York City Knights fans were singing in the rain after Leigh slipped to agonising defeat on a first ever visit to Bootham Crescent.

Martyn Ridyard and Danny Richardson missed late drop goal attempts to salvage a point.

Ridyard, who had another drop goal attempt charged down, also missed a penalty to return John Duffy’s side to winning ways.

That left Connor Robinson’s 70th minute single pointer separating last season’s League One champions from their disappointed former Super League visitors.

A game that promised and delivered few points due to the wet conditions didn’t lack excitement though that was of little consolation to Leigh after a third defeat in five games.

This latest setback leaves Centurions seventh in the table with City Knights third behind leaders Toronto and Sheffield Eagles.

Leigh recalled winger Jonny Pownall-after missing the home defeat to Toronto through suspension- plus Nick Gregson and dual registration St Helens prospect, Aaron Smith.

But it was another Saint who made the first telling contribution to the contest.

Joe Batchelor appeared for Leigh in their pre-season defeat to London Broncos but subsequently joined York on loan after successful stints in 2017 and 2018.

And the impressive second row powered over after five minutes for the Knights’ only try. Robinson struck an upright with his conversion attempt.

However, the former Hull KR and Halifax player was on target when referee James Child awarded a penalty.

At that stage Ridyard switched from full-back to stand-off after a testing opening to the game with Pownall becoming the last line of defence.

Ridyard duly sent-in Andy Thornley for a 30th minute touch down and earned Leigh parity with his conversion.

That’s the way I stayed until Robinson kicked a 57th minute penalty for the home side. Ridyard brought Leigh back on terms again nine minutes later to set-up an intriguing finale.

Robinson’s drop goal nudged York back in front before Leigh’s frantic but failed attempts to salvage at least a draw.

Swinton Lions, still seeking a first win of the new campaign, are Leigh’s next opponents at Heywood Road on Sunday, kick-off 3pm.

Match stats: York: Marsh; Whiteley, Bass, Salter, Mazive; Cockayne, Robinson; Dixon, Brinning, Blagbrough, Batchelor, Jordan-Roberts, Horne.

Substitutes: Carter, Teanby, Stock, Porter.

Try: Batchelor (5) Goals: Robinson 2/3 Drop-goal: Robinson (70) Leigh: Ridyard; Pownall, Bentley, Thornley, Marsh; Richardson, Woods; Douglas, Higham, Adamson, Adamson, Thornley, Cator.

Substitutes: Gregson, Cox, Smith, Spencer.

Try: A Thornley (31) Goals: Ridyard 2/ 3.

Referee: James Child; Half-time: 6-6;