MIDFIELD pair Neil Barrett and Chris Carruthers got on the scoresheet as York City enjoyed a 3-1 pre-season victory at Market Drayton Town.

But, having netted twice in the first ten minutes, it took a late penalty from a misfiring Michael Rankine to kill off the hard- working Evo-Stik first division south hosts after Marc Grice had reduced the deficit for the home team early in the second half.

Had City not missed a hatful of chances, however, the final winning margin would have been much more comfortable.

City manager Martin Foyle spared top scorer Richard Brodie, goalkeeper Michael Ingham and left-back James Meredith the Staffordshire trip, as well as midfield pair Alex Lawless and Levi Mackin.

Summer signings Greg Young and Duane Courtney were also absent having failed fitness tests on their respective foot and knee problems.

The Minstermen started the match in clinical fashion, taking only 45 seconds to open their account at Greenfield Lane.

Barrett, returning to the side after missing the last three friendlies, produced a confident ten-yard finish after Peter Till’s low cross.

The visitors then doubled their lead on nine minutes with a goal that would grace any Blue Square Bet Premier stadium during the coming season.

Carruthers, playing in the centre of midfield, controlled an Andy McWilliams cross on his chest 15 yards from goal and then, without letting the ball bounce, sent a spectacular overhead kick crashing past mesmerised Drayton ’keeper Andrew Pryce.

At the other end, the home team rarely threatened David Knight’s goal before the interval, although Nicky Porter’s right-wing cross brushed the top of his netting on 22 minutes.

City continued to exert attacking pressure, however, with a confident Carruthers clipping the crossbar.

Djoumin Sangare also headed against the outside of a post following Till’s corner.

Moments later, Rankine went close with another header and, after McDermott tried his luck twice from distance, the former Rushden striker was denied a goal on the stroke of half-time by Marc Stallard’s brave block.

Drayton made a more purposeful start to the second half and reduced the deficit on 51 minutes.

Striker Grice capitalised on a Daniel Parslow mistake before sidestepping teenage right-back Jonny Andrew and producing a composed finish to beat Knight from 12 yards.

Seconds later, Grice was presented with a great chance to level the scores but, this time, failed to keep a calm head, blazing over from the edge of the box.

City might have then increased their lead but Rankine fired across the face of goal following McDermott’s through ball.

Barrett also sidefooted wastefully wide after a flowing move and Rankine again failed to convert at the far post after a firmly driven cross by McDermott.

Shortly afterwards, McWilliams drove wide after a positive surge forward and home ’keeper Andrew Pryce denied Rankine again with a courageous stop after he had spilled McDermott’s initial shot.

Rankine’s frustrating evening carried on unabated when Pryce stole the ball off his toes after he had sprung the offside trap and attempted to round the home ’keeper.

Striking partner Michael Gash did put the ball in the net moments later but was flagged offside after collecting a Jamie Hopcutt pass.

Jonathan Smith also saw a chance cleared off the line and, after Foyle introduced his son Lee at left-back for the final ten minutes, Hopcutt struck the base of a post.

In the third minute of stoppage time, Rankine belatedly got his name on the scoresheet, converting from 12 yards after being tripped in the box.

York City: David Knight, Daniel Parslow, David McGurk, Djoumin Sangare (Jonny Andrew, 40), Andy McWilliams (Lee Foyle, 81), Peter Till (Michael Whitwell, 63), Chris Carruthers (Tom Richardson, 63), Neil Barrett (Jonathan Smith, 63), David McDermott (Jamie Hopcutt, 69), Michael Rankine, George Purcell (Michael Gash, 46).