MARTIN GRAY hailed his York City side's mentality as they played out a 1-1 draw at home to Championship big guns Leeds United.

Gray also had praise for the Minstermen's triallist former Spennymoor defender Joe Tait, who netted the opener with 23 minutes on the clock, and youngster Alex Kempster, who looked lively throughout and posed a constant threat down the left wing.

City controlled the opening half-hour with a number of good opportunities falling to forwards Jordan Burrow and Macauley Langstaff, while Sean Newton had a free kick from distance well beaten away.

York were indebted to Adam Bartlett for denying Jamie Shackleton from close range just before the break, after which City resumed their dominance, but once the visitors netted, the pendulum seemed to swing their way as the game opened up.

Gray said: "We had chances in the game, and three or four fantastic chances which on another day would have won it.

"We were able to score the goal but it's also important that we have that mentality of being hard to beat. At 1-1 we got settled and stayed in the game well and we frustrated them an awful lot.

"The triallist has done well tonight and that's what you're looking for," he added before explaining his half-time substitution, saying: "He's training a lot with us but it was his first 45 minutes since last season.

Gray went on to air his concern from last season that Kempster had been getting pushed off the ball too easily by defenders, but appeared satisfied with his solidity during the game, and elaborated that he has been on a strength programme.

Clovis Kamdjo was absent again, with Gray simply commenting they are "not in a position to bring him in."

Meanwhile, fitness and conditioning coach Stuart Parnaby has joined the staff from Middlesbrough.