Hosting Morecambe at Borough Park on Tuesday was a great way to welcome football back after a seven month absence and there will be an even bigger occasion on Saturday with the visit of Carlisle United rekindling the Cumbria derby.
Forget Carlisle United v. Barrow, Penrith, Carlisle City or Kendal Town and Workington v. any of the rest, tradition suggests that those early North Eastern League encounters and twenty six Football League meetings throughout the fifties and sixties, there is only one Cumbrian derby.
We haven’t hosted United over the past couple of seasons but are pleased to do so this weekend and welcome Chris Beech/Gavin Skelton, the backroom staff, directors and officials not forgetting the army of Blues supporters to west Cumbria.
United have been good to Reds, over many years, accommodating us in their pre-season schedules and, similarly, have regularly visited Penrith and Kendal too. Their visit provides a welcome financial boost to the Cumbrian non-league fraternity and one appreciated at Frenchfield, Parkside Road and Borough Park.
The Blues certainly made an impressive start to their series of warm-up matches, recording a thumping 8-0 win at Penrith in mid-week which included a hat-trick for marquee signing, Zach Clough. They have still to play at Chorley and Kendal before hosting FC Halifax Town and Blackpool in readiness for their EFL opener v. Colchester United in three weeks.
Reds are a month away from their NPL opener at Kidsgrove Athletic.
Having shipped five goals against Morecambe on Tuesday, Steven Rudd will be hoping for a more solid performance against which ever United team is deployed. He will rely on a similar squad to that on duty in the first home friendly but will be able to welcome Steven Rigg and Ceiran Casson back whilst another Trialist will be given the opportunity to impress. Tickets for the match (3pm) must be obtained from the Borough Park office, either on Friday or Saturday, as there will be no cash turnstile in operation.