FA Trophy: Struggling York set twin task by their boss Gary Mills

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A timely break from the travails of the league is taken today by the Yorkshire trio currently propping up the fifth tier of non-League football.

Of those, York City are the most badly in need of a lift as they head into the FA Trophy first-round clash with Worcester City at Bootham Crescent on the back of an 18-game winless run.

Manager Gary Mills, however, has set his side the joint target of clinching survival in National League and lifting the Trophy at Wembley on May 21.

“The most important thing at the moment is to start winning and gain a belief, strength and passion to do that week-in, week-out,” said Mills, who led York to Trophy success in 2012.

Following FC Halifax Town’s exit in the third qualifying round to Matlock Town, North Ferriby United are the most recent winners of the competition taking part in today’s first round.

Steve Housham’s men make the trip to Alfreton Town looking to build on last week’s 1-0 triumph over Gateshead, the completing of the club’s first double being enough to take the Villagers off the foot of the table.

“We want to go and win at Alfreton,” said Housham, who could be without Ryan Fallowfield (groin) along with Simon Russell. “I will be selecting the right team to let us go far in this competition. We have to be wary of their threat. They showed great fitness to overturn Gainsborough.

“I have told the lads that we are only five games away from Wembley. I like the Cup, it keeps the season going. This year has to be fun and enjoyable.”

Guiseley are also on the road, Adam Lockwood’s side having been handed a tricky tie at National League North high-fliers Chorley.

The clubs last met when the Lions clinched promotion in an enthralling play-off final in 2015 so revenge will be in the air for the home side.

Harrogate Town host FA Cup giant-killers Barrow and manager Simon Weaver said: “Obviously, it is going to be very tough, but the pressure is completely off us. So, it is a bit of a free hit for us.

“Our ambition is to win the game and there’s no reason why we can’t. I know there will be a big crowd and it’s a match that we’re looking forward to.”

Farsley Celtic, meanwhile, host National League strugglers Southport.

Shaw Lane’s FA Trophy first-round tie at home to Lincoln City tomorrow has been postponed.

The Barnsley-based club are the subject of an FA investigation relating to their third qualifying round win against Nantwich Town.

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