TITLE-CHASING York Acorn missed the chance to make up ground on table-toppers Pilkington Recs after conceding a late score in a 14-14 home draw with Featherstone Lions.

But for the last-minute unconverted try from Fev centre Thomas Carr, the Blue and Golds - second-placed in National Conference League division one - would be just two points off Pilks, who suffered a shock defeat at bottom side Dewsbury Moor Maroons.

The draw does, at least, keep some distance between Acorn and the sides immediately behind them, Milford, Skirlaugh and Fev - though the former pair are now just a point off the Thanet Road outfit after victories over Oulton Raiders and Nortmanton Knights, respectively.

Acorn were appealing for a forward pass in the build-up to the final try, which came from a hopeful cross-field kick on the very last play of the game, though it might have just evened out an earlier disallowed try, which looked okay.

Frustration then got the better of Acorn stand-off Antony Chilton, who was first yellow-carded for dissent, before seeing it upgraded to a red card for further dissent.

The match itself was a battle between the physicality of the Featherstone forwards and gritty battling qualities of an overworked Acorn defence, especially in the second half.

Acorn took the lead on 12 minutes. Following a good home set and kick, Fev had to start their own set from deep within their own half.

The kick-and-chase was spot on and, as soon as the Featherstone player returned the kick, he was hit with a forceful tackle and spilt the ball. Acorn collected before centre Martin Pedersen-Scott combined with winger Joel Johnson to put full-back Josh Parker in for a try in the corner. Chilton's excellent touchline conversion put Acorn into a 6-0 lead.

It was tough attritional rugby, with both sides prepared to roll up their sleeves and put a stint in.

Chilton added a 29th-minute penalty before the visitors pulled a converted try back. A series of back-to-back Acorn defensive sets towards the end of the half finally told when second-rower Joe Fox found a tired defender on the left edge and raced in from the halfway line. Scrum-half Ian Jackson added the conversion.

Featherstone started the second half strongly. Aided by some strong carries by Glassell and Mawson in the forwards and Gareth Gale in their backs, they created the position from which substitute Jake Perkinson added an unconverted try in the corner.

The game continued to be played mainly in the middle of the park, with Acorn's defence standing firm on the back of some resolute defending from the likes of centre Jordan Potter and debutant substitute forward Tom Holder.

Acorn managed to break free of the Lions' shackles on 72 minutes, when quick hands along their three-quarters sent the ball into the hands of Parker, who threw a great dummy before racing through a gap over for a try goaled by Chilton to put his side 14-10 up.

Acorn thought they had done enough to hold on for the win, but the Lions had other ideas and claimed a share of the spoils.