CAMBRIDGE United have been thwarted in their bid to recall veteran striker Leo Fortune-West from his loan spell at York City.

Fortune-West, who turns 37 next Wednesday, trained with his parent club yesterday and Cambridge had hoped he would return to the Abbey Stadium to revive their spluttering play-off hopes.

Jimmy Quinn's men still lie fourth in the Blue Square Premier table but a run of one point from a possible 12 has threatened to derail their top-five ambitions.

The U's have also scored just four goals from their last six fixtures, persuading Quinn to send out an SOS to the 6ft 4ins target man, who has netted only once in seven outings for the KitKat Crescent club.

But Conference rules on long-term loan moves mean Fortune-West cannot return to Cambridge unless he is to be sold, meaning he will report for Minstermen duty at Stevenage Borough tonight. Had the two clubs agreed a short-term loan then Fortune-West could have been recalled any time after an initial 28-day period.

About Fortune-West's situation, City boss Colin Walker said: "We thought Leo would be going back to Cambridge because he trained with them on Monday but the league won't allow it so he will be staying with us until the end of the season and will be involved tonight."

The former Doncaster, Cardiff and Rotherham forward will be available to Quinn, however, should Cambridge reach the play-offs.

Fortune-West is unlikely to start tonight's Broadhall Way clash and fellow striker Craig Farrell is also ten days away from a return after a scan revealed bruising to five bones in his foot.

On-loan Rotherham winger Sam Duncum will not travel to Hertfordshire either after his leg muscle problem but is pencilled in for tomorrow night's reserve home match with Barnsley.

Stevenage currently lie in the fifth and final play-off place but are only two points ahead of Exeter with a game in hand.

Walker is hoping that the home side's need for a victory could play into his side's hands.

He told The Press: "They are going for the play-offs and will want to win.

"They didn't play at the weekend and will be buzzing so we've got to match their effort and show more ability in the final third of the pitch.

"We've not done very well going at sides in recent games but it might suit us if they have to come at us."

Stevenage (probable): Julian, Henry, Westwood, Smith, Murray, Grant, Martin, Vincenti, Cole, Morison, Willock.

Subs: Masters, Laird, Rankin, Mitchell, McMahon.

City (probable): Evans, Parslow, McGurk, Craddock, Purkiss, Rusk, Wroe, Panther, Robinson, Brodie, Woolford.

Subs: Mimms, Lloyd, Elliott, Sodje, Fortune-West.

Referee: Ian Scarr (West Midlands).

Kick-off: 7.45pm.

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