Oxford City could give Bermudan international keeper Freddy Hall his debut when they travel to Shortwood United tomorrow looking to avoid an early exit from the competition.

With regular stopper Mark Scott struggling with a hip injury, City’s general manager Justin Merritt moved for Hall, 29, who started this season at Conference Premier side Chester City.

And Merritt has high hopes for the former Burton Albion No 1, who has signed non-contract forms.

“Although he’s only 29, he has a lot of experience,” said Merritt.

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“He is good technically, is very vocal and is a good organiser.

“Mark (Scott) has played every game this season and done very well, but his hip is heavily bruised, so he is an injury doubt.

“I think Freddy will start on Saturday.”

Despite playing a team two leagues below them, Merritt said they would not be taking Shortwood lightly.

Ten years ago, Merritt played in the Thame United team that knocked out high-fliers Weymouth.

“I remember the away game very well,” recalled Merritt.

“We were leading 1-0 and I got sent off. They later equalised through Steve Claridge (their player-manager). No one spoke to me all the way home.

“Then we beat them 2-1 in a replay and Claridge got sacked in the car park, so it was all quite dramatic.”

Merritt added: “Shortwood are on a good run and are unbeaten in six games.

“We are going to prepare ourselves for that. We want a really good Cup run.”

City welcome back Bidemi Afolabi.

Abingdon United boss Andy Zoldan says his Hellenic League side face their toughest test when they host Southern League Premier Division outfit Dorchester Town, who last season beat Plymouth 1-0 in a shock first-round victory.

He said: “This will be the toughest test for the team since I took over last season,” said Zoldan.

“I know the players will give everything and on the day anything can happen.”

Abingdon miss Graham Edney (away) and Aaron Andrews (unavailable) and Adam Gardner (injured).

Ardley United manager Kevin Brock says they are capable of a shock at another Southern League side, Chippenham Town, but they must improve on their display on Tuesday when they lost 3-0 at home to Ascot in the Hellenic League.

“Our results had picked up and then that happens,” said Brock.

“So we’re going to have to be a lot better if we are to win.”

Ardley have doubts over Tommy Kinch (hamstring), Troy Bryan (knee), Harry Brock (knee), but Ricky Johnson is back.

Tomorrow’s squads

Oxford City (v Shortwood Utd, away): from Hall, Scott, Afolabi, Stonehouse, Pond, Lapoujade, Green, Rodriguez, Barcelos, Mullings, Yussuf, Del Alamo, Benjamin, Winters, Wilson, Brown, Santiago, Isaac, Hoban.

Abingdon Utd (v Dorchester Tn, home): from J Zoldan, S Davies, Laurence, Alder, McNeil, Threlfall, Rookes, McCalmon, Crook, Doyle, Rutherford, K Davis, Odhiambo, Younie, Davis, Butler.

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