Chester must ‘fight fire with fire’ in Saturday's FA Trophy clash at Royston Town, says Anthony Johnson.

The Blues joint-manager is relishing the second round clash in Hertfordshire, where a place in the last 16 of the competition is at stake.

An impressive sequence of results saw Southern Premier Central side Royston advance through the preliminary rounds before they eliminated National League side Boreham Wood last month.

Manager Steve Castle has billed the tie as Royston's biggest game of the season, and Johnson has urged his players to adopt the same mentality.

He said: “We have to go in with that exact same mindset - it’s our biggest game of the season too.

“We can’t afford to treat the game in any other way. We’re one result away from getting into the last 16 and that’s a huge incentive for us this weekend.

“Going to Royston is a massive banana-skin for Chester, just like Hednesford was in the last round.

“From what I’ve heard there has been a buzz around the town down there in the lead up to this game and we’re massively looking forward to it.

“They’ll be up for it and confident of beating us, so we have to match their belief and fight fire with fire.”

Royston, nicknamed The Crows, are in the midst of a six-game winning streak and have emerged as credible title contenders this term.

Johnson and fellow boss Bernard Morley, who will travel south with the Blues squad on Friday evening, have consulted with club scouts ahead of the clash to assess their opponents’ relative strengths and weaknesses.

“We’ve been able to watch one full video of them from their game against Tamworth earlier in the season,” added Johnson.

“We’ve had some scouts down there for their last two games and we’ve got a better idea of their qualities now.

“We know they’re a physical and willing team with plenty of grafters, but more than that they’re a team of winners.

“It’s a great run they’re on at the moment and their confidence will be high when they get on the pitch.

“In terms of our own preparations we’ve made sure they’ve been as spot on as they were for the games against Southport and Guiseley recently.

“We’ve tried to be as professional as possible in our preparations this week to give ourselves the best possible chance.

“With good numbers of our supporters coming down - hopefully they can make it feel like a home game for us.”

Former Leyton Orient and Plymouth midfielder Castle is now into his sixth year in charge at Royston, leading the club to the Southern League’s Division One Central title in 2016/17.

While he believes Royston have a shot at the league title this term, he acknowledges that his side are clear underdogs at Garden Walk this weekend.

He said: “I think the title is realistic.We’re still within touching distance and there’s no team that’s running away with it this season as there has been in previous years.

“We’re doing okay at the moment and on a decent run that means we’re one of five or six teams who are in with a chance.

“As far as the Trophy goes though, I think we’ve done brilliantly to get this far and come through some tough games along the way to get here.

“We’re just a small town in Hertfordshire, but it feels like we’ve got some momentum behind us at the moment and Chester will be our biggest game of the season so far.

‘We’ve done a little bit of homework on them and we had them watched recently too. This is arguably our biggest game of the season and we’ll show them every respect on the day.

“But it will still be two teams kicking off at 3pm on Saturday expecting to win the game and get into the next round.

“That’s the joy of football though, isn’t it? Anything can happen in these games like this and I’m sure it will be a cracking match.”

Chester will be without George Waring, who sustained a fractured cheekbone at Guiseley last weekend, with fellow striker Akwasi Asante a doubt with a thigh strain.

Midfielder Scott Burton could return after playing the full 90 minutes in Chester’s midweek Cheshire Cup win against Stockport Town.