YORK City boss Steve Watson is backing Alex Kempster to rediscover his goalscoring form.

The striker is York's second-highest scorer after Jordan Burrow, though none of his eight league goals have come since the early-December draw at Hereford.

He had what appeared to be a good chance to add to this tally on Saturday at King's Lynn Town when he did well to fashion some time and space in the area but - with just keeper Alex Street in his way - he laid the ball off for the incoming Paddy McLaughlin, who could not quite reach it before it was taken off him.

There were suggestions that this was the choice of a player low in confidence but Watson insists that there is no reason that should be the case.

Watson also highlighted the development of the well-rated 24-year-old, who signed for York from Northern League outfit Whitley Bay just less than two years ago, and stressed the need to keep supporting the "great talent".

He said: "He shouldn't be lacking in confidence. We think very highly of him and the fans think very highly of him.

"He plays virtually every week and has come on leaps and bounds from where he was two years ago.

"We just need to keep telling him to believe in himself and the goals will come back, I've no doubt about that, because he's a great talent and a great young lad.

"He just picked the wrong option on that occasion."

Kempster was brought off in the 57th minute of the 1-0 defeat at National League North leaders King's Lynn. In his place came Dan Maguire, who was making his first appearance since November 23 on his continued return from a litany of injuries.

Maguire was one of five attacking alterations Watson made as York pushed for the breakthrough in the top-of-the-table clash.

As it was, that honour fell to the Linnets' 25-goal top scorer Adam Marriott, who pounced to punish an uncharacteristic fumble from keeper Pete Jameson.

In-keeping with the rest of the game, though, that was far from an indication the game had gone beyond York and they pushed until the final whistle for an equaliser.

Second-half substitute Macaulay Langstaff - who came on in the 74th minute for wing-back Kallum Griffiths - had a decent chance to level but put it wide. It would not have mattered anyway as the offside flag went up, but it contributed to the belief York could yet have taken something from the game.

The man who made the vital difference the week before off the bench against Telford, Elliott Durrell, was an unused substitute this time around. He had been on the pitch at Bootham Crescent mere minutes before he broke the deadlock with a header at the far post.

Explaining his choice of changes on Saturday, Watson said: "They weren't really getting through us and the temptation maybe was to bring a centre-half off and put another striker on.

"But it was either going to be Macca or Elliott in that situation. I think if you put too many forward-thinking players on, with how many good footballers they've got in midfield, it could be a bit of a dangerous thing to to.

"We chose Macaulay because he's maybe a little bit more somebody who's got the pace to go beyond them when it's tight and there are a lot of bodies.

"You never know. If he'd stayed onside and stuck that one in it would have looked like a great decision like putting Elliott on last week seems like a great decision.

"When things don't pan out, you're always going to get questioned.

"We had a lot of forwards on. At one stage we had Dan - and it's good to have him back - Jordan, Macaulay, Greeny playing higher, we took a defender off and put Mokes higher up.

"We just couldn't get that goal today.

"And you never know, getting that goal before they did might have been the difference in the opposite direction. They might not have been able to snatch one.

"But that's football."