott Kerr forced another flying stop from Nurse and James Meredith had a further effort cleared off the line after David McGurk’s header was kept out by the Quorn ’keeper.

City eventually equalised on 23 minutes when good work by Chambers resulted in a right-wing cross that Reed sidefooted in on the volley at the far post.

A clever reverse pass from Walker then led to a rising drive by Chambers that Nurse beat out before the visitors forged ahead in spectacular fashion on 28 minutes.

Oyebanjo marauded down the right flank before cutting inside and unleasing a left-footed thunderbolt from 25 yards that Nurse could only watch fly into his top right-hand corner.

A terrific passing move on 32 minutes ended with Nurse denying Patrick McLaughlin after the former Newcastle midfielder had driven into the penalty box and, on the stroke of half-time, he also saved Walker’s attempted lob with Reed unable to force the loose ball over the line.

After the interval, Reed drove across the face of goal and McLaughlin’s free-kick, intended as a cross, needed to be tipped over by a back-pedalling Nurse.

Walker, though, extended City’s lead on 52 minutes with his third pre-season goal, turning smartly and getting a powerful low shot away from an acute angle that home defender Jay Smedley could only help into the net on the goal line.

The game somewhat petered out thereafter with Quorn seemingly adpating better to the raft of substitutions made either side of the hour mark. Both Reed and Matty Blair might have given the final outcome a more accurate reflection of the overall balance of play, however, had they not aimed opportunities straight at Nurse.

City: Ingham, Oyebanjo (Smith, 50), Parslow, McGurk, Meredith (Allen, 60), Kerr (Moke, 53), Boucaud (Potts, 56), McLaughlin, Reed (Henderson, 60), Walker, Chambers (Blair, 60).