Curzon Ashton 4 York City 1
Sat 17th Feb 3.00pm
York City produced a shockingly atrocious performance while crashing 4-1 to lowly part-timers Curzon Ashton at the Tameside Stadium.
Home striker Niall Cummins claimed a first-half hat-trick having already seen a penalty saved by the outstanding Adam Bartlett, with Sam Walker adding to it after the break.
The visitors then had leading goalscorer Jon Parkin given a straight red card before new signing Alex Kempster impressively replied on his debut after coming off the bench.
On loan Middlesbrough youngster Alex Pattison had much earlier hobbled off with an injury, while Connor Brown later received yet another booking and could now be facing a three-game suspension.
Manager Martin Gray named an unchanged starting line-up, with latest arrivals Kempster and Marcus Williams included amongst the substitutes; although there was no place for lately recovered striker Louis Almond.
But the visitors made the worst possible start when skipper Sean Newton's weak clearance found Bartlett blocking from Jake Dunwoody and Cummins tapping in the rebound.
Added to that early setback, on loan Pattison had already suffered a knock following a challenge by the unpunished Joe Guest and was immediately replaced by newcomer Williams.
There could have soon been another for the home side when goalscorer Cummins was denied by Bartlett and Guest lashed the rebound over. Simon Heslop's tame reply from distance only witnessed Cameron Mason easily collecting, while the recalled Guest received the first caution for a challenge on Brown.
In truth York missed a great chance to equalise when leading goalscorer Parkin wastefully headed wide at the far post from Heslop's free-kick.
And their opponents went straight towards the other end, where Ben McKenna was fouled by Brown inside the area. However, Bartlett turned Cummins' penalty onto the post.
Curzon saw a further opportunity as Chris Rowney volleyed directly at Bartlett following Jonny Burn's poor defensive header.
But a second goal still arrived after McKenna caught out substitute Williams and delivered for Cummins to easily double his tally for the afternoon.
Three minutes later Cummins completed his hat-trick when breaking through a non-existent defence and finishing across goal.
James Baillie then dragged another chance behind as the visitors continued to resemble an absolute shambles at the back. Newton responded wide from the edge of the area.
The outstanding McKenna saw yet another attempt deflected away for the home side and Baillie also blasted over following a corner.
There was still enough time remaining for Bartlett to once again come to the rescue from Walker as a shocking opening half performance was mercifully ended by the half-time whistle.
Bartlett was soon blocking from Guest upon the restart, that ahead of new signing and former Whitley Bay striker Kempster replacing Aidan Connolly.
However, it was Parkin next miskicking when ideally placed; although Cummins had a header diverted behind before the unmarked Walker's effort took a deflection into the net as the unchecked procession continued.
It couldn't get much worse for hapless York, but inevitably did as Parkin was brandished a straight red card for an illegal challenge on Jonathan Hunt.
At least it was the visitors finally responding when substitute Kempster - who blasted a midweek hat-trick for the reserves - cut inside and struck home from a narrow angle.
Right-back Brown then picked up a further yellow card for dissent, while Bartlett reacted well as another corner deflected off Newton - the agony being maintained for the sizeable travelling support.
Newcomer Kempster was certainly doing his best to reward their loyalty when heading Burn's cross against the crossbar, with Bartlett appropriately thwarting substitute Ben Wharton in added time and also gathering from the lively McKenna.
Curzon Ashton: Mason, Baillie (Thornley 87), Guest (Dwyer 76), Hunt, Shaw, Regan, Rowney, Walker, Cummins (Wharton 80), Dunwoody, McKenna
subs (unused): Clark, McKenzie
Goals: Cummins (4, 35, 38), Walker (60)
York City: Bartlett, Brown, Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson (Correia 73), Heslop, Newton, Pattison (Williams 7), Connolly (Kempster 54), Moke, Parkin
subs (unused): Parslow, Simpson
Goals: Kempster (69)
Ref: D. Underwood