JOHN ASKEY has been getting York City practice match time against higher-tier opposition, and will likely play a younger team tomorrow night at Whitby Town.

City’s first-teamers have not played a competitive game this year after both scheduled National League North games thus far were postponed because of Covid infections within the opposition camp.

The Minstermen are due to travel to Whitby on Tuesday evening (7.45pm) for a North Riding County FA Senior Cup second round tie, which could have presented an opportunity to get minutes into players who missed out against Bradford Park Avenue and AFC Fylde.

But, with an FA Trophy fourth round game at home to Slough Town on the horizon and a squad nearly back to full health to call on, interim manager Askey believes there is a better way to fulfil the fixture and get his players game time.

Pictures on Stockport County Academy's Twitter feed show Clayton Donaldson and Jack McKay in action during a behind-closed-doors friendly against the National League side.

“It will be more the lads who’ve not played or the youngsters,” he said of his squad plans for Whitby. “We can’t afford to pick up injuries.

“(A practice match) will serve a better purpose, I think, playing on a decent surface than playing everybody against Whitby.”

Tomorrow will be the third time this season City have faced Northern Premier League premier division play-off hopefuls Whitby.

The Minstermen have won both of the previous meetings, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 on the Yorkshire Coast in pre-season and triumphing 2-0 at the LNER Community Stadium in the FA Cup.

Donaldson has scored three of those four goals, with former Whitby midfielder Mackenzie Heaney getting the other. On the evidence, it seems unlikely Donaldson will have the chance to add to his tally, but Heaney might, having only played around 100 minutes of football in the seven games Askey has been in charge for.