YORK City boss Martin Gray praised his side for winning a “good point” against what he believes is “the best footballing team” in National League North.

The Minstermen earned a share of the spoils at home to Kidderminster when Jon Parkin’s first-half free kick cancelled out Ryan Croasdale’s 20th-minute opening goal for the visitors.

City were second best against the 12th-placed Harriers, who finished runners-up in the division last term and are in the midst of their best run this season, having gone six league games unbeaten but, despite his team not mustering a single shot in the second half, the Bootham Crescent chief hailed the hosts’ resilience, adding: “We showed we can grind out a point and we can take a lot from that.

“Kidderminster have been the best footballing team in this league for the last two years and, against opposition like that, we could have quite easily been dominated the whole game. We were for long spells, but we had our own 15-minute period before half-time and equalised with Jon Parkin’s superb free kick.

“The opposition were very good, but we dug in for a really important point and, hopefully, we will look back at it as a good point at the end of the season and it’s something to build on. You can’t press against teams for 90 minutes at whatever level of the game, but you can keep a good shape and make sure you are difficult to break down.

“Adam Bartlett was named man of the match, but he only made saves I expected him to make and we showed great resilience, as well as outstanding fitness levels, which we needed, otherwise we would have been beaten easily.”

Parkin goal was his 14th of the season, with Gray full of superlatives for the veteran marksman.

“It was a very skilful free kick, as he saw where their wall was and put good pace on his shot,” the Minstermen chief pointed out. “We practiced free kicks on Friday and he did the exactly the same four times out of five, so it shows that what you work on in training pays off.

“He’s such an influential figure for the club, crowd and team. His goal stats are impressive at any level and, fair play to him, at 35 years old.

“His all-round game was very good as well. He won his headers and his build-up play was very good.

“He also had one chance and one goal which, from a manager’s point of view, is what you judge forwards on.”

Gray went on to suggest that Parkin’s fellow forward Amari Morgan-Smith is getting closer to reclaiming his starting position in the side.

The former Luton and Cheltenham attacker was never dropped by previous boss Gary Mills, but has been introduced from the bench during the last four games.

On Morgan-Smith’s chances of a recall, Gray reasoned: “I’ve been delighted with his attitude on the training ground and when he comes on. He could have easily sulked being out of the team after being used to being the main striker, but his performances have given me a good problem now.”

The City manager also applauded Adriano Moke after he was employed in a more destructive role than he is used to.

“We wanted him to stop their number four (Croasdale) playing,” Gray explained. “Our reports had told us he likes to get on the ball and make them play, but he didn’t affect the game as much as they would have liked and it was a good performance by Moke.

“People might not have appreciated that, but he had the energy to do a lot of hard work out of possession.”

Former Sunderland and Hull City shot-stopper Tony Norman, meanwhile, put City’s goalkeepers through the paces before the match after Jon Worsnop’s departure to resume his playing career with Southport.

It is unclear whether the 59-year-old Welshman, who also won five caps for his country and played in the FA Cup final and old first division for Sunderland, will succeed Worsnop as City’s goalkeeper coach on a permanent basis.

He has previously performed that duty for a season under Gray at Darlington, before moving on to Gateshead and, outlining Norman’s responsibility at the Kidderminster match, the City boss revealed: “He came in to help me out.

“Jon Worsnop left at short notice and I wasn’t going to let the goalkeepers warm themselves up. He did a great job after an emergency call, but I don’t know at this point whether it was just a one-off.”