Hurst wary of York cup test after lengthy lay off

FA TROPHY action is on the agenda for Boston United on Saturday with the Pilgrims travelling to resurgent Blue Square Bet Premier outfit York City.

The first round encounter at Bootham Crescent (3pm KO) pits together two sides in good form, with York climbing away from danger in the top tier of non-league football, while the Pilgrims are aiming to consolidate their position in the play-off positions in Blue Square Bet North.

The Pilgrims reached the first round courtesy of a 2-1 home win over Gainsborough Trinity on November 20 – the last match United contested.

Saturday’s scheduled trip to Worcester City fell to the winter weather, following earlier call-offs against Redditch United and Hinckley United.

All three encounters have been re-arranged for January, where the Pilgrims will contest a staggering nine fixtures, but immediate attentions are focusing on Saturday’s tough trip to Yorkshire.

United joint manager Paul Hurst is looking forward to seeing the Pilgrims pit their wits against a higher-ranked side, but is slightly concerned about their three-week break from action.

Hurst told The Standard: “The players are looking forward to the opportunity to take on Conference opposition. In some respects, it is a no-lose situation. Everybody expects York to win, but hopefully we can put on a performance and try to defy the odds.

“We are going into the match having not played for three weeks. That can work one of two ways. We can either be fresh and raring to go, or slightly sluggish having got out of the routine of playing regularly.

“We have an abundance of matches coming up and we are eager to get going again.”

York’s match against top-of-the-table AFC Wimbledon was postponed on Saturday, following several inches of snow. United officials hope that this week’s anticipated thaw will allow the FA Trophy tie to go ahead.

If a replay is required to settle the York clash, the match will be played at The Jakemans Stadium next Tuesday (December 14).

The Pilgrims are back in league action against Hyde FC on December 18, before contesting four matches inside nine days between Boxing Day and January 3, including a home-and-away double-header against county rivals Gainsborough Trinity.

James McKeown, Shaun Pearson and Danny Davidson are all available following recent injury problems, while new signings Shane Clarke and John Williams will be hoping for further opportunities to impress.