A BRACE apiece from John McReady and Paddy McLaughlin along with goals from Michael Potts and Reece Kelly saw York City continue their pre-season programme with a 6-2 win at Pickering Town .

Liam Salt got both goals for the Northern Counties East League premier division outfit after the break, the first the Minstermen have conceded since returning to action.

The Pikes were a far bigger threat going forward than Harrogate Railway on Tuesday and York manager Gary Mills may be concerned at the opportunities the home side created after the break.

But he can be far more satisfied with his team’s efforts going forward – with the scoring tally up to 17 goals over the first three warm-up encounters.

Mills rotated his squad, making five changes from the side which began at Railway. Jon Challinor, Daniel Parslow , Jamal Fyfield , trialist Oliver Banks and Potts all came in for a starting berth.

They got off to an explosive start.

Banks popped a quick ball over the top for Jason Walker to collect on three minutes. He passed back to Michael Coulson, who unleashed a shot which smashed off the underside of the bar.

Pickering had Arran Reid to thank for keeping them level on 19 minutes. He produced a superb stop to tip Bullock’s point blank header, from Coulson’s cross, over the bar.

Bullock should have got on the scoresheet 60 seconds later, when contriving to head wide of Reid’s left-hand post when found unmarked by Coulson’s corner.

The Pikes were on the back foot but they were by no means out of the game.

Former City winger Liam Shepherd stung Michael Ingham ’s hands mid-way through the first half when unleashing a smart drive from the left edge of the penalty area – finishing off an incisive move from the home team.

City’s obvious class was still telling, however.

Reid did brilliantly to get down and smother Potts’ shot after he was found with a delightful ball in the box by Banks.

But he could not deny him on 36 minutes.

Shepherd stretched to clear on the right side but his attempt only found Challinor.

The defender played a simple pass to a waiting Potts and he turned and curled his shot over the despairing Reid, who got a touch on it, and into the top corner.

Despite that, though, Pickering might have felt aggrieved to not be level at the break.

Two minutes from half-time, Steve Baxter missed the target from about six yards when the ball came to him following a defensive mix-up – his shot skied over the crossbar.

As has been the custom, Mills made a host of half-time changes and one of them, McReady, had an immediate impact.

The midfielder picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch, barely a minute after the restart, and ran through the centre – untouched – before lashing a shot past Reid into the left corner.

McLaughlin then smashed a thunderbolt off the bar from six yards on 52 minutes and York were looking comfortable for their lead.

Pickering, however, had other ideas.

Shepherd was at the heart of it – a wonderful through-ball setting Pikes’ stalwart, and second half substitute, Salt away. His finish, lifted over the body of the oncoming Musselwhite, was deft.

Back came the Minstermen, Reid turned Liam Henderson ’s shot round the post and Kelly struck the right upright with a curling effort before McLaughlin made it 3-1. He collected the ball on the right side of the 16 yard box, cut past a defender and passed it into the bottom left corner past a stranded Reid.

Salt’s then rattled Musselwhite’s left post with a sharp effort before McLaughlin produced another composed strike on 71 minutes.

The Pickering man thought he’d had the final say, tucking home from a tight angle after Musselwhite could only deflect Baxter’s effort into his path with 13 minutes remaining.

But McReady’s tidy 85th-minute finish, calmly slotted into the middle of the net, and added to by Kelly’s last-minute glancing header into the top corner, set the seal on another good work out for the Minstermen.

York City: Ingham (Musselwhite 46), Challinor (Platt 46), Doig (Smith 57), Parslow, Fyfield, Banks (McLaughlin 46), Bullock (Blanchett 57), Potts (Kelly 46), Blair (Henderson 46), Walker (Reed 46), Coulson (McReady 46).