YORK City boss Sam Collins will not accept Harrogate Town’s 3G pitch as justification for another below-par performance this weekend.

Collins admitted after last weekend’s 2-0 National League North defeat at Boston United that he was “sick of hearing excuses” from City’s 14th-placed squad and their next test is an FA Trophy first-round trip to upwardly-mobile neighbours Harrogate.

The Wetherby Road outfit’s home form was crucial during their play-off winning season in the sixth tier last term and has also proven the cornerstone of an impressive first campaign at National League level, with Simon Weaver’s men currently sat third in the standings.

But Collins insisted that Harrogate’s synthetic playing field will not be cited as a reason if his side fall short of the standards he expects again on Saturday, given his own squad’s familiarity with the all-weather turf.

“We’ve been training on York St John University’s 4G pitch at Haxby Road and, whilst it takes a bit of adjusting to in terms of the speed of the ball, the players have got more comfortable on it the longer the week has gone on and we’ve done some good work,” Collins pointed out.

“Quite a few players in this group will have also grown up being at academies or playing five-a-side with their friends on these surfaces, because they are being used more and more and we’ve been using them the odd day anyway when the conditions have been bad at our training ground, so there can’t be any excuses about the pitch. Whatever happens on Saturday won’t be because we’re playing on an artificial pitch.”

First-year professional Harry Thompson, meanwhile, has been released by the club, having failed to break through into the first-team squad and spent spells on loan at Northern League duo Shildon and Billingham Town this season.

Elsewhere, City supporters can now buy a mini-season ticket to cover the final ten league games at Bootham Crescent before the move to Monks Cross.

Starting with the home game against Darlington on New Year’s Day, the tickets also provide admission to fixtures against Hereford, Chorley, Ashton United, Nuneaton, Altrincham, Boston United, Southport, Spennymoor and Telford.

Furthermore, mini-season ticket holders will be entitled to book tickets for possible FA Trophy ties and play-off games before the general public, and receive a 10 per cent discount off any purchases of more than £10 in the club shop.

Prices start at £99 for adults, £80 for concessions and £40 for juniors and, anybody interested, can visit https://www.yorkcityfootballclub.co.uk/news/mini-season-tickets-sale-now to download an application form.