FOREST GREEN slipped to a disappointing defeat at the hands of a side whose need for points was simply greater.
A kamikaze spell at the start of the second half proved their undoing, as goals from Adam Boyes on 59 minutes and Richard Brodie in the 63rd earned York a precious victory in their battle to beat the drop.
Hartpury College's Marcus Palmer netted his second for the Nailsworth outfit late on, making for a frantic finish, but it was not to be.
It was nonetheless a proud night for the College and Shortwood United, with one of their favourite sons Paul Casey handed a starting debut for Rovers at left-back.
Jonathan Smith was also recalled as Lee Ayres and Curtis McDonald, forced to play through injury in recent weeks, were afforded a deserved rest.
The Minstermen had an early sighter as Brodie burst clear on the left, cut inside the area and forced a near-post save from Terry Burton.
They then came within inches of taking the lead when Boyes crossed low for Adam Smith, who needed only a touch to score but was caught on his heels and failed to make contact.
Rovers did not threaten until the 15th minute, Paul Lloyd latching onto Lee Fowler's ball over the top and seeing his shot smothered by keeper Michael Ingham.
A much clearer opportunity came Adriano Rigoglioso's way, as he was picked out by strike partner Andy Mangan in the box and produced a tame effort that was helped round the post by Ingham.
Casey was joined on the pitch by his College and Shortwood cohort James Baldwin in the 36th minute, with Alex Lawless failing to shake off the effects of a heavy challenge on halfway.
Back came York, and Adam Smith's free-kick from 25 yards was expertly kept out by a plunging Burton.
The visiting stopper was called upon again to block a Brodie shot, and seconds later Boyes was guilty of a glaring miss with a header at the back post.
Momentum remained with the hosts immediately after the break, and they deservedly went ahead when Brodie's angled shot was parried by Burton and Boyes stabbed home the rebound from close range.
Their second was a peach, Brodie curling a shot from the right corner of the area that beat Burton's flailing arm and found the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Daniel McBreen should have put the result beyond doubt, yet somehow Burton denied him from point-blank range.
The introduction of two more Hartpury starlets in Jon Else and Palmer emphasised how Jim Harvey's resources were stretched, but he would have been disappointed by his side's failure to rouse themselves until it was too late.
Take nothing away from Gloucester-born Palmer, however, who repeated his feat at Altrincham with a sharp turn and emphatic finish to bring some cheer to the hardy 20 away supporters.
York City: M. Ingham; B. Purkiss, D. McGurk, D. Parslow, S. Pejic; A. Smith (S. Brown 90), L. Mackin, C. Smith, A. Boyes; D. McBreen (O. Sodje 72), R. Brodie; Subs not used: M. Robinson, M. Greaves, S. Torpey.
Forest Green: T. Burton; J. Smith, M. Preece, D. Jones, P. Casey (J. Else 68); P. Lloyd, A. Lawless (J. Baldwin 36), L. Fowler (M. Palmer 78), C. Platt; A. Rigoglioso; A. Mangan; Subs not used: L. Ayres, R. Robinson.
Referee: M. Naylor (Sheffield)
Star man: Terry Burton