Reds will host Carlisle United in the Fred Conway Cup quarter-final at Borough Park on Tuesday (7.45pm).
It will be the second attempt to play the last of the of the quarter-final ties with Reds and United attempting to get through for a home clash against Carlisle City.
Manager Danny Grainger will use the game to help the rehab of injured duo, Ben Hughes and Brad Hubbold, with both expected to play some part in the game.
Hughes hasn’t featured since the pre-season game at Penrith in July, following a work-related accident, but has been back in training over the past month or so.
Sam Smith, currently serving a four-match league suspension, will be eligible to play but Kai Nugent won’t be in a red shirt for the derby clash. It’s quite possible he will be in United’s dark blue having played for them in the two previous rounds. An interesting situation.
With United nursing injuries to a number of players, Paul Simpson may choose not to include first team squad members in the team but, whichever XI take to the field, it will be a stern test for Reds.
United won 5-0 at Cleator Moor Celtic in the first round then played a very young side against Bransty Rangers and strolled to a 6-0 success. Reds, given a bye in the first round, sent the Development Squad to Windscale (along with Danny Eccles) and emerged narrow 2-1 winners.
Reds haven’t lifted the trophy since the 2017 success over Penrith at Brunton Park whilst the last meeting between Reds and United in the final was back in 2007.
More recent clashes in the competition have taken place at Frenchfield with Reds winning (1-0) there in 2017-8 and United successful (3-2) the following season.
It will be an interesting evening for the Birch family with Mark in charge of the United squad and son Charlie expected to play some part for Reds.
Adult – £8
Concession – £5
15 – 17 year-olds – £3
U15s – free