YORK City failed to win for only the second time this season as Gateshead earned a 1-1 draw at Bootham Crescent.

Both goals came in the first half. Jordan Burrow put the National League North leaders in front after just five minutes before Connor Oliver equalised from the spot near the end of the 45.

Not only was it manager Steve Watson's first meeting with his former side - there were two other former Heed men instrumental in both goals.

Midfielder Kieran Green pinged a fantastic ball out to David Ferguson, who crossed in for the first, while Joe Tait conceded the penalty for a foul on Joshua Kayode.

For the sides to go in level at the break was probably a fair reflection of play - and though the quality dipped somewhat in hot, close conditions, it was likely a fair result overall.

Watson, for the third game running, put his trust in the side that has earned the Minstermen nine points, nine goals and conceded just the one. Kieran Green got another start in Dan Maguire's continued absence, which is expected to be longer than first thought.

Gateshead player-manager Mike Williamson – appointed to the post in June – went with a fairly young side. Only captain Scott Barrow, forward JJ O’Donnell and Williamson have spent more than a season with the Heed.

Those three included, the average age of the starting 11 was 25 and a half – without the trio, that drops to 23 and a half, boosted somewhat by the return of well-travelled 31-year-old Nicky Deverdics.

There were fears that over summer, the Tyneside outfit would have only one contracted player in Scott Barrow remaining at the club.

Williamson has done well to put a team back together, partnering Barrow at the back with Harrogate Town loanee Toby Lees. CNG Stadium compatriot Liam Agnew – who made a handful of appearances for York last term – played in midfield alongside Greg Olley, who made a scorching start to pre-season, scoring five times in one-and-a-half games.

Top league scorer for 16th-placed Gateshead was O’Donnell, whose two goals secured draws against Darlington and Bradford Park Avenue.

With the Main Stand closed for the day and kick off delayed by 15 minutes, there was a real carnival atmosphere in the packed David Longhurst Stand by the time 3pm rolled around.

Five minutes in, the build-up turned to celebration. David Ferguson showed blistering pace to beat right-back Alex Nicholson to a Green cross-field ball and he squared to Burrow. From mere yards out, the frontman poked in.

A few minutes on, Alex Kempster took the ball on and got a decent low effort away that probably was not going in, but 20-year-old keeper Brad James took no chances and tipped away for a corner. Green headed wide from the resulting cross in.

Gateshead were not overrun, and the visitors enjoyed a decent portion of the ball, but could do nothing with it, though they grew in confidence as the half went on and had some comfortable spells in possession.

McNulty’s enforced premature substitution saw City shift to, at times, what looked like a 4-3-3, with Macaulay Langstaff up in support of Kempster and Burrow. York did not suffer too much defensively at first, though Ferguson – who was shifted to left-back – and the outlet he usually provides were occasionally missed going forward.

Around the 30-minute mark, Kayode was inches away from getting his head to a right-wing cross.

Kayode’s pace was the chief threat to City’s backline, benefitting a couple of times from misjudged challenges.

Joe Tait did well to – aided by Sean Newton – recover from one such tackle, with Kayode running through on goal, while Newton was beaten for pace by the bright 19-year-old Rotherham loanee. A good move followed and Deverdics hit the side netting from one of Gateshead’s best chances of the half.

Olley took on the other, side-footing across Peter Jameson’s goal in the 39th minute from Kayode’s nod down.

In the first minute of additional time, Kayode was clipped from behind by Tait as he darted into the area and Oliver sent Jameson the wrong way to level.

York came out strongly at the restart, doubling their corner count in a matter of minutes. Though decent balls in, none threatened sufficiently.

The vocal home support thought Burrow had won a penalty when the whistle blew with the forward being held in the area, but it was for an offside call.

Conditions were tough as the afternoon heat hovered around 30 degrees. Williamson joined the list of players to receive on-field attention before gingerly departing the pitch to be replaced by 20-year-old midfielder Elliot Forbes.

O’Donnell had a good chance to add to his goalscoring tally just before the hour mark but could not make the desired headed contact with few City players near him.

On the break, strong work from Langstaff and Kempster won York another corner while Oliver came close to a second, sending a long-range effort just wide.

It was a real end-to-end affair as the game passed the hour mark. Langstaff was nearly set through on goal from an excellent Burrow flick-on, but was just beaten to the ball by James, while Blackett was not far from getting on the end of an incisive Olley through-ball.

Former Manchester United youngster Harry Spratt had been brought on for Green. His first telling contribution was to get in the way of Newton’s header back across goal from a corner.

With 15 minutes to go, the effects of the heat were truly visible as concentration and movement waned and Watson cut a frustrated figure on the touchline. At this point, there was very little in the way of clear-cut chances for either side. Paul Blackett was often the only player upfield for Gateshead as City patiently looked for a route through to goal.

It nearly arrived in the 82nd minute but Newton could not quite stretch enough to meet Andy Bond’s dinked free kick over the top.

Deverdics had a glorious chance to get the winner for Gateshead but blazed over with the defence in disarray.

York: Jameson 7, Griffiths 8, Ferguson 7, Newton 7, McNulty (Langstaff 7 10, York 82), Tait 6, Moke 7, Bond 7, Burrow 7, Green 7 (Spratt 65), Kempster 8. Subs not used: Dyer, Whitley.

Scorers: Burrow

Yellow cards: Bond

Star man: Jordan Burrow. Occupied the visiting defence and made the most of one of very few chances.

Gateshead: James, Nicholson, Barrow, Oliver, Lees, Williamson (Forbes 55), Deverdics, Agnew, Kayode (Blackett 62), Olley, O’Donnell. Subs not used: Thomson, Guthrie, Tear.

Scorers: Oliver

Attendance: 3,157