YORK City maintained their unbeaten start to the National League North campaign with a thrilling 0-0 draw at Guiseley.

With King's Lynn Town beating Alfreton Town, City were overtaken at the summit - but after recording a fine shut-out against the division's top scorers with three key players missing, one suspects this is a hit most fans would take.

The game itself was a breathless affair. The Lions went hell-for-leather at one end, and City at the other, with both keepers called on to make outstanding saves.

After the slightly sub-par win at Gloucester, York were on excellent form - and make no mistake about it, it would have taken something special to breach the solidly febrile Guiseley defence.

Both sides had heart-in-mouth moments as the other almost broke the deadlock - and both sides were left without the catharsis of a goal, though the cheer heralded by the final whistle suggests it was a mutually accepted result.

As anticipated, captain Steve McNulty missed out for the second game in a row. In his place came Harry Spratt for his first start, displacing Josh King to the bench.

Steve Watson had intimated after the Gloucester City game that he might give the more physical Spratt a run out in place of King, who was not quite match fit for Saturday.

The first name fans will look out for on Guiseley’s team sheet is that of Aaron Martin – unsurprisingly, the lethal striker made the cut with an opportunity to add to his incredible tally of 10 league goals from eight games.

The Lions’ starting 11 was composed of nine faces recruited over the summer. Joining former Brighouse Town marksman Martin up front was the hardworking Chesterfield loanee Lee Shaw.

At the back was Hamza Bencherif, who was released from Bootham Crescent at the end of last season, playing in front of Bradford City loanee George Sykes-Kenworthy. Another ex-Minsterman in Kaine Felix started the evening on the bench.

The game started at a frantic pace. York were shooting nearly on sight while Guiseley’s nippy forwards – particularly Shaw – were a real handful for the back three.

A poor goal kick gave York their first chance from a throw in after four minutes. It went back to keeper Peter Jameson, whose long ball forward Jordan Burrow let bounce and volleyed over.

From that point on, it became as close to non-stop action as is physically possible.

Burrow then headed over from Andy Bond’s ball forward before Shaw was almost sent through at the other end, but Jameson stood him up well on the edge of the area, got a touch and Kallum Griffiths cleared.

Kieran Green had Bencherif well beaten for pace after seven minutes and played a low ball in for Burrow. A better pass would have given the striker an open-goal tap-in but it was too far in front of him.

Jameson then had to tip over from Shaw’s bicycle kick. Disappointingly for York, the chance came from a long throw that made it all the way across the box.

Shaw almost got his head on Aram Soleman’s inswinging ball to the edge of the area after the danger was cleared.

For York, a good turn from Kempster had him running through on goal and got a shot away that Sykes-Kenworthy palmed out for a corner. From a short corner routine, Sean Newton drove just over from 35 yards.

Bond tidied up well with Soleman and Jamie Spencer attacking down the left 16 minutes in, anticipating and intercepting the through ball from the former.

Just before the midway point of the half, York almost carved out an opening with an incisive 17-pass move, which ended with the Lions’ 19-year-old shot-stopper spilling Green’s cross into David Ferguson’s path but the wing-back – on the turn – fired well wide.

Kempster was played through by a quickly-taken free kick but his low effort was too close to the keeper.

The best chance of the half so far fell to Guiseley – and only absolutely brilliant defending from York kept the hosts from opening the scoring. Aaron Martin got on the end of a ball in and Jameson pulled off an outstanding point-blank save to deny him. But with Jameson stranded, and Martin lining up a header under the dropping ball, it was this time Burrow who headed off the line and over his own bar to clear the danger.

It was a matter of inches at the other end on the half-hour mark that kept the scores level as Kempster was just a toe away from meeting Ferguson’s whipped ball in.

With 20 seconds to go to the break, York again came agonisingly close to the opener, and again it was Ferguson’s fierce ball across. Reiss McNally, the 6ft 4ins academy right-back, was lying on the deck after being wrong-footed by the impressive Bond’s movement and Ferguson’s cross cleared the three men in the middle and the far post.

By the halfway point, barely a foot had been put wrong by the travelling Minstermen – and those that had been could be forgiven with the game played at such a pace. Bond really stood out in the centre of the park with his eye for a pass and willingness to pitch in at the back.

Jameson could not be faulted for his superb reaction save, using all of his frame to deny Martin, while the – at times – front three of Burrow, Green and Kempster played off each other well.

Martin was largely conspicuous by his absence during the opening 45.

McNally had the first effort after the restart, turning and firing well over from the edge of the area.

More good work from Kempster saw him steaming through on the back four after Brad Nicholson misjudged a header but the City number 11 could not find anyone in red.

Continuing on from the first half, Jameson pulled off a brilliant double save, at first at full stretch to get out to Scott Garner’s powerful header and then to deny the effort from the rebound.

Spratt – who otherwise looked composed at the left side of the back three – almost played Guiseley in on goal, a misplaced header landing at the feet of Shaw, but Tait and Newton were in his way.

Just before the hour mark, Martin tried to impose himself on Jameson, who had just collected a tame ball forward, running at the static keeper – who did his best impression of a brick wall to floor the striker.

Adriano Moke showed some neat play to twist and turn away from Shaw, poor play to misplace a pass to Martin then great play to nick it back off him.

After 64 minutes, it was Sykes-Kenworthy’s turn to show off between the sticks. He did fantastically to scoop away a goalbound Burrow header from Kempster’s dinked cross.

The keeper’s error then nearly gave Kempster a free header. Sykes-Kenworthy rushed off his line to punch clear a free kick but miscued and needed his defenders to head clear.

A good period of City pressure yielded a couple of corners in quick succession and a Newton header on goal that Sykes-Kenworthy collected.

Moke showed great pace and bravery to pick up Macaulay Langstaff’s ball forward. McNally could do nothing about it but bring the flying midfielder down and pick up his side’s first yellow.

As the game approached the final five minutes, the adrenaline spilled over and, as Tait went to take a quick throw, a Guiseley substitute got too involved and received a yellow.

Guiseley: Sykes-Kenworthy, McNally, Nicholson, Barkers, Bencherif, Garner, Shaw, Spencer (Felix 74), Martin, Soleman, Cantrill. Subs not used: Allinson, Johnson, Digie, Scrivens.

Yellow cards: McNally

York: Jameson 10, Griffiths 8 (Dyer 83), Tait 8, Newton 8, Spratt 8, Ferguson 9, Moke 7, Bond 8, Green 8 (Langstaff 72), Kempster 9, Burrow 8. Subs not used: Whitley, King, York.

Yellow cards: Bond

Star man: Peter Jameson. There were a number of candidates, but how could the shot-stopper have been bettered? His was a job done to perfection with some truly jaw-dropping stops.

Attendance: 1,891