A DREAM of cup final glory at the Millennium Stadium has player chief Chris Brass banking on York City's nightmare run in the LDV Vans Trophy coming to an end.

Brass will make changes for tonight's tie at Conference outfit Halifax Town as he looks to find a cure for City's away-day blues and claim the Minstermen's first win in the competition since 1997.

Some of those changes will be forced by injury and circumstance while Brass admitted he wants to give "one or two players" a rest.

However, the City chief was quick to scoff at the suggestion the Minstermen would not be giving the competition their full attention.

"It is an opportunity to get to the Millennium Stadium and that is something I have stressed to the players," said Brass.

"They might not ever get that opportunity again.

"There will be one or two changes. One or two need to be made and one or two need a rest.

"But we will still be going there to win. The lads who are getting their chance have an opportunity to impress and they have to take that opportunity."

With Carlisle United reportedly banking £500,000 from reaching last year's final, Brass admitted cash was another incentive to make progress.

However, Brass preferred to look upon tonight's clash as an opportunity to arrest City's recent poor away form.

"The statistics show we haven't scored in the last five games away from home," said Brass.

"That is something that needs addressing, particularly when you think we have played with three lads up front and not scored a goal.

"Something is obviously not right and it is something we have to put right as a team."

Brass will be forced to make changes up front after Luton refused to give permission for on-loan striker Dean Crowe to play.

City's other remaining loan player, Craig Dove, can play because his club, Middlesbrough, do not compete in the LDV Vans Trophy.

Brass is also rated "doubtful" after suffering a bout of mild concussion in the 2-0 defeat at Mansfield on Saturday.

With Lee Bullock, Darren Edmondson and Christian Fox still injured, Steven Downes, Chris Smith and Aron Wilford have all been added to the squad.

Brass indicated he will resist the temptation to hand second-choice goalkeeper Chris Porter his first start of the season at the expense of Mark Ovendale.

And plans to give a couple of youth team players, most probably Bryan Stewart, a chance of a starting role have been scuppered because the club's youngsters are in FA Youth Cup action tomorrow.

Aside from cup glory, cash and the chance to end an away-day hoodoo, Brass has a personal incentive for claiming victory at the Shay.

The City chief had a successful loan spell at Halifax in 2000 while a player at Burnley and played alongside the Shaymen's current manager, Chris Wilder.

"I was coming back from a knee injury with Burnley when I got the chance to go," recalled Brass.

"I think they'd gone something like 17 games without a win and we were fortunate enough to go away to Torquay and won 2-1.

"It went onwards from there and we had a good little run while I was there.

"It was unfortunate they went out of the league in the next season but I enjoyed my time there.

"I could tell at the time Chris would go into management or coaching, he had it within him.

"Of course, I never dreamed we would be both managing teams so soon after playing together."

There will be no replay, the tie must be settled tonight.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the silver-goal rule will come into operation.

That means if a team scores in the first-half of extra-time the opposition needs to equalise before half-time to force the second-half to be played.

If the teams still cannot be separated after extra-time the tie will be decided by penalties.

Halifax have reduced admission prices for tonight's game. Entry for adults will cost £10, for concessions £5 and for under-12s £2.

Updated: 11:06 Tuesday, October 14, 2003