YORK City moved off the bottom of the National League table following a hard fought 1-1 draw with Maidstone United.
In what was a game of two halves, at Bootham Crescent, Jon Parkin’s early strike from close range set the tone for the first period but a number of missed chances proved costly.
United came out looking a different side in the second half and levelled shortly after the interval through Reece Prestedge before looking the more likely to grab the game’s winner in a scrappy final 45.
In front of a positive home crowd an and boisterous David Longhurst Stand, City got off to the perfect start with the first of many ventures forward as Parkin smashed home Sean Newton’s perfectly weighted ball across goal following good advancement from the energetic Alex Whittle.
Maidstone, kicking towards the red, blue and white sea of flags at the opposite end, forged a rare foray forward straight from kick off and should have perhaps levelled the match as Joe Pigott got clear of his marker to force a save from Kyle Letheren before Stewart Lewis headed over the rebound.
From that point on, the first half belonged to the Minstermen and Simon Heslop fancied his chances with a couple of quick fire efforts, the captain thundering a half volley over the bar after a recycled cross, before hitting the target moments later which forced Worgan to parry the ball away.
York continued to create chances with Whittle finding an unmarked Parkin at the back post, but the big striker was unable to double his tally, before Vadaine Oliver did have the ball in the back of the net on the next attack, though the referee had whistled for offside long before the fans could get to their feet.
Midway through the half, Heslop’s clever through ball could have fallen for Parkin, but he made the correct decision to let it run for Amari Morgan-Smith. The Cheltenham Town loanee though tucked his low effort on the wrong side of the post.
Simon Lappin was the creator-in-chief towards the end of the first period, sending in a deep cross which Parkin hit with all his might only to see the ball cannon off the woodwork before the former Norwich City midfielder rifled an effort on target that had the power but not the precision to beat Lee Worgan in the Maidstone goal.
City missed another opportunity at the start of the second half with Vadaine Oliver picking up on a loose ball at the back post, but he could not finish from the narrow angle as Worgan made himself big in the goal, before Maidstone went and grabbed one of their own on the break. A quick counter saw the ball played across the face of goal with no one in the middle. Reece Prestedge was the quickest to react and after skirting the penalty box, fired an unstoppable pinpoint effort into the bottom corner which Letheren could not get near.
That unlikely goal went on to spur the patter of play for the next 20 minutes with Maidstone going close to taking the lead on a couple of occasions with goalmouth scrambles just not falling kindly for the rejuvenated Stones.
Midway through the second half, the visitors had perhaps their clearest chance to take the lead as a long throw bounced in the area and centre back Kevin Lokko had a powerful headed well saved by a diving Letheren.
That missed chance turned the tide somewhat and York started to resemble their first half selves with control of possession and creation of chances. First, Lanre Oyebanjo, on for the injured Simon Lappin for his fifth appearance of the season, worked his way into the area before finding Heslop whose low effort deflected cruelly wide by a well-placed United defender.
Then, with less than quarter of an hour left to play, Parkin played a one-two consisting of aerial passes with Vadaine Oliver but the former Preston North End forward could not muster an effort to test Worgan.
Maidstone went onto work a chance of their own with Letheren clawing away an audacious effort, before doing enough to take the ball away from goalscorer Prestedge on the rebound in a dangerous position.
The chances were coming thick and fast for either side with both knowing the wonders a win would do for their survival chances and Oliver was the next to have a crack at breaking the tie but skewed his powerful effort well wide having been set up by Oyebanjo’s clever lob.
On the stroke of injury time, it looked as though Oliver would win it at the death having been played in behind the Maidstone defence, but he was just beaten to the ball by an onrushing Worgan, but it was the visitors who finished the strongest with a succession of corners, none of which were able to separate the sides.