Just five days after returning to training and just short of seven weeks away from the play off final at Wembley, Boro returned to action.
Aitor Karanka brought 23 players the short 50 mile journey down the A19, intention being to start with a different 11 in each half and a third each for three goalkeepers. Albert Adomah, Muzzy Carayol and Ben Gibson were given extended time off following summer international duty, while Adam Forshaw missed the game with a sore hip.
Warm sunshine welcomed the players and Boro's bright yellow away kit together with York's new kit, bright red, made for a colourful scene.
Early energy saw both teams keenly contest possession but it wasn't until the fifth minute that the game rendered a chance as summer signing Alex Baptiste picked out Kike with a cross from the left-hand edge of the penalty area - the Spaniard heading just wide.
Mixing seniors with U21s, Karanka took the opportunity to see how some of the younger players faired at a higher level with central defender Dael Fry, central midfielder Lewis Maloney, attacking midfielder Callum Cooke and striker Junior Mondal all starting the first half.
Boro fans, here in numbers and bathing in the sunshine on the uncovered Grosvenor Road terrace, saw their team go about their business in tidy and efficient fashion, with the industrious Maloney busy and wasting nothing.
Approaching the mid-point of the first half a 50-50 challenge between Baptiste and a City player known simply as Trialist A brought a sickening sound and left Baptiste in clear distress. Just over eight minutes later he left the field sitting up on a stretcher, right leg in a splinter and applauded by management, players and fans from both teams. Andre Bennett took his place.
A few minutes after the restart Trialist A was in the thick of the action again, none the worse for his accidental collision, as he was sent clear by City skipper Russell Penn to shoot low only to see Fry clear off the line.
With 38 minutes played Boro almost took the lead as a low shot from James Husband hit a post and Scott Flinders, recent signing from Hartlepool, blocked close-range, follow-up headers from Kike and Mondal.
Half-time York City 0 Middlesbrough 0
Fresh legs in both teams brought about a lively start to the second half with City going close following good work down the left from Femi Ilesanmi.
U21 captain Jonathan Burn and his team mate at that level Adam Jackson were kept busy, but if was another defender more familiar to Boro fans who was in action at the other end as George Friend went for goal only to see his shot from the D blocked.
Callum Rzonca was inches away from opening the scoring with a low shot from the left minutes before Connor Ripley went full-length to his right tip turn away a low shot from Trialist A, the last action for the would-be City player before he was replaced in the last change of the game 16 minutes from time.
The breakthrough came with 78 minutes played after short period of Boro pressure when Lee Tomlin, who had earlier seen a shot blocked, sent Bradley Fewster away just left of centre and a low shot from an angled 12 yards was sent well out of the reach of Michael Ingham.
Fewster went close twice more in the following few minutes as Boro began to enjoy a lot more possession, but there was no further addition to the scoring.
Scorer Fewster 78
First half: Flinders: Swann, Winfield, McCombe, Nolan, Berrett, Penn (Capt.), Platt, Straker, Oliver, Trialist A.
Second half: Ingham; McCoy, Trialist B, Lowe (Capt.), Meikle, Ilesanmi, Summerfield, Godfrey, Carson, Rzonca, Trialist A (Hirst 74).
First half: Konstantopoulos (Mejias 35); Baptiste (Bennett 29), Husband, Ayala, Fry, Maloney, Leadbitter (Capt.), Wildschut, Kike, Cooke, Mondal.
Second half: Mejias (Ripley 64); Bennett, Burn, Jackson, Friend (Capt.), Kitching, Clayton, Tomlin, Reach, Chapman, Fewster.
Referee Ross Joyce
York City None
Attendance 2,798 (1,900 Boro)
Conditions Warm and sunny with a light breeze