HAVING only taken off their Movember moustaches 24 hours earlier, York City’s players were in no mood for another close shave on Saturday.

Taking on crisis club Kettering, who could only name two substitutes for a third successive match, the Minstermen forged ahead after just six minutes and never let up in their relentless pursuit of a goal-busting victory, eventually running out 7-0 winners.

The appearance of six different players on the scoresheet represented a club record and, had Kettering ’keeper Aldi Haxhia not pulled off a sensational double save in stoppage time, Gary Mills’ team would also have equalled City’s highest-ever margin of victory.

Only once – in February 1957 when Southport were seen off 9-1 – have the Minstermen won in more emphatic fashion.

Saturday’s final outcome, meanwhile, has been matched only two times in the North Yorkshire outfit’s history books against Carlisle and Darlington in the 1934/5 and 1985/6 campaigns respectively.

Jamie Reed set the ball rolling with a pair of predatory headers before Jon Challinor, coolness personified throughout, and the indefatigable Matty Blair sent City into the interval 4-0 to the good.

Resisting the temptation to ease up during the second period, further strikes by Paddy McLaughlin, Ashley Chambers and substitute Moses Ashikodi completed the rout.

Reed, carrying on from his mature performance against Lincoln on Tuesday, led the line impressively as the home side’s lone central striker before limping out of the action at half-time and wasted no time making his mark in front of goal either.

The quality of City’s crossing was a stand-out feature of the opening exchanges and, after Reed had strayed into an offside position before blazing over from a right-wing centre by Pilkington, he made no mistake when Blair raided down the same flank shortly afterwards.

Helped considerably by the pace and accuracy of Blair’s delivery, the former Bangor City striker headed powerfully past Haxhia.

Moments later, Reed headed over from a Chambers cross before grabbing his second goal of the game on 12 minutes.

Slack defending saw Pilkington pick out an unmarked Scott Kerr on the edge of the visitors’ penalty box from a corner and the City skipper’s cross saw Reed again rise the highest to head in despite Sol Davis’ attempt to clear off the line.

Kettering’s troubles intensified on 23 minutes when midfielder Steven O’Leary was forced to limp out of the action with an ankle injury and the Minstermen added a third goal on the half-hour mark.

Jamal Fyfield, James Meredith, Blair and Chambers were all involved in a patient build up before McLaughlin struck the foot of Haxhia’s left-hand post with a shot across the face of goal.

Right-back Challinor then kept his composure to steer in the rebound with a ten-yard sidefooted effort.

The Poppies managed their first shot of the afternoon on 40 minutes but Josh Dawkin’s edge-of-the-box attempt cleared the David Longhurst Stand.

David Bridges then forced Michael Ingham into his only save of the afternoon but his 20-yard drive was too weak to extend the City ’keeper.

The Minstermen went on to add a fourth goal in the third minute of stoppage time when Kerr released Chambers down the left and, when he pulled the ball back from the byline, Blair swept a first-time shot past Haxhia from 12 yards out.

City signalled their second-half intent by going 5-0 in front just four minutes after the restart.

Blair fed the ball to McLaughlin, who burst into the penalty box and shimmied past a Davis challenge before blasting a right-footed effort at Haxhia that the Albanian under-21 international could only help into his top right-hand corner.

A rare mis-hit from McLaughlin then prevented him from claiming a ninth goal of the season after Mark Pryor had given the ball away but City made it six on 65 minutes.

Ingham’s long goal kick was collected by Ashikodi and his low cross from the right found Pilkington.

He, in turn, unselfishly squared to Chambers, who steadied himself before firing a ten-yard shot on the turn into Haxhia’s bottom right-hand corner.

Ashikodi wasted a great opportunity seconds later, blasting over when afforded a clear sight of goal but made amends on 77 minutes with his first goal for City.

Netting against his parent club, Ashikodi fired a ten-yard angled drive past Haxhia after McLaughlin had pulled the ball back from the byline and then celebrated in over-elaborate fashion, throwing his shirt to the ground before posing bare-chested in front of City fans.

The home side were only denied an eighth goal in the second minute of stoppage time when Haxhia pulled off a brilliant reflex save to deny Blair from close range after Adriano Moké’s cross from the left before recovering well to thwart Ashikodi who had looked certain to score with a downward header.

A chance to grab some scant consolation then went begging at the other end when striker Kiernan Hughes-Mason fired across the face of Ingham’s goal after ghosting past Fyfield.

That would have flattered the visitors, though, who must now somehow pick themselves up for the second half of the Blue Square Bet Premier season.

Match facts

York City 7 (Reed 6, 12; Challinor 30; Blair 45+3; McLaughlin 50; Chambers 65; Ashikodi 77), Kettering Town 0

York City: Michael Ingham 7, Jon Challinor 9, David McGurk 9, Jamal Fyfield 8, James Meredith 8, Scott Kerr 8, Paddy McLaughlin 9, Danny Pilkington 9, Matty Blair 9, Jamie Reed 9, Ashley Chambers 9.

Subs: Moses Ashikodi 7 (for Reed, 46), Lanre Oyebanjo 7 (for Kerr, 58), Adriano Moké 8 (for Chambers, 68).

Subs not used: Smith, Parslow.

Key: 10 – Faultless; 9 – Outstanding; 8 – Excellent; 7 – Good; 6 – Average; 5 – Below par; 4 – Poor; 3 – Dud; 2 – Hopeless; 1 – Retire.

City’s star man: Blair – full of running from the first whistle to the last and never gave beleaguered Kettering a moment’s respite.

Kettering: Aldi Haxhia, Patrick Noubissie, Jerel Ifil, Moses Swaibu, Sol Davis, Jaime Navarro, David Bridges, Stephen O’Leary (Mark Pryor, 23), Ellis Deeney, Josh Dawkin, Kiernan Hughes-Mason. Subs not used: Robbie Dance.

Booked: Ifil 57, Ashikodi 78, Deeney 87.

Shots on target: York 13, Town 1.

Shots off target: York 8, Town 4.

Corners: York 5, Town 6.

Fouls conceded: York 11, Town 16.

Offsides: York 3, Town 0.

Referee: Darren Bond (Wigan). Rating: given a relatively easy afternoon and did little wrong.

Attendance: 2,899 (61 away fans).

Cross of the match: Blair’s sixth-minute centre for Reed’s first goal was just the right height and speed.

Save of the match: The first of Haxhia’s two saves in stoppage time.

York Press: 5-0: McLaughlin 5-0: McLaughlin

York Press: 6-0: Chambers 6-0: Chambers

York Press: 7-0: Ashikodi 7-0: Ashikodi