With all due respect to the other six quarter-finalists, the Carlisle City v. Workington tie would have made for a good final in late April but one of those clubs will definitely miss out in the Cumberland FAs showpiece game.
The competition resumes on Tuesday at Gillford Park (7.45pm) with Northern League City hosting Northern Premier Reds and a place in the semi-final up for grabs.
After ploughing through the Borough Park mud for the last couple of weeks, the playing surface should suit Reds as they face a City side who have been idle over Christmas due to their League’s winter break. The ‘Sky Blues’ were due back in action on Saturday but their game in the north east was postponed.
Depleted Reds, who only had two outfield substitutes fully fit on the bench at the weekend, will have to draft in quite a few members of the Development Squad as they have in the previous two rounds. But, although City might be a bit ring-rusty after being without a game for nearly a month, this will be a tough ask for Chris Willcock’s mixed side.
Reds can reflect on a good record in recent pre-season matches against City but the Cumberland Cup head-to-head favours the Carlisle outfit. In four previous meetings in the competition, City have got the better of Workington on three occasions with just the one success for the Borough Park men.
Back in the 1975-76 season, a semi-final between the two was played at Penrith’s Southend Road ground with City emerging 2-0 winners.
Three years later, again at the semi-final stage, Workington won 3-1 at neutral Penrith.
On to the 84-85 campaign and City knocked out a Reds Reserves XI 3-1 at Borough Park.
The most recent meeting in the competition took place in the 2000-01 season, when goals from Graham Lupton and Mark Eagling helped City progress 2-1 with Wayne Johnson heading Reds’ equaliser.
We fielded quite a few Carlisle lads in the line-up that day with Alan Gray, Jordan Coulthard, Wayne Johnson, Gary Milne and a certain Grant Holt all wearing red at the Sheepmount.
Admission for the game is a very reasonable £3 (concessions even more reasonable at £1) and the programme will cost £1.