BEN Purkiss might be the lawyer in York City's team but few players have presented a stronger case for selection during the club's pre-season programme than Onome Sodje.

The 19-year-old striker scored his fifth goal in seven friendlies as the Minstermen defeated a full-strength League Two outfit at KitKat Crescent for the second successive weekend.

Sodje provided the winning strike in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Chesterfield just ten minutes after his arrival as a second-half substitute.

His pace and persistence proved a real nuisance for the Spireites, whose defenders had contained senior City trio Chris Beardsley, Craig Farrell and Paul Brayson with fewer problems.

The first 20 minutes of Saturday's game was more typical of a pre-season encounter than City's other fast and furious fixtures this summer.

A leisurely, low-key start saw neither side trouble the goal until a strong run by home skipper Manny Panther led to a 25-yard chance that Farrell curled narrowly wide on 19 minutes.

Chesterfield went ahead, though, with their first attack of the match.

Panther lost possession in the Spireites' half and Phil Picken's long pass sailed over the head of City defender David McGurk, releasing former Nottingham Forest striker Jack Lester whose deft 33rd-minute lob beat Tom Evans from 12 yards.

Shortly afterwards, Brayson was switched from the right wing to centre forward with Farrell moving on to the flank.

On 39 minutes, the best move of the match saw Spireites midfielders Adam Smith and Jamie Winter combine to create an opportunity for Gregor Robertson that was saved by Evans' feet.

But City struck back three minutes later with Farrell's first pre-season goal.

Pressure from Brayson on the left wing led to a mistake from ex-City loan defender Janos Kovacs, who was imperious in the air but less certain in possession.

The ball broke for Beardsley in the box. His shot was saved by Barry Roche, only for Farrell to drive in from 12 yards.

Chesterfield started the second half strongly with midfielder Derek Niven having two early chances, firing his first effort over and then forcing a near-post save from Evans with his second.

Lester also shot over after outmuscling McGurk on the edge of the penalty box.

The twin introductions of strikers Sodje and Richard Brodie on to the wings turned the tide in City's favour however.

Sodje scored the winning goal on 76 minutes, using his upper body strength to win the ball before playing a neat one-two with Panther and prodding the ball past the advancing Roche.

The former Charlton Athletic trainee could have gone on to claim a quickfire hat-trick with his determination creating a 79th-minute chance for himself that was smothered by the Chesterfield 'keeper.

Roche then had to produce an outstanding save seconds later after the alert Sodje had controlled a miss-hit Stuart Elliott shot in the penalty box.

Fellow young gun Brodie also went close with a curling 88th-minute free kick that was tipped over by the overworked Roche.

It was an encouraging end to City's pre-season programme, although a late reckless challenge by Darren Craddock will have damaged his chances of usurping Purkiss for City's right-back slot.

Elsewhere, McEwan's most interesting selection decisions for the Blue Square Premier curtain raiser at home to Cambridge United remain who will play centre-back alongside McGurk, who fills the right-sided midfielder role and which two strikers he pairs to lead his attack.

On this evidence, the merits of Sodje, used as a substitute in City's last three high- profile pre-season fixtures, will be difficult to ignore.

York: Evans, Purkiss (Craddock 73), McGurk, Jones (Crosser 46), Robinson, Brayson (Greenwood 71), Elliott, Panther, Woolford (Sodje 66), Beardsley (Meechan 71), Farrell (Brodie 66).

Chesterfield: Roche, Lowry, Downes, Kovacs, Robertson, Niven, Picken, Winter, Smith, Fletcher, Lester.

Referee: Andy Haines (Lincolnshire).

Attendance: 766.