JAMES FORD has admitted some of his York City Knights troops made him look daft on their recalls to the team.

Of the four players brought back into the side for Easter Monday's match against Widnes Vikings, fit-again Nick Rawsthorne scored a try, Jack Blagbrough set up two with barnstorming charges upfield, Judah Mazive had key moments, and Dave Petersen worked his socks off initially at hooker then loose-forward.

And Ford suggested they proved a point in the Knights' stunning comeback victory over the full-timers.

He also hailed the match-winning skills of Connor Robinson and the class of Matty Marsh - saying the latter's switch to stand-off, enabled by Jason Bass' ability at full-back, provided "food for thought".

Ford said of the recalled quartet: "I say to the boys who have been left out, 'You're part of the team, you're part of my plans. Improve in this area and when you come in, make me look daft'.

"And they have done.

"Blaggy was excellent, Judah had some good moments, Dave Petersen had some energy. There's still some more in Nick. I thought at times he was a little bit off but we will work with him."

Meanwhile, Marsh's super display for an hour at full-back and the thrilling last 20 minutes at half-back earned him the Press and sponsors' man-of-the-match awards - and made him a contender to continue in the halves.

With first-choice stand-off Ben Cockayne currently sidelined for two months, Ford has tried on-loan half-back Lewis Heckford and hookers Will Jubb and Kriss Brining in that role alongside scrum-half Robinson.

Jubb filled the job for an hour against Widnes before reverting to hooker, with the reshuffle seeing Brad Hey enter at centre and Rawsthorne move out to the wing, allowing former Coventry Bears player Bass to go to full-back and in turn Marsh to stand-off.

Marsh immediately helped to set up a try for Rawsthorne, before a drop goal, try and penalty by Robinson saw the Knights complete a 17-10 comeback victory.

Ford - who had an unhappy time as a player at Widnes where he was used at full-back - said of Marsh: "That's food for thought because when he went into the halves he looked good, and Bassy looked good at full-back.

"It's something we've considered but full-back is a difficult position to play, certainly for 80 minutes."

He quipped: "As I've said on numerous occasions, I've shown people how not to play it - ask some of the Widnes fans, I'm sure they'll remind you.

"But he (Bass) dropped in there for the last 20 minutes and allowed Marshy to step up into the halves and have a little bit more involvement.

"I'm really pleased with Marshy and how he's developing, and there's certainly another couple of levels in him."

On Robinson's delightful drop goal and super solo try, Ford, hailing his playmaker's continued improvement, said: "Two years ago Connor wouldn't have been able to do that.

"He would have flapped and come up with something that would probably have cost us.

"The last two games he's been out there almost on his own (at half-back). Lewis Heckford (who played stand-off in the Good Friday loss at Featherstone) is very young and is new to this system and new to how we play. He has some potential but he has to cover some ground in terms of his development. And Will Jubb is a nine.

"Jubby has done alright, but Connor has had to absolutely control everything, and normally that's Benny (Cockayne). So Connor has had to step up. This will be massive for his development, and eventually Benny's going to be back and we'll be an even better team."