York City 1, Kidderminster Harriers 1

YORK City kept their eight-point lead at the top of the National League North table after labouring to a 1-1 draw with Kidderminster Harriers at Bootham Crescent.

Kidderminster dominated the possession and had by far the majority of the chances yet the efficiency of this York side to grind out results remains.

City weren’t at their best but led through Kallum Griffiths when he fizzed a low shot into the bottom corner before half-time.

York couldn’t kick on after the interval with the wind in the sails and Kidderminster continued to be in control, eventually scoring through Ashley Hemmings with eight minutes remaining.

While there will be inevitable disappointment about dropping points and the nature of the performance, a sense of perspective is needed.

York still haven’t lost a competitive game since April and the unbeaten run now stands at 19 games in all competitions.

More importantly, results elsewhere went their way meaning the eight-point gap is still intact.

It was clear from the outset that this game was never destined to be a free-scoring classic.

The lashing of rain before kick-off continued throughout the first half and evidently affected proceedings. While there were never players slipping and sliding around the field, passes from both sides either skidded out of play or fell short of their intended targets.

Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere was a little flat too in comparison to Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Boston.

There was little in the way of efforts on goal from either side in the first 20 minutes but if any side was forcing the issue, it was 17th-placed Kidderminster.

Hemmings put a half-volley over the bar and Ed Williams curled a first-time side-footed shot around a post by the mid-point of the first period.

It took 21 minutes before the first shot on goal was registered. Former City striker Ashley Chambers - a scorer in the 2012 Conference play-off final - ambitiously looked to chip Peter Jameson but it turned into one of the goalkeeper’s easiest ever saves.

Soon after York managed to test Kiddy’s number one Cameron Gregory. Griffiths - returning in place of Nathan Dyer in an otherwise unchanged City side - came away with the ball from the right before firing a low shot which Gregory saved.

Kidderminster continued to dominate though and it was them creating the chances.

Correy Davidson lashed a shot wide of goal, Williams struck an effort close and Hemmings saw his free-kick go around the wall but the wrong side of the post.

With seven first-half minutes left and totally against the run of play, York took the lead.

Ferguson produced a vintage cross into the area which Kiddy did well to clear but only as far as Adriano Moke on the opposite flank.

He was urged by the crowd to send in a similar cross but kept his composure to pick out Griffiths who turned and fired a left-footed shot past Gregory and into the bottom right corner.

In truth, it was a lead which City didn’t merit based upon chances created but it served to highlight their ruthless efficiency and why they’re the unbeaten league leaders.

It could and perhaps should have been 2-0, had any of the many bodies in the area met the brilliant cross from Sean Newton before the break.

Advantage to York at half-time then and never before this season had they dropped points when leading at the break.

Kidderminster continued to dominate the possession in the second period though the chances weren’t as free-flowing.

By the hour mark, Chambers had seen a shot blocked by Joe Tait and fall kindly to Jameson but little else had troubled York.

Steve Watson though recognised their outnumbering in midfield and brought off Dan Maguire in place of Kieran Green.

To an extent, it seemed to work as York limited the Kidderminster chances, but not their control of the ball.

Green did make an impact as he finally had a York shot on goal. The midfielder beat a defender neatly with a step over before forcing Gregory into a fine stop.

With eight minutes left, it looked as though York were set to edge out another three points.

But, as Kidderminster crossed from the left, York were beaten in the air and it came back across goal.

Hemmings and Jameson went after the loose ball and the former won the race, tapping it home and levelling the scores.

In fairness, it was little more than their efforts deserved.

Moments later they looked as if they were going to complete the fight back when substitute Ollie Shenton worked some room and hit a shot, which dragged wide of goal.

In the final three minutes, City launched the desperate fight back.

Goalscorer Griffiths sent a raking cross field pass which found Ferguson in the area and he in turn sent in a cross which hit a Kiddy defender and went behind.

In added time, Sean Newton looked to replicate his FA Cup heroics with a long-range effort but it was rising too high.

York City: Jameson 6, Griffiths 7, Ferguson 6, Newton 6, McNulty (c) 6, Tait 6, Moke 5, Bond 6, Burrow 6, Maguire 6 (Green 58, 6), Kempster 6 (McFarlane 85, 5). Subs not used: Durrell, King, Whitley.

Goals: Griffiths (38)

Kidderminster: Gregory, Austin, Davidson, Butterfield, Moyo (c), Johnson, Weeks, Williams (Diau 87), Chambers (Shenton 77), Hemmings (Prosser 88), Peniket. Subs not used: Palmer, Higginson.

Goals: Hemmings (82)

Yellow cards: Moke

Star Man: Kallum Griffiths. City’s sole goalscorer and a strong all-round performer.

Attendance: 2,586 (121 away).

Referee: Jon Kenny.