JASON Walker’s 20-yard wonderstrike earned York City a share of the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 home draw against Darlington.

The Minstermen deserved to take all three points in the Bootham Crescent encounter but the visitors converted their only two on-target goal attempts of the night to earn a share of the spoils.

Jamie Reed had earlier given the hosts a second-minute lead with his third goal in as many games.

But the match was turned on its head when James Walshaw equalised and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson then converted the fifth penalty conceded by Gary Mills’ men in as many fixtures just past the half-hour mark.

Walker had the final word on 79 minutes, though, when he spectacularly claimed his seventh goal of the season.

Unsurprisingly, home boss Gary Mills kicked off with the same side that started Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Wrexham.

Darlington, meanwhile, included former City right-back Ben Purkiss in their first XI.

The Minstermen began with the same pace and purpose they displayed in North Wales and, having charged at the visitors’ goal, straight from the kick off, went ahead after only 65 seconds.

Ashley Chambers’ cross from the left saw Walker tee up Reed with just one touch of his right boot.

The ex-Bangor City striker then drilled a fierce first-time 15-yard shot inside Darlington ’keeper Sam Russell’s left-hand upright.

Moments later, Walker called Russell into action at his near post from an acute angle but the overwhelmed Quakers levelled completely against the run of play on ten minutes after sloppy home defending.

Jamal Fyfield’s sliding clearance struck central-defensive partner David McGurk and Tadhg Purcell quickly sent Walshaw clear on goal.

The former Guiseley striker then rounded Michael Ingham and rolled the ball into an inviting net.

Four minutes later, Walshaw was running unopposed at City’s goal again through the left channel but, this time, flashed his shot wide of Ingham’s near post.

At the other end, Chambers’ curling edge-of-the-box effort was plucked out of the air by Russell while strong penalty appeals were rejected following Bridge-Wilkinson’s sliding challenge on Paddy McLaughlin, as the City midfielder burst into the 18-yard area.

Referee Richard Wiggleworth was pointing to the spot only two minutes later, though, when Reed shoved Adam Rundle over at the far post after Purkiss’ cross had flicked off Fyfield’s head.

Bridge-Wilkinson then sidefooted high down the middle of the goal on 31 minutes to beat Ingham, who dived low to his left.

The Minstermen almost levelled on 37 minutes when Purkiss’ interception from Reed’s cross required a reflex save by Russell to prevent an own goal.

In first-half stoppage time, Walker was also released by Andre Boucaud but, while he waited to take the chance on his favoured right foot, Jamie Chandler made a strong recovery tackle for the visitors.

City continued to press for an equaliser after the restart with Reed racing on to a long boot forward by Ingham but firing wide of Russell’s left-hand post.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, missed the target twice from the edge of the box and Chambers picked out Walker from a free-kick but his low 12-yard shot was easily gathered by Russell.

The Darlington ’keeper could do nothing, however, about Walker’s equaliser.

Retrieving the ball from near the corner flag, Walker cut in from the left flank before drilling a fantastic angled shot into Russell’s top left-hand stanchion.

Match facts

York City 2 (Reed 2; Walker 79), Darlington 2 (Walshaw 10; Bridge-Wilkinson pen 31)

York City: Michael Ingham 7, Jon Challinor 7, David McGurk 6, Jamal Fyfield 6, James Meredith 8, Andre Boucaud 7, Scott Kerr 7, Patrick McLaughlin 7, Jamie Reed 7, Jason Walker 8, Ashley Chambers 7.

Subs: Adriano Moké (for Boucaud, 77).

Not used: Daniel Parslow, Liam Henderson, Michael Potts, Matty Blair.

Key: 10 – Faultless; 9 – Outstanding; 8 – Excellent; 7 – Good; 6 – Average; 5 – Below par; 4 – Poor; 3 – Dud; 2 – Hopeless; 1 – Retire.

City’s star man: Jason Walker – terrific goal and also set up City’s first for Jamie Reed.

Darlington: Sam Russell, Ben Purkiss, Graeme Lee, Ian Miller, Aaron Brown (Michael Brough, 88), Jamie Chandler, Greg Taylor, Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, Adam Rundle, Tadhg Purcell (Liam Hatch, 55), James Walshaw (Ryan Bowman, 66).

Subs (not used): Chris Atkinson, Jonatan Sanchez-Munoz.

Booked: Purcell 15, Boucaud 39, Reed 47, Hatch 60, Brown 68, Fyfield 71, Taylor 73, Chandler 77.

Shots on target: York 7, Quakers 2.

Shots off target: York 4, Quakers 2.

Corners: York 11, Quakers 3.

Fouls conceded: York 12, Quakers 20.

Offsides: York 2, Quakers 0.

Referee: Richard Wigglesworth (South Yorkshire).

Attendance: 2,834 (505 away fans).

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