WHEN John Motson makes his first ever visit to the McAlpine Stadium this season, it's to be hoped Town turn on a far better show than this.
The veteran commentator is due to watch Peter Jackson's men as part of his 2003-04 project to complete a full set of grounds for the BBC.
I'm sure that Motson - who sent a donation to the Survival Trust earlier this year - would have been reasonably happy against Cambridge and positively purring about Town against Derby.
It was hard to take for those who have seen Town go unbeaten at first-team level since Jackson's return, while anyone watching them for the first time must have wondered what all the fuss has been about.
York thoroughly deserved the three points thanks to a 17th-minute thunderbolt strike from Lee Bullock and a workmanlike performance which left Town foundering in all departments.
This was not a Jackson performance.
The manager prides himself on a high-tempo performance of strong tackling, quick passing and pressure attack - but he got none of those.
Chris Brass's side - who went joint top while Town slipped to 17th - dominated by squeezing the life out of Town in midfield and showing an edge on pace against a defence which has yet to keep a competitive clean sheet.
With Andy Booth in the starting line-up for the first time at the expense of Danny Schofield, Town hit far too many long balls, failed to get wingmen John Thorrington and Jon Newby into play enough and struggled to create chances.
A header from Booth blocked near the line by Mitch Ward on 35 minutes was as near as Town got to a goal in the first half.
In the second, Stead twice had efforts blocked - the first a volley from Booth's flick on 56 minutes which keeper Mark Overdale turned away and the second a firm header blocked by David Merris nine minutes from time.
Apart from those opportunities, Town rarely threatened and York should have sewn up a comfortable victory as Lee Nogan and substitute Richard Cooper missed simple chances.
The boos which greeted the display were hardly necessary as Town knew they had let down themselves and the fans, and Jackson acknowledged his team had been comfortably second best.
"We didn't deserve anything from the game and that's bitterly disappointing,"he said.
"A big crowd turned up and we didn't perform.
"This club carries big expectations because it's a big club and the fans pay their hard-earned money to watch us so they've got every right to boo when we don't perform as we should.
"We've taken plenty of plaudits and applause this time so we have to take the knocks as well.
"I can understand the fans' frustration because everyone in the dressing room shares it, but there are only three games gone and we will get better, I can assure everyone of that."
Supporters will hope the defeat acts as a painful wake-up call and that if victory isn't secured against Doncaster today, then it certainly will be against Brisol Rovers at the McAlpine on Saturday.
"We didn't get our wide players in and supply enough quality ball for Booth and Stead to attack," added Jackson.
"We improved slightly in the second half, but York chased us and didn't give us room to play and full marks to Chris Brass and his team for carrying out their game plan. They never gave us time and space to get anything going."
After making a bright start in which Jon Newby was to the fore, alarm bells rang for Town when Nogan beat their offside trap and fired across the face of goal.
Those fears were confirmed when, after sloppy defending in the box following an initial mistake by Martyn Booty, Bullock crashed in a superb drive from 20 yards which cannoned past Ian Gray off the underside of the bar.
York massed men behind the ball after that and Town's frustration was illustrated by a booking for Stead, who saw yellow for jumping into Stuart Wise, who later went off with a serious knee injury.
York's switch in formation from sweeper to 4-4-2 did not disrupt them, however, and they should have gone further ahead on 48 minutes when Nogan - completely unmarked - headed straight at Gray from eight yards.
There were gasps of astonishment from everyone in a crowd of 9,850 when Cooper missed for the visitors on 71 minutes.
Liam George created the chance with a surging run past Efe Sodje down the right - the big Nigerian was, though, Town's best player on the day - and when Nogan stepped over the ball it seemed easier for Cooper to score than to miss.
He somehow planted his shot wide of Gray's righthand post, however, and gave Town a glimmer of fresh hope.
Town felt aggrieved that a handball wasn't punished in the box and that Overdale was allowed to climb all over Booth when punching clear, but their efforts always looked like falling short of what was needed for an equaliser.
Jackson sent on Schofield and Jon Worthington in an attempt to squeeze an unlikely point, but it was York's 1,220 travelling fans who left with smiles on their faces.
For Town to win against sides like York, they have got to be far more effective in midfield and ruthless at the back.
MATCH FACTS - Town 4-4-2
Ian Gray Didn't have that much to do but beaten by a thunderous drive from the edge of the area by Lee Bullock. Rating: 5/10
Martyn Booty Distribution let him down badly, but he wasn't the only one to feel the York pressure when in possession. Rating: 4/10
Efe Sodje His pace stood out again in a back line which struggle and he covered well on several occasions Rating: 7/10
Steve Yates Made some strong headers but the speed of George and Nogan made it a difficult day at the office. Rating:4/10
Ian Hughes Was the last line of defence on several occasions in the first half, making some valuable clearances. Rating: 6/10
John Thorrington Frustrated to see little of the ball in the first half as most of Town's attacks went through Newby down the left. Rating: 5/10
Lee Fowler On the ball quite a bit, but didn't make the necessary impact as York out-muscled Town to control midfield. Rating: 4/10
Tony Carss Tried to bomb forward but Town didn't have the cohesion to make it effective and he was eventually taken off. Rating: 4/10
Andy Booth First start of the season and, typically, won everything in the air. Town should have gambled more on that. Rating: 6/10
Jon Newby Busily involved in the early stages but his crosses failed to force an opening. Switch to the right flank late on. Rating: 6/10
Jon Stead Went as close as anyone to scoring with a cracking volley and then a smart header which was blocked. Rating: 6/10
Overdale, Edmondson, Bullock, Nogan, George (Stewart 84), Wise (Cooper 25), Ward, Wood, Dunning, Hope, Merris.
Subs not used: Downes, Davies, Porter.
STAR MAN: Efe Sodje
Arrived back from a 12,000 mile journey to Japan only at 9am on Friday but looked as fresh as anyone on the pitch as he skippered Town in the absence of Rob Edwards. Strong and pacy, he stood out at the back and looked useful going forward
Lee Bullock's cracking strike dampened the fire of Town's highly promising start and gave York the confidence to dominate in the centre, where Fowler and Carss could not get a grip on the game
Subs used: Town: Schofield for Thorrington 74, Worthington for Carss 78. York: Cooper for Wise 25, Stewart for George 84.
Subs not used: Town: Senior, Thompson, Scott. York: Downes, Davies, Porter.
Scorer: York: Bullock 17 mins.
Referee: Joe Ross (Essex).
Assistants: Ian Nolan (Lancs), Mark Tilling (Cleveland)
Bookings: Town: Stead, Worthington. York: Nogan.
Shots on target: Town 5, York 2.
Corners: Town 7, York 3.
Caught offside: Town 0, York 6.
Free-kicks awarded: Town 15, York 11.
Attendance: 9,850 (Away: 1,220).