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Team news: Harrogate (H)

Three facing fitness tests ahead of Trophy tie

21 September 2020

Neal Ardley says three of his midfielders face fitness tests ahead of Tuesday’s 2019-20 Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final against Harrogate Town.

The boss will definitely be without Casper Sloth, who missed the weekend trip to Telford with a hamstring problem, but he’s hoping for good news on three others ahead of kick-off.

“Jake Reeves, Ruben Rodrigues and Jim O’Brien are having intensive treatment and late fitness tests,” revealed Ardley in his pre-match press conference.

“If there’s a seed of doubt with any of them we’re not going to force them to play in this game and risk them missing 3 October.

“If they’re fit, great, but we won’t know until 5pm tomorrow.”

We’re permitted to name up to six ‘new’ signings in the matchday squad, one of whom will be Cal Roberts who was ineligible last season having represented Blyth Spartans.

It could also pave the way for the likes of Ruben Rodrigues, Elisha Sam and Jimmy Knowles to make their competitive debuts in a match Ardley is keen to win despite his side being several weeks behind Harrogate in terms of fitness and match practice.

“It would mean a lot to us, not because we’ve got a vendetta against Harrogate, but because if we can win this we’re in a final at Wembley which we worked very hard to reach,” said Ardley.

“We had to go away to Chesterfield, we finished with nine men at Yeovil, we had a Michael Doyle 50-yard goal to beat Dagenham…we’ve battled hard to get here and for our fans to be able to maybe go to Wembley, regardless of the competition, means a lot to us.

“All of those are reasons for us to have a real go at it.”

The match will be played behind closed doors but a free live stream will be available on our website and YouTube channel, complete with BBC Radio Nottingham commentary. Please note due to broadcasting regulations, the stream will only be available to supporters in the UK.

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