A GOOD workout seems the cliched staple requirement from any pre-season friendly these days and Mr Motivator or Mad Lizzie would be hard pressed to provide Football League clubs with more strenuous exercise than that offered by York City this summer.

After more than matching the once mighty Leeds United in their first pre-season friendly, City went toe to toe with an impressive Doncaster team in their next KitKat Crescent outing and, on Saturday, Billy McEwan's men enjoyed a deserved 1-0 victory over Bradford City.

Disappointingly, the game was only watched by just over 600 City fans and the particularly sparse David Longhurst Stand suggested a clash with York races might be best avoided next season.

Those who did turn up, though, witnessed another display that bodes well for the Minstermen's Blue Square Premier fortunes next season.

Striker Chris Beardsley continues to impress after his summer switch from Rushden and Diamonds.

He claimed his second goal of the pre-season programme on 31 minutes to defeat the Bantams and, on the evidence of the City's first five friendlies, Beardsley and Onome Sodje have staked the strongest claims for starting places in attack come the start of the new season in less than a fortnight.

But Craig Farrell, the bustling Richard Brodie and Paul Brayson present strong alternatives as well.

McEwan observed Farrell and Brayson in wide positions on Saturday and both players might contest the right-midfield berth which has also been occupied by Alex Meechan, Phil Turnbull and Alex Rhodes at separate stages during City's warm-up fixtures.

The Minstermen's options are currently more limited at the back, although David McGurk looks as reliable as ever and his trialist central-defensive partners Brian Dutton and Carl Jones have done little wrong, but perhaps need to impose themselves more in games to be granted longer stays.

City started Saturday's game positively with Farrell testing Donovan Ricketts from long range in the second minute. At the other end, Bradford winger Joe Colbeck should have done better when he lifted a 12-yard effort over with only Tom Evans to beat.

But the confident Beardsley, skilled in retaining possession and bringing his team-mates into play, saw a 13th-minute shot turned behind by Ricketts after a neat one-two with Farrell.

Manny Panther (twice) and Brayson then forced further saves before Beardsley found the net.

Bradford struggled with inswinging Martyn Woolford corners throughout the first half and the former Frickley winger's 20th-minute flag kick fell at the feet of Farrell eight yards out. His low shot was saved by Ricketts, but Beardsley was following up to crash in from close range.

In the second half, McEwan experimented with his formation, with Farrell moving from the right wing to the left flank and Woolford handed a roaming central role behind the strikers.

Left-winger Omar Daley's introduction, meanwhile, provided Bradford with greater attacking purpose and he forced Evans into a diving save on 54 minutes before flashing another effort across the face of goal later on.

Farrell, Woolford and Beardsley, meanwhile, all went close for City and a McGurk header was cleared off the line by Tom Penfold on 72 minutes.

Bradford were then denied an injury-time equaliser when Mark Bower's header was disallowed for climbing.

York: Evans, Purkiss (Craddock, 90), McGurk, Dutton (Jones, 75), Robinson, Farrell (Sodje, 81), Elliott (Greenwood, 7), Panther, Woolford, Beardsley (Brodie, 78), Brayson.

Bradford: Ricketts, Williams (Harban, 58), Wetherall (Ainge, 62), Bower, Heckingbottom, Colbeck (Daley, 46), Phelan (Penfold, 62), Evans (Johnson, 46), Naughton (Osborne, 84), Conlon (Nix, 75), Joynes (Medley, 75).

Referee: Ross Joyce (Middlesbrough).

Attendance: 1,073.