York City boss Billy McEwan is hoping his side will help erase the memory of his most embarrassing moment as a manager against Canvey Island tomorrow.

The part-time Essex club were 4-0 winners over City in the penultimate game of last season and McEwan has admitted that the performance acted as a watershed for the club.

Eight players from the squad on duty left KitKat Crescent a week later and only Andy Bishop and Dave Merris from that April starting line up are expected to face Canvey this time around.

City's biggest victories have come against the Conference's three other part-time clubs Altrincham (5-0), Southport (4-1) and Tamworth (3-0) and McEwan is hoping his team continue to display their professionalism tomorrow.

He said: "Canvey away marked a watershed for this football club. As manager of York City, I travelled home that night totally embarrassed with the performance.

"Our fans travelled a long way and paid good money to see that match in midweek and I felt really sorry for them. Major decisions were made in my mind during the game but they were made easy for me.

"I knew we had to turn the whole thing upside down and it was an awful feeling to see a team I was associated with having the Mickey taken out of them. It had never happened to me as a manager and I will never forget it.

"I am sure the players that are here from last season will want to put the record straight. They have been given a second chance which I am afraid the others did not get."

McEwan will check on the fitness of a couple of players who have suffered from flu this week before making a final decision on his starting line-up. Skipper Mark Hotte and vice-captain Nathan Peat are both pushing for recalls.

The City boss will also decide whether to employ three strikers or play winger Bryan Stewart and switch back to a 4-4-2 formation.

Goalkeeper David Stockdale will replace Farhad Afandiyev on the bench after returning from his loan spell at Wakefield and Emley.

McEwan is now looking to loan out Afandiyev after the former Azerbaijan Under-21 international displayed signs of rustiness during Monday night's 4-2 reserves' defeat against Darlington.

"David Stockdale has been out and played five games which he would not have done here," McEwan said. "He's been doing well and will be on the bench against Canvey.

"I am looking to get Faz out on loan now because he's got to play more football. He needs working more because he's played three games at the most since the start of the season, whereas David has now played five in a month.

"When Faz first came here he looked confident and bright but I can't put him on the bench the way he played the other night and he admits himself that he's not playing as well as he can."

McEwan is waiting to hear today if City can extend the loan period of Grimsby Town striker Jermaine Palmer.

Updated: 09:34 Friday, October 14, 2005