York City scored twice in the first half-hour to condemn Stockport County to their second successive away defeat.
Jim Gannon duly named an unchanged starting line-up at Bootham Crescent for the first time since the beginning of April, as well as keeping faith with the 4-4-2 formation that had worked to such excellent effect in thumping Southport four days earlier.
The hosts included two players who had once plied their trade at EP. And the pair linked up usefully in the early stages to create the game’s first chance, as a through-ball from captain Sean Newton was fired narrowly wide of the right post by striker Amari Morgan-Smith.
After 16 minutes, Newton made an even more telling contribution against his old club when the skipper’s long throw from the left found Simon Heslop – who marked his return following suspension by drilling home from six yards.
And 11 minutes later, the other former Hatter doubled York’s advantage. After collecting the ball 35 yards out, Morgan-Smith advanced forward to unleash a curling 20-yarder past Ben Hinchliffe and into the top-right corner.
The Hatters, with a little over 30 minutes played, had been forced to make two changes at the back – bringing on Dan Cowan and Chris Smalley for the injured Sam Minihan and Michael Clarke.
They soon looked to have got themselves back in the contest when, after 34 minutes, Matty Warburton’s close-range prod rebounded over the line off defender Hamza Bencherif only to be ruled out for a foul.
County began the second half with a three-man defence and started the brighter.
Jimmy Ball had two shots stopped by home goalkeeper Jon Worsnop, who, following a short, sharp shower of rain, also did well in the wetter conditions to hold on to a low cross from the right by Cowan.
And with 10 minutes remaining, the Hatters went closer still when Stephen O’Halloran flicked on Sam Walker’s corner from the right – only for Josh Law, by the far post, to clear off the line.
Both keepers pulled off worthy saves towards the end – with Hinchliffe acrobatically tipping over a chipped effort from Alex Whittle on the edge of the box, and Worsnop smothering Walker’s well-struck thunderbolt from distance – to leave the scoreline unaltered, and County still seeking a first victory against York since 1997.
FULL-TIME: York City 2 (Heslop, 16; Morgan-Smith, 27), Stockport County 0
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Minihan (Cowan, 24), Duxbury, Ball (Thomas, 75), Clarke (Smalley, 31), O’Halloran, Stephenson, Winter (C), Oswell, Warburton, S Walker. Unused Subs: Hampson, Smith.
Attendance: 3,011 (770 away fans).