1 Martin Gray is still searching for the right balance between attacking and defending

Late capitulations have characterised City’s fortunes in recent times so, in a small way, it was encouraging to see the team avoid defeat by defending in an organised manner, but that came at a fair expense. Boss Gray had argued that the previous weekend’s 3-2 triumph at Alfreton had been too open for his liking.

That was not a label that could be attached to this contest with neither side managing a goal attempt during the final 25 minutes and the hosts failing to muster a shot of any description during the whole second period. It is difficult for any side in the modern era to line up with two central midfielders against three, especially a trio as comfortable on the ball as Ryan Croasdale, James McQuilkin and Elton Ngwatala were for Kidderminster.

With the diamond formation compromised, a centre forward was withdrawn into a wide-right role to counter the visitors’ threat and it worked to a degree. Gray clearly had a lot of respect for Kidderminster but, going forward against more modest opposition and especially at home, the Minstermen faithful will expect a more even balance between attacking and defensive inclinations, without over-compensating for a vulnerability that has seen the team now go 11 games since their last clean sheet.

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2 Jon Parkin’s potency is restricted as a lone centre forward

The tactical tinkering contributed to a situation where City’s 14-goal talisman was not provided with a single opportunity in open play over 90 minutes. He still showed his lethal marksmanship from another superbly-struck free kick but, for long periods, he cut an isolated figure up front and, whilst given his size the natural temptation might be to use Parkin as a target man and he can head on balls, that has never been his biggest strength.

If he is to be an effective foil for others, he also needs people closer to him than on Saturday.

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3 City’s full backs could penetrate more in advanced positions

A rampaging performance by Kidderminster James Pearson offered another example, following the displays of Alfreton duo Bradley Wood and Cieron Keane the previous weekend, of the capabilities and attacking expectations placed on modern-day full-backs. If City are to employ a narrow midfield, the onus on the likes of Josh Law and Alex Whittle to provide thrust down the flanks might be even greater.

Both players can improve on their season’s statistics in that respect. Whittle is still waiting for his first City goal in two seasons and only has three assists to his name this term.

The versatile Law, meanwhile, has one goal to his name in 2017/18, but is yet to tee up a goal for his team-mates.

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4 The Minstermen need Sean Newton back to his inspirational best

Such has been the team’s dependence on Parkin to provide game-changing inspiration in recent times, it is easy to forget that responsibility was shared with City skipper Newton not too long ago. Former boss Gary Mills even based team selections on placing the versatile Newton in areas of the pitch where he could inflict most damage on the opposition.

Although he wasn’t wearing the armband last term, most observers felt Newton’s passionate performances merited that honour, as he demonstrated an infectious fight in the battle to save the side from National League relegation. Despite interest from other clubs, Newton was then rewarded with the captaincy when he committed to the Minstermen following the drop to regionalised football and, in the campaign’s opening weeks, the Merseysider was revelling in the role, netting three times in six games.

Under new boss Gray, though, Newton’s influence seems to have waned. He is without a goal in seven matches – equalling his longest barren spell of the campaign.

It is not so much his absence from the scoresheet that is concerning, though. Newton is not even getting into positions to test goalkeepers with his potent left foot, negating his potential as a much-needed secondary goal source for the Minstermen.

Hopefully, both player and manager can remedy that in coming weeks.

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5 Gary Martin must show more to merit a first XI place

Picking a player who has already secured a move to another club is always problematic. Michael Coulson, Daniel McBreen and Clayton Donaldson are all examples in recent times at Bootham Crescent of the pitfalls that can be presented by such situations.

In the case of out-of-contract Coulson, he was openly ostracised by the City hierarchy for finalising a deal with St Johnstone, while the club were losing their Football League relegation fight. McBreen continued to be selected in 2009, but always seemed to have more than one eye on a return to his Australian homeland, while Donaldson’s January agreement to take advantage of a Scottish loophole in the Bosman ruling left then boss Billy McEwan incandescent at his old club Hibernian and the former Hull striker was never as prolific during the remainder of the campaign.

With former Middlesbrough trainee Martin, the circumstances are different. City knew what they were signing up for from the start with the 27-year-old in between spells with Belgian outfit Lokeren and Norwegian side Lillestrom.

The scenario is familiar, though. Any player in his position whose performances dip below an acceptable level will naturally, however unfairly, attract suspicion concerning his commitment to the cause.

Following a reasonable debut, Martin’s last two displays have not been of the required standard. It might be that he is struggling to adjust back to the pace of the English game, but his body language against Kidderminster was also suggestive of a man not entirely at ease when asked to carry out defensive duties on the right flank.

That contrasted with fellow forward Amari Morgan-Smith’s willingness to put in a shift when asked to perform the same duty off the bench – an enthusiasm that was acknowledged by Gray afterwards.