Twice-winners and current holders York City travel to Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Trophy first round proper this weekend.
The Minstermen are returning to action following a fortnight’s absence after their latest league fixture at AFC Telford United was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Prior to that they had seen their unbeaten four-game sequence – those including three victories – shattered as a result of a hugely unsatisfactory performance at Boston United, who were in fact their weekend opponents’ victims in the previous round of this competition.
Kidderminster impressively remain undefeated in their previous eleven home games, although their visitors haven’t actually lost in the FA Trophy since suffering a 1-0 home defeat to Boston seven years ago.
Harriers have won the competition once before when beating Burton Albion in a replayed 1987 final, while also being runners-up on three subsequent occasions.
“It’s a winning mentality and a one-off game,” manager Martin Gray told BBC Radio York. “You don’t want to be going through ninety minutes and having to have a replay. It’s making sure that we get this job done. It’s going to be a real tough game – we know how good they are and how they play the game.
“We’ve had them watched numerous times this season and only had them here a month ago ourselves,” he continued. “So we’re well aware what they are about but we’re going there looking forward to a real good football game.
“We’re going there full of confidence expecting to come back with a win. [The players have] got to [rise to the challenge], that’s what they’ve got to do. It’s your job and livelihood. We’ve got to go there and scrap and fight and have a real ruthless side as well.”
Kidderminster Harriers Team News:
Defender James Pearson [hamstring] remains a doubt for the hosts while fellow full-back Lee Vaughan [broken leg] and midfielder Dan Bradley [knee] are already ruled out. Former York midfielder Yan Klukowski is yet to start since arriving on loan from Torquay United.
Kidderminster Harriers (possible): Hall, Williams, Austin, Croasdale, Horsfall, O’Connor, Weeks, McQuilkin, Ironside, Ngwatala, Brown
subs: Wright, Truslove, Sonupe, Taylor, Klukowski
Player to watch: Joe Ironside
Leading goalscorer with fourteen so far this season, including a double in the recent draw at Harrogate Town.
York City Team News:
New midfielders Sean McAllister and Alex Pattison are both in the squad but there is no place for former skipper Simon Heslop after returning from a month’s loan at Eastleigh. Manager Martin Gray was reporting no fresh injury concerns, with Louis Almond [shoulder], Michael Rankine [high blood pressure] and midfielder Clovis Kamdjo [knee] current longer-term casualties.
York City (probable): Bartlett, Rowe, Burn, Bencherif, Ferguson, Moke, McAllister, Newton, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Gray
subs (from): Parslow, Law, Whittle, Simpson, Connolly, Smith, Pattison, Muggleton, Wharton, Walton
Player to watch: Sean McAllister
Brought into the squad to offer increased control and stability into the problem midfield area.
Match Facts & Stats
The Minstermen have made thirteen previous visits to Kidderminster, including a quartet in the Football League, winning three times and drawing four. The latest of those was a 1-1 draw in January 2012, when skipper Chris Smith headed the visitors in front, until substitute James McQuilkin equalised direct from a late free-kick. Team: Ingham, Challinor, Smith, Parslow, Meridith, Kerr, Moke (Boucaud), McLaughlin, Blair, Reed (Blinkhorn), Pilkington (Chambers)
Link: Red Rewind – Revenge for York at Harriers
Link: Red Rewind – Late winner has City flying
Kidderminster – Nuneaton (H); York – Blyth (H)