FEW players staked their claim for Wembley places during yesterday’s disappointing 1-1 draw at relegated Lewes according to York City manager Martin Foyle.

Foyle made nine changes to the side that started Friday night’s 2-1 win at Weymouth. That decision was partly to avoid key players picking up a suspension ahead of the FA Trophy final meeting with Stevenage a week on Saturday.

But, with first-choice pair Adam Smith and Christian Smith both cup-tied, Foyle was also hoping the club’s fringe players would catch his eye as City rounded off their Blue Square Premier campaign at the Dripping Pan.

Goalscorer Mark Greaves was praised by Foyle afterwards, but the likes of Simon Russell, Onome Sodje, Simon Rusk, Steven Hogg and Mark Robinson may have missed an opportunity to force themselves into the City chief’s plans.

Foyle said: “We were looking to see which four or five players would push for a Wembley place, but the response was disappointing. It was a poor game on an awful pitch, which was a bit embarrassing at this level.

“Our fans came down in numbers and we did not give them a lot to smile about.”

Foyle also revealed he had to talk skipper Daniel Parslow out of playing, with the former Welsh under-21 international keen to maintain his record of being on the pitch for every minute this season.

The City boss added: “I made lots of changes because I didn’t want somebody like Daniel Parslow or David McGurk getting sent off and missing the final, which has happened to Mitchell Cole at Stevenage.

“Dan came to me and asked if he could play, but I said ‘Did you see what happened to Phil Jagielka?’ He’s going to miss the FA Cup final now through injury.

“There was nothing at stake and I want my captain there at Wembley. He is proud of playing in every game and records are all good and well, but medals aren’t given out for completeing every minute of the season.”

Foyle also ruled out a Wembley appearance for striker Craig Farrell, whose loan spell with Oxford will now expire after the club failed to reach the play-offs.

Despite yesterday’s poor display, though, Foyle added that the rested players should not consider themselves automatic choices either.

He said: “Those nine are not definite starters at Wembley. We will study Stevenage over the next few days and select a team designed to beat them, not one full of players who deserve a place because they’ve done all right over the season.”

Preparations for Wembley will now begin in earnest with Foyle planning to take his squad down the M1 next weekend to familiarise themselves with the world-famous stadium.

He said: “We will train on Wednesday, have a practice match Friday and then take the whole squad to Wembley on Saturday because I feel they all need to see it. It’s a fantastic eye-opener and we need to make sure they won’t be overawed on May 9.”

Yesterday’s results meant City finished 17th in the table, with Foyle reflecting: “We’ve got to be a lot better and need some fresh faces in to liven the place up.”