YORK City’s artificial intelligence failed to secure maximum points on Tamworth’s 3G pitch.

For stretches of the Staffordshire contest, the Minstermen, who had trained on York St John University’s identical turf during the two days before, looked well-prepared for the challenge.

Martin Gray’s side kept possession cleverly having quickly adapted to the speed of the ball and forged in front on 73 minutes when a 25-yard Aidan Connolly effort gathered pace off the wet surface and beat home keeper Jack Stevens low to his left.

But, be it on grass, mud or rubber crumb, City rarely look convincing defending a slender lead and there was an irritating air of inevitability and resignation when Darryl Knights crashed a thumping 15-yard strike into the roof of the net on 89 minutes after the visitors failed to clear their lines from a throw into the box.

It meant the Minstermen have still only kept one clean sheet in 23 matches - against rock-bottom North Ferriby - with Gray still waiting for the scrappy 1-0 win he craves, but has eluded the club in a league game since Boxing Day 2016 when the Humberside villagers again provided the opposition.

A draw on the overall balance of play was probably a fair outcome, given that both teams had hit the frame of the goal, while Bradley Reid missed at least a hat-trick of straightforward chances for the hosts and Connor Brown also made a goal-line clearance.

But, the manner in which the Lambs secured a point was deeply frustrating for Gray and the team’s 243 travelling supporters.

Earlier, Brown had dragged the first opportunity of the game off target from 25 yards and then headed away after Luke Jones rose highest to meet Knights’ corner with the ball about to drop under a beaten Adam Bartlett’s crossbar.

Sean Newton also headed well wide from a Simon Heslop free kick, while Reid steered a seven-yard effort over after Knights had run free down the right flank.

Midfielder Tom Shaw went on to sidefoot wide after City were caught four against three on the counter attack, before Connor Smith called Stevens into his first save of the afternoon – a rising effort pushed over at the home net-minder’s near post.

A deflected Heslop shot, meanwhile, cleared the bar, with Raul Correia unable to scrambe the ball over the line when Stevens dropped Newton’s resulting corner.

Reid then missed the target with two headers, aiming too high following a Rhys Sharpe left-wing cross and glancing wide after Knights’ delivery from the opposite flank.

In the second half, an unmarked Reid’s profligacy continued when he somehow directed an inswinging free kick from Knights off target after it landed to him in Bartlett’s six-yard box.

City responded well to the let-off, though, with Hamza Bencherif going close to his first goal for the club, as he headed against the outside of Stevens’ near post following Newton’s right-wing corner.

Connolly also saw a 20-yard effort bounce wide and Smith had another shot deflected off target after positive play through the right channel. Tamworth still threated on the break, though, with Callum Powell forcing Bartlett into a smart parry, before Stevens plucked a curling Adriano Moke effort out of the air.

Heslop and Newton, meanwhile, cleared the crossbar with long-range attempts and Aman Verma’s header hit Bartlett’s left-hand upright following a Joel Kettle free kick with the ball bouncing behind for a corner off the relieved City keeper’s back.

As play swung from one end to the other, Newton brushed the top of the netting from the edge of the box, while David Ferguson’s diving header, following a Moke cross, was saved by Stevens, as Bartlett was equal to low Powell and Knights drives.

Connolly went on to break the deadlock when he picked up the ball and took aim with a low drive that deceived Stevens.

But, without 25-goal leading marksman Jon Parkin, due to his 3G aversion, the visitors never really threatened to double their advantage aside from Smith heading off target following Ferguson’s cross to the far post on 90 minutes.

By then, the scores were level.

City had survived a scare when Reid pulled another good chance wide from ten yards, but Knights was far more clinical with the next opportunity.

Sam Coulson and Knights also had further chances in stoppage time, as the Minstermen held on to the point that had promised to be three just moments before.

City ratings

Adam Bartlett 7

Connor Brown 6

Hamza Bencherif 6

Jonny Burn 7

David Ferguson 6

Connor Smith 7

Simon Heslop 6

Adriano Moke 6

Sean Newton 6

Aidan Connolly 7

Raul Correia 5

Substitutes: James Gray 5 – quiet (for Correia, 66), Dan Parslow (for Brown, 79), Louis Almond (for Connolly, 87).

Subs not used: Josh Law, Luke Simpson.

Star man: Smith – positive and threatened throughout with forward runs

Tamworth: Jack Stevens, Andy Burns (Zack Kowitca, 85), Luke Jones, Joel Kettle, Rhys Sharpe, Callum Powell (Daniel Turner, 79), Tom Shaw, Darryl Knights, Bradley Reid (Connor Taylor, 90), Sam Coulson. Subs not used: Jack Lane, Jed Davies.

Tamworth star man: Knights – hinted at his quality before well-struck equaliser

Referee: Sam Mulhall rating: 8/10 – on top of most things

Booked: Kettle 18, Brown 48

Sent off: None

Attendance: 764 (243 from City)

Shots on target: Tamworth 7, City 6

Shots off target: Tamworth 10, City 10

Corners: Tamworth 4, City 7

Fouls conceded: Tamworth 7, City 4

Offside: Tamworth 1, City 2