YORK City manager Martin Foyle has challenged his strikers to keep suspended top scorer Richard Brodie on the sidelines.

Brodie picked up his tenth booking of the season during Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Kidderminster, meaning he will serve a two-match suspension after tomorrow night’s KitKat Crescent clash with Stevenage.

The England ‘C’ international, who has netted 21 times this season, will miss Saturday’s crucial trip to relegation rivals Grays Athletic and the home match against Oxford a week tomorrow.

Stalwart defender David McGurk’s continued struggle to break back into the team following injury proves that nobody is assured of a starting place in Foyle’s side and Brodie’s chances of an instant recall will depend on the performances of his replacement.

Had the former Newcastle Benfield forward managed to avoid a tenth caution until the Bank Holiday trip to Barrow, he would have escaped a ban, but Foyle always felt that might be unrealistic and Brodie was one of seven players yellow-carded by Catterick official Andy Halliday on Saturday.

The City boss said: “It (the ban) was always going to come even though, personally, I didn’t think it was a yellow card and I thought the referee was very, very poor.

“Onome Sodje looked bright and we’ve also got Simon Brown and Adam Boyes as well, so somebody else will get a chance which means he might not get back in.”

The recalled Sodje was City’s brightest striker against play-off contenders Kidderminster in a game of few chances.

Teenager Boyes dropped to the bench to hand last season’s joint top-scorer his first league start of the year and Foyle added: “I’ve been asking for that kind of performance from Sodje for a while and he looked bright.

“Adam Boyes has a big future and has done well in the job I’ve been asking him to do. He’s also been a bit unfortunate not to score but has looked a bit tired recently.

“Sometimes, you need to throw fresh legs on. Maybe eyes are on Wembley (the FA Trophy final) but the side for that match is nowhere near picked.”

The City boss fielded a 4-3-3 formation as the Minstermen extended their unbeaten run to seven games but admitted the system does have its drawbacks.

He said: “Every time we play with two players in the middle of the park we get dominated.

“We are more comfortable with three in there but that means you play with one less centre-forward.

“I’ve played in a front three myself and it’s hard. Sometimes we end up with Daniel McBreen up there on his own.

“If you can’t get the ball out to the full-backs things can look very narrow as well but it was still a good point, even if the performance wasn’t a classic by any means.

“The quality was poor at times although the players had to contend with a bobbly pitch and a gale-force wind.

“I asked them to stand up and be counted though and we defended very well again.”