NEWPORT County were beaten by a wonder strike at Bootham Crescent despite a fantastic display from goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin.

This day was far more about the Minstermen of York than the Exiles, the hosts knowing that victory would guarantee a play-off berth at least following their phenomenal ascension in 2014 and so it proved, though with Oxford beaten by Accrington, York’s progress was guaranteed.

But they still did well to edge an even affair, County the better side for long periods but unable to capitalise when they mustered periods of dominance.

They should’ve taken the lead in the first period when Lee Minshull got a firm header to Ryan Jackson’s long throw, but goalkeeper Nick Pope somehow denied him with a combination of hands and post.

Even shorn of the injured trio Darcy Blake, Ismail Yakubu and Byron Anthony the Exiles were impressive at the back, especially goalkeeper McLoughlin who produced several wonder saves, the pick of which saw him deny Adam Reed from just three yards.

However, County were toothless in attack after the interval with Chris Zebroski and Christian Jolley off-form and sub Aaron O’Connor miles short of his sharpest, County squandered their half chances and were increasingly hanging on.

And that only encouraged the hosts who eventually broke the deadlock with 13 minutes remaining, Coulson curling beautifully home from fully 30-yards to the delight of the bumper crowd of over 4,500.