YORK City trio Connor Smith, Adriano Moke and Flynn McNaughton could all be rewarded with Easter Monday starting places at FC United of Manchester after impressing from the bench against Chorley.

Smith grabbed his first goal for the Minstermen to secure a 1-1 draw against the Lancastrians yesterday, while Moke was named the sponsors’ man of the match and 17-year-old youth-team scholar McNaughton belied his age with a mature half-hour outing on his senior debut.

City chief Martin Gray had earlier rewarded James Gray and Raul Correia with starting places against Chorley after they had helped inspire Tuesday night’s 3-2 triumph over Southport with their performances as replacements.

Smith’s goal cancelled out Alex Newby’s spectacular tenth-minute strike for Chorley and Bootham Crescent boss Gray added: “We didn’t start as well as we’d have liked and as well as we had done in the previous two home games.

“We needed to use the ball better and get it out wide quicker, but all of the subs – Adriano Moke, Flynn McNaughton and Connor Smith – gave us energy and the way they kept the ball and used it was good. I was delighted that Connor got the goal, because he has been so frustrated waiting for his opportunity and he so wanted to do well when he came on as you could see with his endeavour.

“The subs are coming on and making a difference for us, because James Gray and Raul Correia did the same against Southport, so everybody is in contention now and that’s what you want.”

On the display of McNaughton, who became the 1,000th player to pull on a shirt for the Minstermen, Gray enthused: “For a 17-year-old youth-team player who hasn’t always played every game for the reserves, he looked after the ball well.

“He was very intelligent and moved ever so well with his runs down the channels. He’s also got pace and I remember seeing him and Ryan Edmondson when I first came here and thinking they both looked a real handful.

“He’s another one to come through the youth system and, whilst he’s still got a lot of work to do, he came on in front of 2,800 people, which he has never done in his life, and conducted himself very well.”

Simon Heslop will be available again at FC United, having now served a two-match suspension, but Alex Kempster and Louis Almond will continue to be sidelined with the hamstring problems that saw them miss out against Chorley.

“We’re hoping they’ll be back sooner rather than later, but it’s hard to put a timeframe on them at the moment,” Gray pointed out.

The City boss believes on-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Alex Pattison will be available, despite going off for the second successive match with a sore ankle.

Pattison appeared to suffer a recurrence of the injury following a Josh O’Keefe challenge in the build-up to Newby’s goal, which Gray argued should have been disallowed.

“I was disappointed with the referee, because it was a foul on Alex before their goal and that was the only shot they had in the first half,” Gray reasoned.

The ex-Darlington boss did not blame the match officials, though, for a glaring first-half miss by Correia, who has only netted once in nine matches since his arrival on loan from Blackpool.

Gray insisted: “Raul Correia has got to score for us just before half-time. If that’s Jon Parkin, it’s a goal and he’s got to bust the net with chances like that.”

Having seen his team put in a strong first-half display against Southport and an encouraging second-period show during the Chorley draw, Gray is now looking for a convincing performance from start to finish at 16th-placed FC United, saying: “We’ve put in two good 45 minutes during the last two games, but now we’ve got to find our form over 90 minutes at FC United of Manchester.

“But it’s all about picking up points at this stage of the season and four from six is still good.”

Gray went on to explain that he is comfortable with sporting director Dave Penney’s switch from the training ground to a place on the club’s new board.

“Dave is doing the boardroom side of things now, which is a job he’ll enjoy doing,” the City manager explained. “You can’t really do both, but he’s still a great person for me to bounce things off.

“We talk daily and still look at the recruiting of players together.”