Hereford 2, York City 2

YORK City missed out on a chance to reclaim leadership of National League North but earned a point at Hereford courtesy of Jordan Burrow’s 80th-minute equaliser.

The visitors had taken an early lead as top-scorer Alex Kempster took his tally for the season into double figures.

But Peter Vincenti levelled before the interval and Reece Styche converted a second-half penalty to score against City for a fourth different team in three seasons of sixth-tier football.

That meant Hereford became only the second side in 24 contests this term - after Gloucester City - to score more than once in a game against Steve Watson’s men this season.

It did not prove sufficient to seal a first win in ten outings, however, with Burrow ensuring that City moved a point closer rather than one ahead of table-toppers King’s Lynn Town with the two teams having now played an equal number of games.

Styche had the first opportunity of the night, chancing his hand with an ambitious 40-yard effort after spotting that Pete Jameson was not guarding his entire goal.

The Gibraltar international’s attempt bounced just wide much to Jameson’s relief.

Styche’s next shot was less of a threat, comfortably clearing the crossbar from just outside the box.

It was the visitors, though, who forged ahead in the eighth minute.

The combative Kieran Green won a tackle just inside the home penalty area and, when the ball broke to Kempster 15 yards from goal, he turned and thumped an unstoppable strike into Hereford keeper Brandon Hall’s top-right corner.

Just before the half-hour mark, a clever piece of skill saw Jordan Nicholson go close with the Bulls forward taking one touch to turn in the City box and then hitting a full volley that dipped over Jameson’s crossbar.

Jameson went on to safely gather another long-range Styche effort, whilst a 20-yard Burrow opportunity bounced well wide before Hereford levelled in the freakiest of circumstances.

A woeful edge-of-the-box Nicholson shot was kept in play by the corner flag and, when Jameson charged out of his goal to clear the danger, he only succeeded in finding home left-back Danny Greenslade 40 yards out.

The latter was urged to shoot by the Edgar Street faithful but, when he duly obliged, his attempt was also of such a poor standard that it turned into a cross for Vincenti, who adjusted well to head inside Jameson’s left-hand upright as the City keeper was just too late sprinting back into position.

Hereford gained confidence from their fortuitous leveller, but Kallum Griffiths should have done better before the break when he stabbed a ten-yard effort well over.

Watson’s men started the second half with renewed vigour as Kempster, who was at his best when running the channels, reached the byline before pulling the ball back for David Ferguson to hit a goal-bound shot that was diverted behind by Bulls captain Jared Hodgkiss.

Another cross from the right – this time by Green – found Andy Bond in the box but his ten-yard strike lacked the power to extend Hall.

Burrow then took advantage of slack home marking to meet a Bond corner, but his powerful downward header was repelled by a smart Hall reflex save.

From the resulting flag kick, Josh King was left similarly unopposed, but could not direct his near-post header on target.

City had Jameson to thank, however, midway through the second half after Taylor Allen profited from another fortunate break in the away box to find himself clear on goal.

But his eight-yard effort was brilliantly kept out by Jameson’s outstretched right leg.

He was beaten, though, on 71 minutes after the pace of former City winger Alex Bray, who had just been introduced off the bench, caught Steve McNulty out as he felled him with a mistimed tackle.

Styche confidently swept the subsequent spot kick to Jameson’s right.

More trickery from Bray teed up a chance for Nicholson that he blazed out of the ground and Burrow punished that profligacy by restoring parity.

Ferguson added to his burgeoning number of assists this season with an inviting cross into the six-yard box that appeared to go in off Burrow’s stomach despite Hall adamant that he had used his hand.

The visitors also had the best opportunities to win the game late on with Hodgkiss narrowly turning a Kempster cross over his own goal, Green curling off target from the edge of the box and Macaulay Langstaff sidefooting straight at Hall with the evening’s final kick at the end of a rapid counter attack.

York City: Jameson 7, King 7 (Langstaff, 72), McNulty 7, Newton 7, Griffiths 7, Bond 7, Green 7 (Durrell, 62), Moke 7 (McLaughlin, 62, 7), Ferguson 8, Burrow 8, Kempster 8. Subs not used: Tait, Whitley.

Star man: Kempster – constantly troubled Hereford with his industry and willing runs.

Goals: Kempster, Burrow.

Yellow cards: Kempster.

Hereford: Hall, Hogkiss, Bodenham, Cullinane-Liburd, Greenslade, Vincenti (Bray, 62), Pope, Dawson, Allen (Symons, 86), Styche (Mooney, 82), Nicholson. Subs not used: Pollock, Owen-Evans.

Goals: Vincenti, Styche.

Yellow cards: Vincenti.

Referee: Scott Simpson.

Attendance: 1,552 (84 from City).