York City Reserves 2, Bradford City Reserves 1

Bruce Dyer was back in claret and amber tonight as City Reserves lost 2-1 to York City at Kit Kat Crescent in the totesport.com League East.

The 33-year-old last played for City on loan under Colin Todd's reign.

The much-travelled striker has recently been training with City having struggled with a back injury since his release from Chesterfield at the end of last season.

The Minstermen fielded a team boasting no fewer that nine professional players, while in David Wetherall's side Paul Arnison returned to action following injury.

With rain poring down, Jon McLaughlin came to City's rescue in the third minute when he deflected the ball for a corner from Alan Boyes' shot but a minute later was unable to stop Richard Brodie tapping the ball home from close range.

Willy Topp almost had City back on level terms when Dyer turned in the area and coolly passed the ball to the Chilean but his rasping shot cannoned off the York crossbar.

Fine work involving Leon Osborne and Topp in the 14th minute helped City draw level with Dyer receiving the ball just inside the area to rifle it home beyond Josh Mimms.

York will have been counting themselves desperately unlucky not have been back in front with two golden opportunities in the 24th minute McLaughlin denied them at first with a fingertip save diving to his left.

Liam Shepherd crossed from the left to Niall Henderson, who edged the ball to Brodie, who was left with his head in his hands after the City keeper's reaction save.

Seconds later, from the resulting corner, the ball fell to Joe Knowlson and this time it was the crossbar which denied the home side.

Simon Russell's pace saw him leave the City defence standing in the 33rd minute and as he raced through with just McLaughlin to beat, he lost his footing slightly on the sodden pitch and his effort went wide of the mark.

With half-time looming, Brodie was again left cursing McLaughlin after he brought off another point-blank save.

City had a major let-off eight minutes after the restart when, in typical Donovan Ricketts fashion, McLaughlin came well out of his area trying to weave his way around several home players, but was caught out when he slipped on the lush turf,leaving Knowlson with what looked to be the easiest of tasks to hammer the ball into the back of an empty net.

However, he hadn't allowed for Arnison coming from nowehere to hook the ball off the line and away to safety via the crossbar.

There were some anxious moments for the watching Stuart McCall after Arnison crashed into the upright in making his clearance.

This left him hobbling for a while but he was able to continue without treatment.

In the 70th minute, Luke Sharry tried a speculative shot from 35 yards out, having seen Mimms off his line.

However, the home keeper was able to backtrack to get under the ball and tip it over for a corner.

Seconds later, Dyer was denied his second goal, and this time it was Mimms whose point-blank reactions ensured the score remained level.

York were back in front in the 80th minute when substitute Michael Emmerson lobbed the ball over McLaughlin, who was caught on the edge of the area and, despite racing back to try and catch it, was unable to stop it rolling over the line.

Play was halted when one of the officials pulled up with a calf strain, and with the minutes ticking away Topp thought he had levelled but the Minstermen were spared when substitute assistant referee Paul Ballantyne declared the Chilean offside.

City Reserves: McLaughlin, Arnison, Villermann, Sharry, Ainge, Horne, A Brown, Dean, Dyer, Topp, Osborne. Substitutes: O'Hara, Elliott, N Clarke (for Dyer), Harrison (for Osborne), Collantine (for Brown).