York City 5 Southport 3
Tue 21st Mar 7.45
York City staged another massive comeback when coming from 3-1 down to defeat relegation rivals Southport 5-3 in a truly bizarre encounter at Bootham Crescent.
The Minstermen took an early lead through Sean Newton's deflected effort but the bottom-of-the-table visitors replied with three great strikes as Louis Almond scored twice alongside Rory McKeown.
However, Vadaine Oliver importantly reduced the deficit in first-half added time, and his colleagues totally ran riot after the break with Jon Parkin netting twice and Amari Morgan-Smith also on target.
Manager Gary Mills earlier named an unchanged starting eleven despite most of his players being forced into an extra half-hour of action at the weekend. Latest signing Sam Muggleton was included on the bench - with former York striker Richard Brodie the same for the visitors. On loan City defender Jack Higgins was ineligible.
Without a victory in ten games but Southport almost scored immediately when McKeown's second-minute corner was headed on and cleared off the line by Parkin.
However, York went to the other end as Newton drove forward from Aidan Connolly's pass, easing past a couple of challengers before his right-footed shot was deflected in.
Oliver and Simon Heslop then combined well but the cross was just too far before on loan goalkeeper Craig King turned aside Parkin's long-range effort. Hamza Bencherif was also too close to the Luton Town shot-stopper from the subsequent corner.
The visitors then disastrously struck twice in sixty seconds with Almond first turning Shaun Rooney on the byline and finishing decisively into the far corner.
Moments later McKeown crashed a blistering 30-yard drive beyond Kyle Letheren and into the top corner to suddenly turn the contest on its head.
Connolly headed wide Newton's corner at the other end and Oliver was off-target from Parkin's assist. Asa Hall similarly proved wayward and Oliver was next blocked by King.
Goalscorer Almond was soon threatening again from McKeown's delivery, but then struck another great finish over Letheren to make it 3-1 with the interval approaching.
But York crucially replied in first-half added time as Oliver headed in at close-range from Parkin's lifted assist to complete an absolutely crazy opening period.
Adriano Moke replaced Connolly for the start of the second-half, but Almond was soon in search of his hat-trick before Oliver blazed wide of the near post after Morgan-Smith had stolen possession.
Goalkeeper King next turned over from Daniel Parslow and Parkin had the ball in the net after Newton's volley from distance forced King to parry upwards - but was in an offside position.
However, veteran striker Parkin then equalised with a superb volley high into the net from Morgan-Smith's inviting ball forward
The Minstermen made a couple of changes with newcomer Muggleton taking over from on loan Hall, and reserve keeper Luke Simpson replacing the injured Letheren, who was struggling with a back problem.
York were attacking ceaselessly towards their favoured David Longhurst Stand, and Newton's effort was deflected over before Parkin released Morgan-Smith in the 72nd minute to calmly slot past the keeper and regain the lead.
The hosts almost had another as Oliver's fierce volley rebounded back off the inside of an upright; although it still came when debutant Muggleton launched a trademark missile of a long throw that allowed Parkin an easy back-header into the net.
Parkin lashed another volley onto the roof of the stand, with Almond missing at the other end before Declan Weeks produced a couple of routine late stops for replacement goalkeeper Simpson.
York City: Letheren (Simpson 67), Rooney, Bencherif, Parslow, Heslop, Hall (Muggleton 64), Connolly (Moke 46), Newton, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Oliver
subs (unused): Fenwick, Holmes
Goals: Newton (4), Oliver (45), Parkin (64, 78), Morgan-Smith (72)
Southport: King, Higgins, Nolan, White, Cundy, McKeown, Hynes, Weeks, Stevenson (McKenna 82), Coly (Jones 46), Almond
subs (unused): Ashton, Grimes, Brodie
Goals: Almond (19, 41), McKeown (20)
Ref: S. Rushton
Att: 2,482 (92 Southport)