Youth Cup draw pits Reds against Blues
Posted by nickogs20 on November 13, 2009
The draw for the Third Round of this year’s FA Youth Cup has been conducted today, with United landing a home tie against Birmingham City.
As with the FA Cup, the Youth Cup sees the big boys enter at the Third Round stage, and United were first out of the hat when the draw was made earlier today at FA HQ. Clubs like St Albans City, Bishops Stortford and Atherstone Town remained in the competition but for the second straight season, the Reds were paired with another Premier League side at this stage.
Home advantage will mean Paul McGuinness and his side should be confident of progressing, but the last two seasons provide cautionary tales. Two years ago Carlisle United visited the Marstons Arena in round four and pulled off one of the bigger Youth Cup shocks of recent times, while last year saw the Reds fall at the first hurdle after an agonising 3-2 loss to Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Birmingham’s academy side aren’t to be underestimated either – their Academy League record (5 wins, 6 defeats, a current four-game losing streak following on from a four-game winning run) paints a picture of an inconsistent side capable of beating anyone on their day, and the presence of England U17 goalkeeper Jack Butland and England U19 squad members Ashley Sammons, Mitch McPike and Jordon Mutch in their ranks hints at there being some real quality available to coach Terry Westley.
One plus point to drawing strong opposition is the likelihood that the tie will be staged at Old Trafford, which would be a terrific experience for all involved. Indeed, the last meeting between these two teams at academy level came in a Youth Cup tie at Old Trafford, the 2006/07 Quarter Final, where two goals from Sam Hewson sent United through to the semis and eventually a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool in the final.
Third Round ties must be played no later than December 12th, so news on the date, time and venue should be available pretty soon – we’ll have that information for you as soon as it’s known.