MARK Jones wants Oxford City’s love affair with the Emirates FA Cup to continue when they entertain Hampton & Richmond tomorrow.

City host their Vanarama National League South rivals at Court Place Farm in the third qualifying round, with the first round proper just two wins away.

Jones wants his side to put their poor league form behind them as they resume their quest to reach the first round for the third successive season.

Hampton are one of only two teams that 18th-placed City have beaten so far this season, but Jones believes that counts for nothing in a one-off game.

He said: “It’s a tie between two teams in very similar positions on the same amount of points, so you can almost flip a coin for the result.

“Hampton have also had memorable FA Cup runs in recent years and got to the first round last year, so we have every respect to them, and we certainly have no God-given right to get through.”

A raft of injuries means City have fielded youthful line-ups in recent weeks, but Jones admitted the return to training of Zach McEachran, Eddie Jones and Stefan Brown was a real boost.

He added: “I’m hopeful that we can get at least a couple of our injured players back, because it’s important with such a small squad that we put out the best team we can each week.

“At times, I’ve needed to play youngsters, but playing two or three at the same time isn’t ideal for them, or for us.”

City have enjoyed memorable Cup runs in the last two seasons, reaching the first round 12 months ago and the second round one year before.

This has given the club a much-needed financial boost, which has gone a long way to eliminating the debt that has dogged the club for many years.

Jones said: “It’s a massive game for the team, but also for the club.

“The extra finance it brings in not only sustains the budget but goes a long way towards clearing our debts.

“Although we’ve had some unbelievable runs which has helped, we aren’t out of the woods, but we are hoping to be back in the black in the next year or two.”

Another big boost for City is keeper Craig King’s return to fitness after he received positive news from a scan on his knee.

“Craig will return in goal, he’s had a big improvement on his knee injury and feels comfortable to get back playing again,” Jones added.

“This means we won’t be extending Harry Isted’s loan deal, but I’d like to thank him for all his efforts over the last month, he’s been absolutely magnificent for us.”

Oxford City (v Hampton & Richmond, home): from C King, Jones, Jefford, Ashby, Oastler, Fleet, Brown, McEachran, Owusu, Self, Fasanmade, Wiltshire, Tapp, Wright, Beckles-Richards, Paul-Jones, R King, Caro.