HE might have arrived seven days later than is seasonal for saviours, but Richard Brodie's second-half introduction for York City rescued three unlikely points at Droylsden.

Maligned by his own supporters on occasions this season, Brodie was everybody's hero among the 531-strong travelling contingent at the end of yesterday's game, having concluded a crazy comeback that ensured the New Year kicked off in high spirits.

Brodie, introduced for a struggling Onome Sodje, was instrumental as City cancelled out a 2-0 Droylsden lead during a chaotic final half-hour.

A hat-trick of strong penalty appeals were rejected and City also hit the crossbar three times before and in between Brodie having a hand in goals for Manny Panther on 70 minutes and Craig Farrell on 87.

However, when home striker Jody Banim restored the Bloods' advantage with a minute of regulation time left to play, Colin Walker's unbeaten record as manager looked poised to end in his eighth game in charge.

But, incredibly, Brodie, who had previously found the net only twice for the Minstermen this season, doubled his 2007/2008 tally with two stoppage-time efforts to clinch a sixth successive victory.

As new beginnings go, it was pretty spectacular and the manic reaction of City's delighted fans suggested redemption has been secured by Brodie.

Earlier, City had trailed by two goals at the interval following the home side's only on-target attempts of the half.

Banim opened the scoring in devastating fashion on 28 minutes, firing a textbook volley into Tom Evans' bottom right-hand corner from 20 yards after the visitors failed to clear a hopeful ball into the box.

At the other end, City's chances were largely limited to long-range efforts, with Stuart Elliott and Martyn Woolford, both forcing saves from home 'keeper Paul Phillips.

But the best opportunity of the half fell to Anthony Lloyd, who saw his eight-yard effort smothered after alert goalkeeping by Phillips.

Disaster struck for City, though, on 40 minutes when centre-back Darren Kelly was robbed of possession just inside his own half by Terry Fearns.

The mistake gifted Fearns an unopposed run on Evans' goal and he kept his composure to find the City 'keeper's bottom right-hand corner with a sidefooted finish. Walker kept faith with the same players and system for the start of the second half but made swift changes when few inroads were being made.

Brodie and Nicky Wroe were both introduced and Paul Brayson replaced Elliott soon afterwards.

Walker also switched from his favoured 3-4-1-2 formation to 4-4-2 with Danny Parslow, Ben Purkiss and Craig Farrell all playing out of position at right-back, left-back and right-wing respectively, although all three looked naturals in their new roles.

Woolford, who conversely had moved into his more familiar left-wing berth, rattled the crossbar just past the hour following a Wroe pass, although Droylsden offered City a reminder of their attacking threat when an umarked Fearns narrowly failed to convert Banim's driven free-kick to the far post.

City clawed a goal back two minutes later when Purkiss' tantalising left-footed cross clipped Brayson's heel and fell kindly for Panther, who found an inviting net from five yards.

Panther then drove a rising, angled shot against the woodwork after a determined run into the hosts' box and David McGurk saw a header from Wroe's 83rd-minute corner tipped on to the bar by the frantic Phillips, who also saved bravely at Brodie's feet after the ball had broken loose to the 6ft 3ins striker ten yards from goal.

The pressure finally told when Purkiss sent in a deep cross from the right and McGurk, by this time operating as a makeshift striker, won the header.

Brodie then drilled a low cross to the far post where Farrell was waiting to tap-in.

City's ecstatic fans could not have believed greater delirium was still to come after Droyslden went up the other end and restored their advantage.

First, Ashley Burbeary forced a near-post save from Evans on 88 minutes and then the City 'keeper was deceived when Banim's speculative 30-yard shot clipped Kelly's shoulder and arced into his top right-hand corner.

But, just as City fans were cursing the beginning of 2008, McGurk won another header in the home box and, after Phillips saved from Brayson, Brodie pounced to fire into an empty net in the second minute of injury time.

Sixty seconds later, the unfortunate Phillips was also equal to Wroe's low drive from the edge of the penalty area, but Brodie was again quickest to react before jumping into the arms of incredulous City supporters.

Deflated Droylsden had enough time to take the kick off before referee Jock Waugh blew the final whistle, sparking celebrations in the away end worthy of any Auld Lang Syne shindig.

Match facts

Droylsden 3 (Banim 28, 89, Fearns 40), York City 4 (Panther 70, Farrell 87, Brodie 90, 91)

York City: Tom Evans 6, Danny Parslow 7, David McGurk 8, Darren Kelly 6, Ben Purkiss 8, Stuart Elliott 7, Manny Panther 7, Anthony Lloyd 6, Martyn Woolford 8, Onome Sodje 6, Craig Farrell 7.

Substitutions: Richard Brodie (for Sodje, 51) 9, Nicky Wroe (for Lloyd, 53) 7, Paul Brayson (for Elliott, 63) 7

Subs not used: Mimms, Craddock.

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

City's star man: Brodie - played a role in City's first goal, provided an assist for the second and scored the third and fourth in injury-time. Roy Of The Rovers stuff.

Droylsden: Paul Phillips, Colin Cryan, Steve Halford, Liam Murray, Adam Dugdale, Chris Denham (Danny Warner, 54), Jamie McGuire, Ashley Burbeary, Jamie Tandy (Ged Murphy, 45), Jody Banim, Terry Fearns (Gavin Salmon, 77).

Subs not used: Gareth Morris, Robbie Talbot.

Yellow cards: Dugdale 25.

Shots on target: Droylsden 6, York 15

Shots off target: Droylsden 3, York 8

Corners: Droylsden 6, York 8

Fouls conceded: Droylsden 7, York 10

Offsides: Droylsden 4, York 2

Referee: Jock Waugh (Sheffield).

Rating: Did well to keep up with the frantic pace of the final 20 minutes and kept a level head.

Attendance: 1,051 (531 City).

Shot of the match: Banim's deadlock breaker was sweetly struck.

Mistake of the match: Kelly's error at the end of the first half, seized on by Fearns, appeared crucial at the time.

Cross of the match: Purkiss' left-footed centre that led to Panther's goal.

City player watch: Wing-back Ben Purkiss

Goal attempts on target: 0

Goal attempts off target: 0

Blocked goal attempts: 0

Passes to own player: 27

Passes to opposition: 6

Crosses to own player: 3

Crosses to opposition: 7

Pass success rate: 69.8 per cent

Dribbles ball retained: 0

Dribbles ball lost: 0

Headers: 5

Tackles: 6

Clearances, blocks and interceptions: 2

Free-kicks won: 1

Free-kicks conceded: 1

Offsides: 0 Bookings: 0

Final summary: Ben Purkiss enjoyed probably his best game since City switched to a wing-back system, looking just as comfortable on the left flank when asked to play there in the second half. His ten crosses were a healthy return with one leading to City's first goal. His passing was also generally accurate and his tackling safe, while he was only required to win five headers due to Droylsden's non-direct style of play.