Press Reporter Lee Jones looks at Five Things We Learned from York City’s home defeat to Tamworth

1. Individual errors are destroying City’s promotion bid

As boss Martin Gray was quick to point out after the final whistle on Saturday, the Minstermen have conceded six goals in their last two matches, and four of those have been self-inflicted. In short, schoolboy errors are proving their undoing, and that was especially evident on Saturday.

Tamworth frontman Reece Styche was the lucky recipient of some truly woeful defending for each of the visitors’ first two goals, with a collective brain-freeze across the back four letting him in for the first and a rare Sean Newton misjudgement paving the way for the second.

In truth, across the 90 minutes, City didn’t play too badly – but those mistakes effectively killed off their hopes despite a second-half fight-back. An error-free display against Curzon Ashton on Saturday is a must.

2. New defender Daniel Rowe can also provide an attacking threat

He only joined the club on Friday and only took 16 minutes to open his City account the following day.

After being thrust into the action shortly after the break, the former Wycombe Wanderers man looked to have salvaged the Minstermen at least a point with his close-range finish before Tamworth’s late winner. Rowe could have netted even earlier on his City debut but was unable to get enough purchase on Josh Law’s 55th-minute cross to direct the ball home. Goals from all areas of the park will be crucial to City’s promotion push, and Rowe appears equipped to play his part.

3. The Minstermen appear set for yet another squad overhaul

It’s not much more than a year since Jackie McNamara’s one and only summer in charge of City’s first-team – a period which saw the now Chief Executive completely transform the playing squad that had dropped out of the Football League. Gary Mills’ return the following October saw another major overhaul, and now Martin Gray is ready to wheel and deal again in the search for a winning formula.

“Funds aren’t just there, we’ve got to sort deals in and deals out. We’ve got to look at both sides and we can’t just keep going to the chairman and asking for more – we’ve got to balance the books,” remarked Gray in his Saturday post-match interview.

In short, expect plenty more comings and goings at Bootham Crescent as continuity once again takes a back seat.

4. Aidan Connolly must remain fit – and happy

While Saturday’s defeat to Tamworth will be remembered for some truly shocking defending, there was one bright spark in an attacking sense. Connolly’s 2017/18 campaign hasn’t taken off yet, due to injury and an apparent fall-out with Gary Mills, which saw the Scottish winger ask to leave the club. However, Martin Gray’s arrival as Mills’ replacement has seen the 22-year-old return to the first-team, and showing signs of his best form once again.

Against the Lambs, Connolly showed plenty of his old spark, popping up on both flanks and occasionally behind the front two during an encouraging display. Getting the best out of the former Dundee United man could be a key part of Gray’s masterplan going forward.

5. Automatic promotion from National North may soon be out of reach

Saturday victories for each of the division’s top five saw the Minstermen lose further ground on the title contenders. In fact, City are now 15 points adrift of table-topping Harrogate Town with more than a third of the season gone.

That’s a pretty substantial gap to bridge, especially with so many other promotion-chasers sitting between Town and Martin Gray’s ninth-placed line-up. If that chasm increases further over the coming weeks then it may very quickly become time to re-focus on the top seven and a play-off shot.