An enthralling six goal thriller kicked off Hull United’s return to the top division of the Humber Premier League as birthday boy Paul Goldie netted a last gasp equaliser.
On three seperate occasions United fell behind, but they showed great determination and resilience to earn a welcomed point.
Sam O’Malley netted his second goal in as many matches to cancel out Adam Yorke’s opener, and after Ash Grayston restored the hosts lead, skipper Lewis Poucher showed a moment of quality to restore parity once more.
It looked like Yorke had given Hornsea the points, handing his side the lead for the third time, with his 89th minute strike, before Paul Goldie, today celebrating his 31st birthday popped up with a stunning effort from distance to salvage a point in added time.
It was a tentative start from both sides, Citizens keeper Rob Draper had to palm an effort away on five minutes, whilst Dan Nichols, returning at centre-half had to be brave to block an effort on goal.
Hull United came into the game briefly, recent acquisition Sam O’Malley firing wide after some smooth build up play, before Draper had to again be alert, this time to deny Yorke.
United, featuring in their first Humber Premier League Premier Division game in four years, were understandably quite nervy and misplaced a lot of their passes which undermined their efforts for most of the first hour of the game.
It was midway through the first half when they fell behind in controversial circumstances.
With Ben Kinsley a matter of yards away from the assistant referee, the latter failed to award a free kick or alert the referee, when it seemed a free kick should have been awarded on the winger.
Hull United failed to react to the danger though as the ball worked its way into the penalty area before Yorke, turned and rolled his effort into the bottom left corner.
The officials did little to endear themselves to the visitors when on 29 minutes Nichols had a goal chalked off following a bullet throw by Josh Dennett, the decision on this occasion though appeared to be correct for a foul on the goalkeeper.
It was a frustrating opening half for John Duffill’s side as they ended the half behind, but still in the game.
To the manager’s credit, he left things as they were briefly and Tresor Ntombo-Kalilwa couldn’t control a difficult bouncing ball downfield and could only fire over in a difficult position as United started much brighter in the second half.
Draper had to gather a weak effort but the first change for Hull United soon came, as Shane Hill, still working his way back from the injury which ruled him out of last season, was replaced by Dan Mowforth, who in turn was returning to the side after his two goals in the friendly win over Immingham Town, two weeks ago.
This change happened five minutes after the restart.
A further five minutes later, with Mowforth joining O’Malley in attack following his introduction, Hull United drew level.
Some fine wide play laid the ball on a plate for the former AFC Mansfield and Scarborough striker who netted from close range to bag his second goal in a week.
The visitors continued their bright start to the half when David Brooke’s free kick found his fellow centre-half Nichols who’s header had to be guided away by the Hornsea keeper.
Hornsea inflicted more damage on Hull United though just before the hour as they regained the lead.
Ash Grayston fired an effort on target from 25 yards and with Draper rooted to the spot the ball crept inside the right hand post.
Hull United responded well though and where they had struggled to really break down their hosts, the final 30 minutes saw them dig in.
Ben Kinsley found O’Malley from a corner, but the latter connected maybe too well with the centre as he narrowly smashed the ball over the bar on the volley.
Tom Birch was then introduced as Kinsley made way, but it was Ntombo-Kalilwa’s pace which created United’s next chance.
Beating one man on the left his effort was turned away by the keeper to keep Hornsea in front on 69 minutes.
On evidence of the fifteen minutes that preceeded it, on 76 minutes Hull United deservedly drew level.
Skipper Lewis Poucher who had a full-bloodied battle throughout the afternoon with his opposite number, he picked up the ball from deep, danced past one defender, before looking up and precisely curling the ball into the bottom right hand corner to haul his side level once again.
The game was finely poised once more, and Draper recovered well after a deep cross almost caught United’s keeper out, but he recovered well though to alleviate the danger.
A change of personnel with ten minutes to go, saw Josh Dennett replaced by Ben Elliott.
The game felt it could go either way, and it seemed like it had swung into the favour of the home side in the dying minutes.
United had chances, Sam O’Malley’s far post strike was deflected just over the bar with the ball originally goalbound, and they had excellent claims for a penalty for handball waved away.
There hard work though looked to be for nothing though as Hornsea again regained the initiative.
Hornsea launched a sweeping counter attack and with Brooke outnumbered at the back, Yorke didnt need the support from his team mates as he went it alone, and curled home from outside the box to spark passionate scenes from the home dugout.
Just as they thought they had done enough though, there was another sting in the tail as United were to equalise one more time from an unlikely source.
Left-back Paul Goldie, who was marking the day with his birthday was on the end of a headed clearance and his effort from approximately 30 yards evaded everybody as it flew into the right hand corner of the net.
A defeat would have been harsh on either side, and the point will no doubt be welcomed by Hull United on their return to the division.
They have a few things to work on though ahead of their first home game of the season against Reckitts on Thursday night (6.30pm)
Match Report by Neil Winsor