YORK City are desperately short of defenders ahead of tomorrow night’s FA Trophy replay against Kidderminster Harriers.

The Minstermen drew 1-1 during a much-improved display at Aggborough but right-back Ben Purkiss, who played on Saturday despite still feeling the effects of his recent stomach injury, is now set to join fellow defenders David McGurk, Darren Kelly and Mark Greaves on the sidelines for the KitKat Crescent rematch.

Teenager Josh Radcliffe was drafted onto the bench for the first time in a senior game at Kidderminster and may come into contention for a starting place should manager Martin Foyle’s attempts to bring in defensive cover prove unsuccessful today.

Foyle said: “I don’t think Ben will play tomorrow night because his stomach is sore. He was fantastic at Kidderminster because he wasn’t right but filled in.

“The decision was made between myself and the physio that his injury would not get any worse. Ben wasn’t too happy, but went through with it for me and I reward people like that.

“Tomorrow will also be too soon for David McGurk because he has not trained yet. Saturday was a hard game that took its toll and we are a bit thin on numbers defensively now, so I will be trying to get somebody in.”

But teenage striker Adam Boyes will be available for the replay with Foyle delighted by the youth-team graduate’s first senior goal at Aggborough.

The City chief said: “Adam Boyes was fantastic. He had an excellent debut at Altrincham and was even better against Kidderminster.

“He scored a very good goal and played in the middle, as well as on the left and right for us.

“His work ethic, along with the other two strikers Richard Brodie and Daniel McBreen, was outstanding.”

Boyes’ goal gave the Minstermen a half-time lead only for home substitute Martin Brittain to force a replay 15 minutes from time.

City boss Foyle opted for a 4-3-3 formation for the second successive game and was pleased with his players’ response in the absence of cup-tied trio Adam Smith, Christian Smith and Simon Brown.

He said: “It was one of the best games since I’ve been here. It was a real team performance – the kind I’ve been trying to get from them.

“The quality was there from us and we thoroughly deserved a replay against one of the best sides in the Blue Square Premier who, like Oxford in the previous round, have a great home record.”

For the first time under Foyle – and for only the first time since the opening game of the season – City also made no substitutions.

About that decision, the City manager reasoned: “Why change something when it’s working? The players should be able to keep going for 90 minutes otherwise there’s a question mark over their fitness.

“I’ve had to make too many changes while I’ve been here but I felt quite comfortable during the game.”

Foyle also confirmed that striker Craig Farrell has been allowed to move on loan to Blue Square Premier rivals Oxford United until the end of the season, citing the emergence of Boyes as one of the reasons for his departure.

He said: “Craig Farrell wants to play games and I couldn’t guarantee him that at the moment. I thought Adam Boyes deserved a chance and it has worked out well putting him in.

“Craig’s our player, but he’s gone on loan there until the end of the season. That means we are losing a player so, hopefully, we can get somebody else in as well.”