FORGET drummers drumming! On the 12th day of Christmas, York City players gave their supporters one of the most awesome displays of attacking football seen at Bootham Crescent in recent times.

The Minstermen overwhelmed a Crawley Town side that went into the game having held Conference top two Dagenham and Oxford in their previous two outings and boasted the league's fourth best defensive record.

Billy McEwan's men, though, produced a high-tempo, passing performance which will surely go unrivalled in non-League football this season.

Aside from Clayton Donaldson's 19th-minute penalty, which began the rout, all of City's expertly-crafted goals were scored following flowing moves involving at least four players.

Donaldson bagged a brace to reach every ambitious marksman's pre-season target of 20 goals with almost half the campaign still to play.

Whereas Donaldson has been the side's saviour at times this season, however, he was merely one component of a terrific team effort on Saturday with Steve Bowey, Emmanuel Panther and Craig Farrell joining him on the scorsheet with McEwan's decision to move Neal Bishop from his inside-right role back into the midfield engineroom certainly reaping dividends.

That switch has relieved captain Panther of his anchor man duties, allowing him to focus on the influential qualities that were so prominent during the early days of his Minstermen career.

Panther's athleticism and strength have been key factors in City's last two victories, marauding around the pitch and driving forward with the ball in a menacing manner.

Bowey is also revelling in the freedom offered by Bishop's presence and is using his boundless energy to multiply the Minstermen's attacking options.

Bowey and Donaldson both had two chances each for City in the opening ten minutes and Darryn Stamp headed wide as the home side set a frantic pace.

Crawley's cause was not helped when keeper Ben Hamer aggravated a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by teenager Rob Tolfrey, making his Conference debut after signing non-contract terms from Kent League side Beckenham Town in the summer.

But Tolfrey excelled and denied City an even greater margin of victory.

He was, however, beaten from the spot by Donaldson after Lloyd Blackman had seen a deflected shot finish narrowly wide at the other end.

David Woozley, a member of Crawley's three-strong temporary management team, was adjudged to have tugged Stamp's shirt following a Bowey cross and Donaldson despatched his penalty into Tolfrey's bottom left-hand corner after the 19-year-old stopper had dived in the opposite direction.

The careless Woozley was again to blame two minutes later when Panther muscled his way past the Crawley centre-back near the byline and his cross to the far post skimmed the newly-shaven head of Bowey, who was celebrating moments later when Donaldson's goalbound shot struck him before beating Tolfrey.

Either side of that goal, alert City keeper Tom Evans had been required to make brave saves at the feet of Scott Rendell and Blackman.

Rendell also blazed over on the turn from 12 yards and teed up Blackman for another opportunity that Evans turned away as Crawley made their contribution to an exciting first period.

But City went 3-0 up when Farrell's low cross from the right was turned in from close range by Panther.

As half time approached, Panther forced Tolfrey into a low save at his near post, Stamp shot wide from 20 yards and a sensational 70-yard burst by Bowey led to a chance for Farrell that Crawley's keeper tipped around his post.

In the second half, City added a stylish fourth goal when Stamp stepped over Farrell's low cross at the near post, leaving Bowey for a clear shot at Tolfrey, who only succeded in parrying his effort into the path of a grateful Donaldson.

Stamp went on to display consumate control and vision to provide Donaldson with the space to find Farrell with a 73rd-minute left-wing cross that the former Exeter striker climbed above Tolfrey to meet and head into an unguarded net.

Michael Bostwick narrowly missed the target with a 20-yard effort moments later but Panther skipped past Scott Hiley before driving high and wide and substitute Martyn Woolford hit the base of a post after Anthony Lloyd's impressive drive into the penalty box.

So dominant was City's display at times that it could have passed for an exhibition game. There was no arrogance evident, though, just simple superiority.

Match facts

York City 5 (Donaldson 20 (pen), 53, Bowey 21, Panther 32, Farrell 73), Crawley 0Evans 8, Craddock 8, Goodliffe 8, Parslow 8, Lloyd 8, Farrell 9 (Woolford 74m), Bishop 9, Panther 9 (McMahon 75m), Bowey 9, Donaldson 9, Stamp 8.

Key: 10 - Faultless; 9 - Outstanding; 8 - Excellent; 7 - Good; 6 - Average; 5 - Below par; 4 - Poor; 3 - Dud; 2 - Hopeless; 1 - Retire.

Subs (not used): McGurk, Reid.

Crawley Town: Ben Hamer (Rob Tolfrey, 7), Ben Judge, Michael Bostwick, David Woozley, Scott Hiley, Tony Scully, Lee Blackburn (Scott Marshall HT, Dannie Bulman, Mark Wright (Jake Edwards, 61), Lloyd Blackman, Scott Rendell. Subs not used: Jack MacLeod, Mithan Nayee.

Bookings: Wright 18, Bishop 29, Blackman 45, Marshall 55, Bulman 71.

Sent off: None.

Referee: Russell Fletcher (Derbyshire). Rating: dubious definition of fouls at times and Crawley did not deserve four bookings.

Attendance: 2,590.

Weather watch: Calm and dry.

Game breaker: The second goal, arriving two minutes after the first, killed off Crawley.

Match rating: City's performance belonged in a higher division. Crawley were far from awful, just outclassed.

Billy's verdict: "We scored five good goals and some of the football was superb with our movement and possession first class."

Player watch

Goal attempts on target: 0
Goal attempts off target: 0
Blocked goal attempts: 0
Passes to own player: 28
Passess to opposition: 8
Crosses to own player: 1
Crosses to opposition: 5
Pass success rate: 69 per cent
Dribbles ball retained: 1
Dribbles ball lost: 1
Dribble success rate: 50 per cent
Headers: 12 Tackles: 6
Clearances, blocks and interceptions: 6
Free-kicks won: 0
Free-kicks conceded: 0
Offsides: 0
Bookings: 0Final summary:Made a solid return to the starting line up. He also had a hand in Panther's third goal, finding Farrell with a searching ball down the right flank. Considering his discipline problems this season, Billy McEwan will also be pleased that Craddock did not concede one foul and executed six clean tackles.

Star man: Panther - could become a real force in the team again if he continues in his new role.