York City Knights 16 Whitehaven 18

Knights: Robson 7, Saxton 8, Haynes 7, Morrison 6, Foggin-Johnston 8, Harris 6, C Robinson 6, A Robinson 8, P Smith 6, Siddons 5, Batchelor 7, E Smith 7, Spears 7. Subs (all used): Carter 7, Hey 8, Dixon 7, Moran 7.

Tries: Saxton 9; Hey 65; Spears 70.

Conversions: C Robinson 65, 70.

Penalties: none.

Sent off: none.

Sin-binned: none.

Whitehaven: Miller, Calvert, Parker, Taylor, Burns, Roper, Crook, Worthington, Tilley, Riley, Aiye, McAvoy, Forster. Subs (all used): Newton, Holliday, Holland, Brown.

Tries: Calvert 19; Newton 44; Forster 53.

Conversions: Crook 19, 44, 53.

Penalties: none.

Sent off: none.

Sin-binned: none.

Man of the match: Dee Foggin-Johnston – both wingers were excellent, making ground infield to help their forwards as well as showing skill and ability out wide and, while twinkletoes Tommy Saxton was rewarded with a try and the darting DFG wasn’t, the latter’s wondrous assist for Brad Hey’s try gets him the nod.

Referee: Steve Race (Wakefield) – handled the game well enough but made a few calls York could feel were harsh. It was summed up late on as York pushed for a gamebreaker – penalising Kieran Moran for dissent may have been correct but not giving the prop a penalty for a dangerous tip tackle was very debatable.

Penalty count: 10-6

Half-time: 4-6

Weather: players from both sides showed great fitness to play out an intense game in searing 30-plus degree heat.

Attendance: 1,084 (the Knights’ highest since 2011).

Moment of the match: York’s opening try was a belter, veteran winger Tommy Saxton turning the clock back to sprint home, but the one scored by Brad Hey - with Dee Foggin-Johnston’s stunning assist, after the team had kept the ball alive for an age with basketball passes and weaving runs in and out blind alleys - was one of the most remarkable tries ever seen at Bootham Crescent, and it gave them hope of a comeback.

Gaffe of the match: There were a few by York, especially in a period in the first half which invited pressure such as Liam Harris not finding touch with a penalty, and Ash Robson and Tim Spears uncharacteristically spilling the ball. The worst was probably Harris’ ill-judged and even iller-executed offload in front of his own sticks which gifted Haven the ball in the red zone. However, the most decisive mistakes were the three fluffed penalties late on, all from centrefield, two by Connor Robinson and one by Harris, which denied the Knights a draw and possibly a victory.

Gamebreaker: Those three missed penalties, from 42, 35 and 30 metres out, in the last seven minutes meant Haven would hold on, York unable to level the scores, never mind go ahead.

Match rating: it was a compelling encounter between two excellent League One sides, with defences impressing as much as attacks. Whitehaven had the edge for much of it and underlined their current status as favourites to go up with Toronto, but York, showing remarkable fight and some breath-taking bits of skill, forged a way back and really should have got at least a share of the spoils. These two sides will surely be in the shake-up come the play-offs.