YORK City fell to their first defeat in six games as they were beaten 3-1 by Notts County at the LNER Community Stadium.
A wonderful free-kick from Quevin Castro was cancelled out by Fraser Kerr, who scored his first ever York goal with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Before half-time though, Macaulay Langstaff notched his 11th goal of the season. The former City striker completed his brace in the second half and with that ensured a win for his side.
It was a game in which the Minstermen very rarely threatened the Magpies in attack, struggling to create many chances in the final third.
County, however, could have been up by two or three goals at half-time were it not for Ethan Ross, the on-loan York goalkeeper making impressive saves on strikes from both Langstaff and Ruben Rodrigues.
City were looking to extend their unbeaten streak to six while making a swift return to winning ways after drawing 1-1 with Scunthorpe United in their previous outing.
Centre-back Maxim Kouogun, who was absent from the clash at Glanford Park through suspension, returned to the team in place of Gus Mafuta, who dropped to the bench.
York manager John Askey brought both Alex Whittle and AJ Greaves back into the team, in place of Ryan Fallowfield and Mitch Hancox respectively, the latter having picked up a knock against Scunthorpe.
Midfielder Olly Dyson was moved to right wing-back for the first time this term, a position he grew accustomed to throughout last season.
There was just one alteration on the bench, with midfielder Scott Burgess coming into the fold.
The first chance of the match came after a free-kick was awarded to Notts County. Jim O’Brien was tackled by Manny Duku about 35 yards from goal.
Up stepped the loanee Castro, striking an effort towards goal which glided into the top-right corner, beating Ross and giving County the lead.
The Magpies came incredibly close to doubling their lead within the opening 20 minutes.
A long kick forward from Sam Slocombe sailed over the City backline, finding the feet of Langstaff.
The attacker was in on goal, one-on-one with Ross, but was denied by a brilliant save from York’s number one.
Mere moments later, Ross was called into action yet again. The ball came to Ruben Rodrigues on the right of the box, whose curling shot was well parried away.
Langstaff remained a persistent threat, consistently looking to create and cause trouble to the City defence.
He succeeded in earning some space for himself at the edge of the box, but could only fire his shot over the crossbar.
Only a minute afterwards, Aaron Nemane charged down on the York goal from the right wing.
He was denied by an alert Ross, who thundered forward from his line to close down the County attacker.
With 10 minutes of regular time remaining, City captain John-Lewis was fouled just behind the half-way line.
Ross was called up to take the free-kick, launching it forwards towards the County box. The ball soon fell to Sam Sanders, who played it quickly to Dyson on the left.
Dyson’s driven cross found Kerr in space and the centre-back swept the ball into the net for his first York goal, equalising the match.
Looking to build on their momentum, City continued to attack after scoring. Kouogun was at the heart of a fantastic move down the right wing, interchanging passes as he broke forward.
He soon found Duku, charging in behind the Magpies’ defence, but the 29-year-old’s cross had too much power and height, going beyond the box and out of play.
As half-time grew nearer, County continued their search for a second goal, one that would allow them to enter the break with an advantage.
Nemane and Rodrigues linked up well on the right-hand side, with Nemane soon played in behind the defence.
The winger fired a ball into the box that was met by Langstaff. The 25-year-old’s diving header beat Ross and County went into half-time up by one.
County came agonisingly close to extending their lead early in the second half.
Castro did really well to create space on the right before firing the ball across goal. It found Chicksen who, amazingly, failed to convert from only yards out.
York continued to struggle going forward, but created some nice plays throughout the half.
Whittle did well to break down the left wing and went down under challenge near the edge of the box. No foul was awarded, however, and City failed to profit from their attack.
Another let off for City came when County captain Kyle Cameron’s splitting through ball found Langstaff in the box.
Though unmarked, the striker could only thrash his effort over the crossbar.
The game was decided when, with 10 minutes left to play, County scored their third. Gus Mafuta, introduced as a substitute, played a pass to Kouogun.
The centre-back, under pressure, saw his own attempted pass intercepted by O’Brien, who slotted Langstaff in on goal with a through ball.
The striker made no mistake, placing his effort beyond Ross for his second, and County's third, goal of the game.
York City: Ross, 7, Dyson, 6, Kouogun, 6, Sanders, 5 (Mafuta, 71’), Kerr, 6, Whittle, 6, Pybus, 6, Greaves, 5, (Burgess, 63’), Kouhyar, 5, John-Lewis (C), 5, Duku, 5 (James, 54’)
Unused subs: Whitley, Hurst
Goals: Kerr (35’)
Yellow cards: Greaves (18’)
Notts County: Slocombe, Cameron (C), Rawlinson, Brindley, Chicksen, Nemane, Palmer, O'Brien, Rodrigues (Mitchell, 83’), Castro (Austin, 65’), Langstaff (Scott, 83’)
Unused subs: Adebayo-Rowling, Francis
Goals: Castro (5’), Langstaff (43’, 80’)
Yellow cards: Rodrigues (22’), Nemane (64’)
York City’s star man: Ethan Ross. Yet again, the goalkeeper was crucial for York City. The Minstermen may have conceded three, but Ross ensured that it was not five or six.
Stats for York City v. Notts County
Shots (on target): 1 (1) | 10 (6)
Corners: 0 | 4
Offsides: 4 | 1
Fouls committed: 9 | 8
Referee: Lewis Smith