A YOUNG Middlesbrough side lifted the North Riding Senior Cup by beating York City 1-0 in contentious circumstances in the final at Bootham Crescent last night.

Adam Reach’s goal proved the only difference between the two teams, although there was doubt over whether his 45th-minute effort actually crossed the line after strange indecision from the officials.

City included eight players boasting first-team experience for the final, as well as youth-team trio Ben White, Arran Hudson and Tom Platt, with the latter permitted to play despite being on work experience at Harrogate Town.

The hosts started the match brightly with Michael Potts forcing a good save from Boro ’keeper James Montgomery after an overlapping Erik Tonne, playing at left-back, raced on to Danny Pilkington’s clever back heel and delivered an inviting low cross.

Matthew Blinkhorn also drove narrowly wide from 15 yards before the visitors began to threaten more towards the end of the first half.

A Luke Williams long-range effort reared up dangerously off the turf to almost surprise City ’keeper White and Reach also drove narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Reach was celebrating moments later, however, when he broke the deadlock on 45 minutes in controversial fashion.

His far-post shot was deemed to have crossed the line before White grabbed the ball although play was allowed to continue before the assistant referee raised his flag, seemingly being swayed by the visitors’ protests.

In the second half, Chris Doig’s volley forced Montogomery into action, while Williams also tested White at the other end.

Potts also volleyed over at the far post and Tonne had a header saved from a corner by Pilkington, who went on to fire straight at Montgomery from 12 yards on 83 minutes.

But City could not muster the equaliser that would have heralded extra-time and White made a fine save to deny the visitors a flattering second goal when substitute Wilson Kneeshaw broke clear at the death.

City: White, Hudson (Newbould, 90), Platt, Doig, Tonne, Potts, Brown, Moke, Ashikodi (Kelly, 65), Blinkhorn, Pilkington.

Subs not used: Musselwhite, Moncur, Allan.

Attendance: 304.

• York City remain in sixth place in the Blue Square Bet Premier after last night’s fixtures.

Play-off rivals Mansfield Town beat Alfreton 6-3, while Luton Town were defeated 3-0 at Forest Green and Gateshead beat visitors Bath City 1-0.