AFTER four months out, Scott Barrow is a relieved man to be back on the pitch.

The left-back - who suffered an Achilles injury at the end of July - made his first competition appearance for York City on Saturday.

It was far from an easy watch, but thanks to the weekend's 1-0 win over Blyth Spartans, the Minstermen will make the trip to either Morpeth Town or Marske United in the FA Trophy third round.

"It's been a long 16 weeks," the Welshman said.

"It was nice to start - I'm still a bit rusty, obviously. I set my standards in pre-season when I was flying about and I'm trying to get back to them.

"To be back in the starting line-up was great.

"The gaffer wants us to play a certain way, which was difficult in periods. We need to be a lot better on the ball, especially in the second half.

"We did well first half but second half, Blyth pressed us a little more. We need to be better than that.

"But it was a win in a cup and a clean sheet as well.

"Sixteen weeks in the stand is not easy. It's not easy mentally either.

"The physio staff have been brilliant with me and it's just brilliant to be out there, putting the kit on again and playing in front of a crowd in the stadium.

"It probably wasn't easy to watch but we've done a job.

"We'll carry on working on things in training.

"But it's great to be back and hopefully I'll stay injury free."

Barrow made a super start to the pre-season campaign, looking a real threat going forward with Michael Duckworth on the other side. His injury hobbled York's start to the National League North campaign with no consistent deputy on the left of a back four trusted to step in.

In-keeping with York's cruel luck this season, they have missed a number of key senior players at various points, Michael Woods and Duckworth two ongoing medium-term injuries. Attacking bright spark Mackenzie Heaney also failed a fitness test ahead of the Blyth game.

"They're three key players (Woods, Duckworth and Heaney) and hopefully they will be back soon," Barrow added.

"Sooner or later we'll have our full-strength squad back and we'll be fighting for places."

It will require hard work and dedication for Barrow to get back up to full speed as quickly as possible - attributes the team itself can benefit from as they look to put together a run in the Trophy.

The next round of the Trophy is on Saturday, December 18. Win that, and City are five victories away from the final and a trip to Wembley.

Asked how far York can go, Barrow said: "We've just got to keep playing. (Saturday) was gritty but sometimes you've just got to put them performances in.

"It's not going to be easy sometimes but you've just got to put the hard work in.

"We can go a long way. I've been to the semi-final and lost, and I would love to go one more.

"But we know that we've got to keep putting performances in every week - and if we do, you never know."