York City 3 Braintree Town 0
Sat 1st Apr 3.00pm
York City recorded back-to-back victories for the first time this season with a comfortable 3-0 triumph against relegation rivals Braintree Town at Bootham Crescent.
Leading scorer Jon Parkin handed them the perfect start from an eleventh-minute free-kick and on loan midfielder Asa Hall headed a second in first-half added time.
His fellow Cheltenham Town loanee Amari Morgan-Smith later settled the issue with fifteen minutes remaining.
Manager Gary Mills earlier made a single enforced change with skipper Simon Heslop's groin problem allowing Danny Holmes to return. The always inspirational Sean Newton took over the armband in his absence, while goalkeeper Kyle Letheren was recalled to the bench following his recovery from back spasms.
Braintree started well enough with twenty-three-goal leading marksman Michael Cheek curling an early 25-yard free-kick wide; although it was a similar situation at the other end immediately bringing the opening goal as Parkin despatched into the top corner after Holmes was fouled.
Home striker Vadaine Oliver then shot wide after Daniel Parslow helped back Hall's corner at the far post.
But York had an escape on the half-hour when Cheek's looping header struck the crossbar and Jake Goodman headed the rebound over after Scott Loach had initially punched away a free-kick. Newton was soon cautioned for bringing down Cheek and Chez Isaac's resultant free-kick forced Loach into an alert low save.
Morgan-Smith next headed wide Newton's corner delivered towards the other end, before the visitors were themselves saved by the woodwork when Parkin stole in from Holmes' throw and headed over Sam Beasant - but found only the crossbar. Holmes then became the second player booked for his challenge on Reece Hall-Johnson.
However, the Minstermen added a crucial second goal in first-half added time when Morgan-Smith delivered from the right and on loan midfielder Hall headed in off the crossbar at the back post.
York were attacking towards the away end during the second period - and Holmes soon volleyed too high when Oliver flicked on Adriano Moke's cross. Oliver also poked over Alex Whittle's assist before Jack Midson's long-range reply was blocked by Loach and substitute Joe Maybanks later comfortably wayward.
Defender Parslow also glanced a header wide from Hall's corner, while Oliver's subsequent attempt lacked sufficient force to seriously trouble Beasant before also sending a further effort across goal.
Goalscorer Hall next cleared the target from the edge of the area, but bustling forward Parkin then laid off for Morgan-Smith to drive in a third goal at similar range.
Advancing wing-back Whittle soon flashed another shot narrowly wide of the far corner and Oliver also chested down Newton's cross and struck behind.
Goodman later hoisted over from close-range for the visitors, while Parkin's reply on the turn was similarly too high as his colleagues secured a surprisingly comfortable victory.
York City: Loach, Parslow, Bencherif, Newton, Holmes, Moke, Hall, Whittle, Morgan-Smith, Parkin (Muggleton 89), Oliver
subs (unused): Rooney, Letheren, Fenwick, Connolly
Goals: Parkin (11), Hall (45), Morgan-Smith (75)
Braintree Town: Beasant, Clohessy, Parry, Goodman, Okimo, Corne (Farrell 71), Hall-Johnson, Isaac, Twardek (Maybanks 55), Cheek, Midson
subs (unused): Lee, Barnard, Mbulu
Ref: T. Nield
Att: 2,825 (41 Braintree)