YORK City striker Chris Beardsley has turned down a loan move to Blue Square North outfit Tamworth to prove his worth at KitKat Crescent.

The Lambs, relegated from the Conference last season, had wanted Beardsley to pep up their strikeforce having seen the 23-year-old forward struggle for a first-team place with City.

But Beardsley, pictured above, was recalled for his first start in six games at Aldershot and, having snubbed Tamworth, City boss Billy McEwan is now challenging him to help change the club's fortunes in front of goal after three blank scoresheets in a row.

Ahead of tomorrow's Blue Square Premier clash at Grays, McEwan said: "There's been a bit of interest from clubs for one or two of our players and Tamworth came in for Chris Beardsley.

"I had a chat with the player and he could have gone there to get some confidence because he wanted to be playing, but he didn't want to go there. I know he's got the ability and he showed it in pre-season.

"He's leaner and sharper now, but forwards thrive on goals.

"He had a few chances at Aldershot but one was saved, one blocked and he lost his balance with the other going round the keeper.

"Like the other strikers, he's got to keep working at it.

"We've got players like Martyn Woolford and Nick Hegarty who can hurt teams if they are right so we will always create chances. Last season we were putting them in, this season we're not."

McEwan is also currently tracking a striker that he would like to bring in on loan, but might not get his man in time to face Grays.

The City boss has also explained recent omissions of Craig Farrell from the matchday squad as a mixture of injury and indifferent form.

He said: "He's not been 100 per cent fit with a niggling thigh problem.

"His performances when he was in the team had to be better.

"When he was in the team he missed chances and, after the Burton game, he apologised to me and admitted he was diabolical.

"He's an experienced player who got double figures for us last season, but some of the chances he's missed have been incredible.

"I will give the players a chance and it's up to them to take it."

Midfielder Stuart Elliott will travel to Grays after recovering from a virus but is only expected to make the bench.

Grays: (probable) Flitney, Sambrook, Stuart, Ashton, Gross, Grant, Hearn, Thurgood, Oli, McAllister, Murray.

Subs: O'Connor, Watson, Knowles, Kedwell, Lawson.

City: (probable) Henderson, Craddock, McGurk, Kelly, Robinson, Woolford, Panther, Wroe, Hegarty, Beardsley, Sodje.

Subs: Evans, Parslow, Elliott, Brodie, Brayson.

Referee: David Phillips (Sussex).