ARTIFICIAL pitches are the “future” of non-league football, according to Worcester City boss Carl Heeley.

Worcester made their first appearance on Tamworth’s newly-installed 3G surface at the Lamb Ground in the second game of the season.

After a scrappy start, City adapted well to the conditions before defender Jack Lane netted an 81st-minute winner for the hosts.

But Heeley said the surface, which was laid this summer, had no bearing on the result as he believed it provided a platform for a “decent game of football”.

“It is different to playing on a grass pitch but I thought it played quite well,” he said.

“It was a decent game of football and it was one of those games which could have gone either way and we were on the very unfortunate end of a 1-0 defeat.

“But there are no complaints about the pitch from us.”

Harrogate Town, who drew 2-2 against City on the opening day of the season, are another Vanarama National League North outfit who have ripped up their grass in favour of the artificial playing surface.

The switch comes after National League chiefs approved the use of 3G pitches in the top tier of non-league football earlier this year, while they have been allowed in the FA Cup since 2014.

Maidstone United and Sutton United have also transformed their turf into 3G in recent years and both now play in the National League.

And Heeley said he understood why clubs had made the move as he felt it offered a way of generating more money due to the amount of games which can be played on it in all weather conditions.

“It is something the lads are well-versed to now as you train on those types of surfaces,” said Heeley, whose side beat Sutton Coldfield on a plastic pitch in pre-season.

“It does have a feel of a training game at times on them but I thought it was a decent match at Tamworth.

“It is the future and I think there will be more and more clubs, certainly in non-league, going towards that sort of surface because of the opportunities for income generation.”