WHAT. A. Turnaround.

York City Knights lost heavily at Featherstone on Good Friday and it looked like being an unhappy Easter altogether as they trailed Widnes 10-0 deep into the third quarter on Bank Holiday Monday. Widnes had beaten them in the Challenge Cup last weekend, too.

But then James Ford’s men set Bootham Crescent alight with a stunning comeback against the on-form former Super League side and against the odds – to win 17-10.

Jason Bass dived into the corner to start it off just before the hour.

Then on the hour, prop Jack Blagbrough – recalled to the 17 – charged upfield, man-of-the-match Matty Marsh carried it on and the fit-again Nick Rawsthorne scored.

Connor Robinson levelled the scores with the touchline conversion, and, as the game was into the last 10 minutes, he eked his side ahead with a brilliant drop goal before making it 15-10 with an even better try after another Blagbrough charge. He capped the victory with a penalty after the final hooter.

York have beaten other big teams with much bigger budgets this season. This possibly tops the lot. It’s not often York have ever defeated a full-time club.

Indeed, anyone moaning after Friday won’t be moaning now. That’s seven victories from 10 outings following promotion – unthinkable really.

Ford had made four changes to the 17 beaten at Featherstone.

Judah Mazive and Rawsthorne were back in the threequarters, the hard-working Dave Petersen was in at hooker, and Blagbrough returned as interchange prop.

Half-back Lewis Heckford was dropped, while winger Perry Whiteley and forwards Josh Jordan-Roberts and Ronan Dixon were injured – the latter failing a fitness test during the warm-up.

Will Jubb switched from hooker to stand-off.

Widnes' Aussie centre, Anthony Gelling, who played a starring role in last week's cup tie, was out after suffering a knock in their impressive win over Leigh on Friday. He was missed, as was half-back Danny Craven, a late withdrawal.

Calum O'Neill - whose try on debut sealed their 30-12 victory on Friday – was likewise sidelined.

Jaydon Hatton went in at centre, Lloyd Roby, a sub versus Leigh, started in the halves, and Ben Davies and Dom Speakman filled the vacancies on the bench.

Compared to York's plentiful changes, there were only four alterations in personnel to the line-up from the cup meeting.

York thought they were away in the first set as Robinson sprinted through a gap but referee Greg Dolan pulled them back for obstruction – handing Widnes an immediate attacking set. It began a rather questionable refereeing performance all-round.

Widnes went ahead following another penalty, this for a late tackle in the red zone. Second-row Sam Wilde dug over from dummy-half, Jack Owens converting.

York, with a few free-kicks of their own, got a foothold in proceedings but had too many errors in them.

From one, Widnes attacked the right edge – benefitting from a forward pass – but winger Ryan Ince was bumped into touch by the outstanding Liam Salter and Bass.

York’s best attack ended with Graeme Horne – back on form after a below-par show on Friday – taking it upon himself to grubber kick in goal, winning a dropout. Horne was taken out off the ball but there was no penalty.

The repeat set came to nothing as Jack Teanby, while being big-hitting as usual, fumbled not for the first time.

York’s next chance, from a brilliant 40-20 from Robinson, also came to nothing as Marsh was unable to take Robinson’s hurried pass around his toes.

Without Craven, Widnes did not look as sharp with the ball but defensively they gave York little other than free-kicks.

Jubb was making a better fist of stand-off play than the inconspicuous Heckford on Friday – certainly defensively - but there remained a dearth of creativity in the home ranks other than when Marsh chimed into the line. They were not helped by terribly slow ruck speeds allowed by Dolan.

From one dropped ball near the visitors’ sticks, Widnes scooped up and broke away. However, Rawsthorne cut down the options and winger Sam Freeman – so deadly with four tries in last week's the cup tie – dropped the pass.

Instead York attacked again. Jubb went into dummy-half and tried to dig over. The cheers went up but Dolan deemed him held up.

The ref was duly booed off at half-time.

With not much between the sides, and both trying to find a rhythm, the first try in the second half seemed important.

Widnes got it.

They created space after winning a few contacts. Full-back Jack Owens then dummied one man and gave winger Ryan Ince an easy finish with a cut-out pass.

However, the tempo - and the match - changed after a good set out of defence with quick play-the-balls, Mazive at its heart, ended with Owens flailing at a Robinson bomb.

At 10-0 down, there was a distinct feeling York had to make something of this rare attacking platform, even with 24 minutes left.

They did so. They gleaned a repeat set, spread the ball left at pace, Marsh involved, and Salter sent his winger, Bass, into the corner.

The crowd were lifted – and York immediately scored again as Ford changed around his back line, putting Bass at full-back and Marsh into the halves.

Blagbrough burst through onto a clever Horne pass and handed onto Marsh whose pace kept the chasers at bay before he skilfully slipped the ball to Rawsthorne to finish.

Robinson levelled the scores with the touchline conversion.

York were at it again as Mazive brilliantly stole the ball from Freeman and made ground.

Irritatingly, though, Dolan stopped the play with York on the speedy counter attack and Widnes out of shape, due to a Vikings “injury” 15 yards behind the play.

Bass won a penalty as the Knights recharged the attack but it was wide left and Robinson missed.

The game, though, was now alight.

Dolan angered home fans again when awarding Widnes a scrum on half-way. They looked sure to score in the left corner but sub Brad Hey – the late replacement for Dixon on the bench, and on in the back line – got across and pulled off a try-saver on Freeman, forcing him into touch as he dived for the corner.

Then the place erupted.

Robinson lined up a drop goal but was closed down by MacGraff Leuluai. Nevertheless he sidestepped the loose-forward and, under pressure, sent over a delightful one-pointer.

Then the place erupted even more, on the back of another brilliant Blagbrough charge.

Robinson shaped to grubber kick into the corner but instead skipped past his man, then another man, then darted to the line.

From 10-0 down, York were now 15-10 up. Robinson missed the conversion so they remained only one score ahead with seven minutes to go.

Widnes attacked down the left but this time Mazive forced Freeman into touch. Twice. Unlike last week, this was not Freeman's day.

Victory was assured and the hooter sounded just as York were given a penalty.

Robinson just had to make sure the ball went dead. This he did – by kicking the two points.