Billy steps up search after Clayton sees red

York Press: Clayton Donaldson Clayton Donaldson

YORK City boss Billy McEwan will intensify his search for a new striker today with Clayton Donaldson suspended for three games following his 51st-minute sending off for using his elbow in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers.

The Minstermen could also have lost the services of centre-back Jason Goodliffe on a permanent basis with Rushden and Diamonds believed to be ready to shell out £10,000 for his services following the end of his three-month loan spell at KitKat Crescent.

Stevenage want a transfer fee for the 32-year-old defender and a move to Rushden would suit southern-based Goodliffe geographically as well as see him reunited with former Broadhall Way boss Graham Westley, now in charge at Nene Park.

But a new striker will remain the priority for McEwan who will, otherwise, go into tomorrow night's Conference clash at Halifax Town with only Craig Farrell and untried teenager Alex Rhodes as recognised forwards.

Winger Martyn Woolford could operate in a more advanced role if required but McEwan, who was seeking a new forward before Donaldson's red card following the end of Darryn Stamp's loan stay, said: "We won't have Clayton Donaldson's services now for three games but we have got to get something sorted out before then.

"I'm still looking to improve the squad and it's not for the want of trying that we haven't brought other players in yet because I've had targets in mind for weeks."

McEwan believed Donaldson was unfortunate to be sent off after appearing to lead with his elbow as he challenged home captain Stuart Whitehead as both players chased a long ball down the left flank.

The City boss felt referee David Coote was influenced by the reactions of home fans and players and said afterwards: "I thought it was a bit harsh on Clayton. The ball was at an awkward height. It was four foot off the ground and they both ran towards each other.

"Clayton tried to nick it past their player and ran into him. I think the crowd got the referee excited and three or four of their players ran over which highlighted it more and made it seem worse than it was. He then panicked and gave a red card.

"You cannot legislate for some refereeing decisions and I thought some of our players could have got yellow cards in the first half which he did not give."

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