McDonald was a hit at Gillingham two seasons ago, notching 25 goals when on loan from Norwich, and after moving on to Coventry he returned to the Kent side this week. He rescued a point for the Gills after 85 minutes and made sure they avoided a third straight home defeat - although it was not enough to leapfrog leaders Port Vale, who stay top by a point.
McDonald and co do have a game in hand however - on Tuesday at home to Northampton - and Allen is convinced that his new centre-forward's firepower can see his side end a run of five home matches without a win.
"Everyone wanted three points and to go top of the league," said Allen. "We started well, it wasn't easy and we made a couple of errors. We're finding it difficult here at the moment to get the results.
"We were top of the league for four-and-a-half months, and the expectation has maybe got on top of the lads a little bit. It makes every other club sit up and make the extra effort We'll talk about it but sometimes talk is cheap and we need to get on there and show what we can do.
"I don't think it'll be too long before we get the victories under our belt here and stride forward again. The supporters will be happy Cody has come back, but we want three points, we need the victories at home."
York went ahead when the Gillingham defence failed to deal with Patrick McLaughlin's corner and Charlie Lee diverted the ball into his own net on 17 minutes. Gills skipper Adam Barrett nearly levelled things before the break with his header while York's Chris Smith saw his header hit the bar on the hour.
But McDonald finally got the break through, glancing in Myles Weston's looping cross to rescue a point in his first game back at Priestfield.
York boss Gary Mills said: "My players were fantastic. It's a very difficult place to come and I've got nothing but praise for them from start to finish. I thought we deserved the win, and I really believed we'd hold out for three points.
"We know when you come to Gillingham you'll have to defend long throws and balls going in early and we dealt with that well. When we got the ball we opened them up a few times and passed it just how I wanted. We've come here and showed that we're a tough side to beat and showed we're quite capable of winning games, and certainly not losing them."
- Sports & Recreation