YORK City climbed back into the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off zone following a 1-0 win at bottom-of-the-table Bath.

Paddy McLaughlin’s 11th goal of the season on 50 minutes saw the Minstermen jump above Friday night’s hosts Luton into fifth place, setting up another crucial clash at Kenilworth Road.

But Gary Mills’ men survived an almighty stoppage-time scare before claiming maximum points at Twerton Park when Bath, who had not managed a shot on target all night, almost snatched an equaliser after Marley Watkins’ scrambled effort appeared to cross the line before Lanre Oyebanjo kicked clear.

City boss Gary Mills made two enforced changes to his starting lining up with crocked pair Jamal Fyfield and Ben Gibson being replaced in midfield by Paddy McLaughlin and Scott Brown.

Fyfield’s absence meant James Meredith was restored to left-back while Chris Doig was also preferred to Dan Parslow in the centre of defence.

A poor first half saw Matty Blair try his luck with two hopeful early chances.

The first, on three minutes, saw home ’keeper Glyn Garner comfortably save Blair’s 20-yard effort after the City winger had intercepted a stray pass by Marc Canham inside his own half.

Blair then drove over from a similar distance moments later after Ashley Chambers had squandered an easier chance when he slipped in front of goal but managed to play the ball back to his team-mate.

A cleared Lanre Oyebanjo corner was also headed wide by Brown from the edge of the penalty box.

But Bath began to grow in confidence as the half went on and veteran midfielder Scott Murray hoisted the hosts’ first attempt of the night over from 15 yards on 25 minutes.

Jamie Cook also glanced a header wide from Canham’s left-wing cross before Oyebanjo’s weak 25-yard effort bounced tamely into Garner’s hands at the other end.

Both sides then went in at the interval after Chris Smith had headed over an Oyebanjo corner and Joe Burnell also missed the target in the air from a Murray flag kick.

The Minstermen forged ahead, however, five minutes after the break courtesy of McLaughlin.

After being fed through the left channel by Reed, the Northern Ireland under-21 international fired an angled, 15-yard drive across Garner and into the bottom corner.

Doig and Blair then combined to give Reed a run on Garner’s goal but the City striker could only stab his shot into the Romans’ ’keeper’s chest under pressure from Burnell.

But Murray went close for Bath on 58 minutes when he drove narrowly wide from 20 yards after good work down the left by substitute Watkins.

At the other end, Reed’s header forced a near-post save from Garner after Oyebanjo’s long throw.

On 73 minutes, Jon Challinor lifted an eight-yard shot over after exchanging passes with McLaughlin and charging into the penalty box.

Blair also volleyed at Garner after the ball sat up nicely for him following McLaughlin’s through ball.

An Oyebanjo shot was then deflected wide after more good work by McLaughlin and Reed drove wide on the counter attack but the Minstermen almost lost two points at the death.

In the second minute of injury time, panic spread during a scramble in City’s six-yard box but Watkins’ back-heeled effort was cleared by Oyebanjo before it had crossed the line according to the officials.

Match facts

Bath City 0, York City 1 (McLaughlin 50)

York City: Michael Ingham 6, Jon Challinor 8, Chris Doig 8, Chris Smith 8, James Meredith 7, Lanre Oyebanjo 7, Scott Brown 6, Patrick McLaughlin 8, Matty Blair 7, Jamie Reed 7, Ashley Chambers 6.

Subs: Daniel Parslow (for Brown, 78), Adriano Moké (for Chambers, 84), Matthew Blinkhorn (for Reed, 90). Not used: Eugen Bopp, Erik Tonne.

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

Star man: Challinor – composed throughout at right-back and nullified threat from sub Watkins.

Bath: Glyn Garner, Sekani Simpson, Mark Preece, Joe Burnell, Andy Gallinagh (Marley Watkins, 55), Scott Murray (Lewis Hogg, 75), Adam Connolly, Marc Canham, Alex Russell (Josh Egan, 88), Jamie Cook, Paul Stonehouse.

Subs (not used): Jim Rollo, Dan Smith.

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Shots on target: Bath 1, City 6.

Shots off target: Bath 5, City 5.

Corners: Bath 6, City 6.

Fouls conceded: Bath 6, City 14.

Offsides: Bath 3, City 2.

Referee: Michael Bull (Cheltenham).

Attendance: 565 (130 away fans).