Stanley lost out to ten-man York on Boxing Day as City recorded their first win of the season at Bootham Crescent.

In an open first half, the Reds went behind to a set-piece on 35 minutes when Michael Coulson’s free kick was headed home by defender Keith Lowe at the far post.

And York were reduced to ten men on 61 minutes when Bradley Halliday saw red for a two-footed challenge on Tom Aldred.

However, Stanley couldn’t capitalise despite Lee Molyneux clipping the outside of the post late on.

It was the home side who started well and Halliday’s early strike was tipped around the post by Stanley keeper Luke Simpson.

Winger Molyneux had been recalled to the Stanley starting XI and his early free kicks were proving a threat with both Aldred and Rob Atkinson getting on the end of them but neither could find the target.

The game was open with Nicky Hunt clearing a cross almost on the goalline and Stanley breaking but Piero Mingoia’s final shot was easy for former Reds keeper Alex Cisak.

It was end-to-end and Huddersfield loanee Matt Crooks got the ball in the area for Stanley but, with only Cisak to beat, fired straight at the keeper.

York increased the pressure and came close on the half hour when Jake Hyde’s effort took a deflection and Simpson clawed the ball out only for the ball to be played back in and Diego De Girolama’s header was cleared off the line.

York made a chance count on 35 minutes when Coulson’s free kick on the left found Lowe’s whose powerful header beat Simpson.

Before the break Molyneux had an effort blocked while ex-Stanley striker Wes Fletcher fired into the side netting as City took their lead into the break.

Stanley had a great chance to level after the re-start when a Hunt free kick skimmed the head of Atkinson but the ball went straight into Cisak’s arms.

Coulson looked for a second for York but fired into Simpson’s arms as it was a whole-hearted encounter.

John Coleman put on Shay McCartan on 55 minutes, the last gasp goal hero from last season, hoping he could grab the much-needed goal.

But the next major incident saw Halliday lunge in on Aldred in midfield on 61 minutes and referee Darren Bond immediately got out a red card, with York down to ten men.

Despite being a man down, York came close to adding a second on 70 minutes when Fletcher broke quickly but Simpson denied him.

Coleman introduced James Gray and Josh Windass as the Reds looked  for an equaliser and they felt hard done to when the referee turned away penalty appeals for a challenge on McCartan in the area.

And then Molyneux was centimetres away when his 25 yard shot clipped the outside of the crossbar in the final few minutes of normal time – and they couldn’t make a chance count in seven minutes of injury time.