NORTH London has become a very happy hunting ground for York City in recent times and Gary Mills’ men handed out more capital punishment on their latest visit.

Following on from last season’s historic Wembley double against Newport County and Luton Town, Barnet’s Underhill Stadium provided the more modest setting for another landmark occasion – City’s first victory back in the Football League.

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First-half goals from Dan Parslow, Ashley Chambers and Michael Coulson saw the Minstermen claim a deserved win after stamping their authority on proceedings from the very start of Saturday’s match.

Barnet contributed to their own downfall somewhat with a risky brand of defending that bordered on the reckless at times but, as ever away from home, City always looked dangerous when counter attacking.

Including last season’s play-off semi-finals, the Minstermen have now won six and drawn one of their last seven league fixtures on the road and the challenge must now be to translate that form to Bootham Crescent, where just one game has been won from the last six. In that respect, much might rely on City’s front three of Chambers, Coulson and Jason Walker stretching visiting defences with the kind of enthusiastic and intelligent movement they displayed at Barnet.

Moments after Ricky Holmes had curled the first goal attempt of the afternoon straight at Michael Ingham from 18 yards, the Minstermen forged in front just seven minutes into Saturday’s game.

Walker, popping up on the left flank, delivered an inswinging cross that Paddy McLaughlin challenged for at the near post and when the ball broke to Parslow, enjoying another accomplished performance in the midfield anchor role, he fired a 20-yard volley into the ground and the ball bounced past Liam O’Brien on its way to finding the Barnet shot-stopper’s bottom left-hand corner.

On 16 minutes, the visitors had doubled their advantage when Chambers robbed Bees right-back Barry Fuller on the halfway line and then sprinted through the left channel after Walker had nudged the ball forward into his path.

Covering centre-back Jack Saville was then left trailing in Chambers’ wake before he beat the advancing O’Brien with a firm left-footed strike ten yards from goal.

At the other end, Jon Nurse turned and fired into Ingham’s sidenetting from six yards.

The City ’keeper was then called upon to keep out an Anthony Edgar effort at his near post before Nurse reduced the deficit on the half-hour mark.

Danny Blanchett failed to cut out a dangerous low cross from the right by Andy Yiadom and ex-Stevenage striker Nurse nipped in front of Chris Smith to beat Ingham from four yards.

But the Minstermen remained unflustered and, on the stroke of half-time, re-established their two-goal advantage.

Receiving the ball from Jonathan Smith, Coulson bided his time before firing a deflected effort into O’Brien’s bottom right-hand corner from 15 yards.

Barnet were booed off the pitch at the interval and, while the hosts applied more pressure in the second half playing down their pitch’s notorious slope, it was still City that carried the greater goal threat.

On 71 minutes, Chambers released Walker and his cross from the right was somehow headed wide from a couple of yards by Jonathan Smith, who had steamed into the Bees’ penalty box.

After Yiadom had dragged wastefully wide from 20 yards, Smith also volleyed wide from the edge of the box and Oyebanjo tried his luck with an acrobatic far post attempt that O’Brien grabbed from under his crossbar.

Walker also headed narrowly over from a Parslow cross before the game entered 11 minutes of stoppage time, following City substitute Jamal Fyfield’s accidental aerial collision with Nurse that left the latter concussed and stretchered off with an oxygen mask strapped to his face.

Both sides might have added to the scoreline during the added-on play but McLaughlin’s firmly struck volley was saved low to his right by O’Brien and Ingham also reacted smartly to keep out Jake Hyde’s swift shot on the turn.

Shortly afterwards, the Minstermen’s travelling army of 500 supporters were left celebrating a first Football League victory since January 2004 – a run encompassing 22 win-less matches.

It is absolutely inconceivable that Mills’ class of 2012/13 will make them wait that long for the next one.


Match facts

Barnet 1 (Nurse 30), York City 3 (Parslow 7; Chambers 16; Coulson 45)

Michael Ingham 8 - Left exposed for Barnet’s goal and made two fine saves, while his kicking and handling was exemplary.

Lanre Oyebanjo 7 -  Worked hard to block countless crosses from the left late on and delivered several inviting corners for his own team.

Chris Smith 7 - Let Nurse escape his attentions for the Barnet goal, but read the game admirably otherwise.

Chris Doig 7 - Made interceptions and stuck out a boot when required during a solid display prior to his late injury.

Danny Blanchett 7 -  Culpable for the cross that led to Barnet’s goal, but stuck to his task with determination before being replaced by Fyfield.

Dan Parslow 8 - Prominent as City got off to a flying start and always willing to get on the ball in that midfield anchor role.

Paddy McLaughlin 7 - Forced a fine save from O’Brien late on and looked comfortable on the ball throughout.

Jonathan Smith 7 - Made his presence felt in typical combative style and appeared in the opposition’s penalty box more than of late.

Michael Coulson 7 - Very lively and productive during the first half, but faded a little after the break.

Jason Walker 7 - Battled well in the lone central striker role, plugging away for the benefit of his team-mates.

Ashley Chambers 8 - STAR MAN – took his goal in emphatic fashion and never gave the hosts a moment’s respite, working tirelessly on the left.

Substitutes: Fyfield 7 – solid (for Blanchett, 57), Bullock (for J Smith 90), Blair (for Walker, 90).

Subs not used: Musselwhite, Potts, McReady, Challinor.

Barnet: Liam O’Brien, Barry Fuller, Jack Saville, Jon Fortune, Jordan Brown, Andy Yiadom, Mark Byrne, Curtis Weston (Jamal Lowe, 90), Anthony Edgar (Jake Hyde, 60), Ricky Holmes, Jon Nurse (Oliver Lee, 69).

Subs not used: Clovis Kamdjo, Ahmed Abdullah, Fred Warren, Sam Cowler.

Star man: Andy Yiadom – always positive down the right. An outlet Barnet might have exploited more.

Referee: Andy D’Urso (Billericay).

Rating: 8/10 – sensible and unfussy display from the former Premier League official.

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Attendance: 1,889 (500 from City) Shots on target: Barnet 5, City 6.

Shots off target: Barnet 4, City 8.

Corners: Barnet 7, City 6.

Fouls conceded: Barnet 8, City 7.

Offsides: Barnet 2, City 4.