YORK City boss Billy McEwan has managed to draft in a cover defender using emergency loan rules in time for tonight's clash with Aldershot (7.45pm).

Centre-half Luke Foster, 21, has been brought in on a month-long deal from League Two club Lincoln City to take the pressure of City's crocked defence in the current full-on fixture schedule.

James Dudgeon is training again after being wiped out by a bug that has hit several team-mates in recent weeks, but it has taken much longer for him to get back on the training park.

And his partner in crim at the backe, David McGurk, is also feeling the strain with a number of niggles creeping in.

The top tier of the Nationwide Conference was last year plunged into the same kind of transfer window that governs the trade of players all the way from the Premiership down to League Two. But loan deals were still allowed.

This year, the net has been tightened considerably and only emergency cases will be approved.

It does little to help the cause of clubs like York with a small squad and smaller budget.

Said McEwan: "I wouldn't have been able to bring him in if Dudgeon was okay but it's not just him - McGurk is carrying a few knocks, a few tight hamstrings and different things.

"The Conference might say we should have all our players before the transfer window closes, but it doesn't work like that."

He added: "Why do we have to use the transfer window like the League clubs?

"We don't get the resources they have got. They can carry big squads of 30 players because they've got the money."

Foster is a 6ft 2in utility player who can play at centre-back or in the heart of the midfield as a defensive pivot.

Keith Alexander signed him from Sheffield Wednesday's academy last season and he made 17 appearances in the first team but he has struggled to get a look-in to a performing Imps set-up this year under new head coach John Schofield.

McEwan said: "He's been with us for a few days training and we've decided to bring him in for a month to give him the chance.

"He is a young player but we will have a look at him and he will come into the squad for Aldershot."

The inclusion of Foster squad will not be the only alteration on the cards for the Minstermen tonight with "one or two" changes hinted at by the York boss.

He added: "Aldershot are dangerous opposition. They bang goals in but they've conceded goals too. Aldershot have won at Grays, they thrashed Stevenage and they've beaten Halifax so they are no mugs, but we have got to get our game going and respect them for who they are."

Tonight's squads

City (possible): Evans, Peat, McGurk, Foster, Craddock, Bowey, Panther, Bishop, Woolford, Farrell, Donaldson. Subs from: Reid, Convery, Webster, Lloyd, Parslow, McMahon.

Aldershot (possible): Bull, Smith, Barnard, Winfield, Newman, Edwards, Soares, Lee, Gayle, Joel Grant, Williams. Subs from: Wells, Harding, Osano, John Grant, Anderson, Scott.

Referee: Mo Matadar (Blackburn).

KICK-OFF: 7.45pm