MATCH PREVIEW: Family at war in County Cup tie 

The quarter finals of the Cumberland Cup get underway on Tuesday with Reds hosting old rivals Carlisle United at Borough Park (7.45pm). 

And it will certainly be a case of split loyalties in the Birch household with Mark in charge of the United squad and son Charlie expected to feature for Reds. 

Charlie and Mark Birch

That is one little interesting side issue to the main event but there will be others.  Several members of the Reds squad became Workington players after developing through the United Academy, Gavin Skelton has given sterling service to both clubs over the years and current Workington boss, Danny Grainger, will be facing the club he captained for several years for the first time in a ‘competitive’ fixture.   

All the ingredients for an entertaining Tuesday evening contest under the Borough Park floodlights. 

Following the passing of CFA chair, Fred Conway, in November, and, after communication with and approval from his family, Cumberland Football Association announced that their flagship competition, the Cumberland Cup, will be renamed in his memory as The Fred Conway Cumberland Cup for at least the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons. 

Although United are regular visitors to the west of the county for the annual pre-season game in July, they haven’t played a Cumberland Cup match at Borough Park since 2009.  That was for a semi-final tie in the ’08-09 competition which Reds won 1-0 thanks to an extra time goal from Gareth Arnison. 

The two most recent clashes have taken place at Frenchfield with Workington successful (1-0) there in 2017-18 and United emerging 3-2 winners the following season. 

Grainger will utilise the first team group for the fixture whilst United will include several members of their senior squad, supplemented by some Academy players. 

United won 5-0 at Cleator Moor Celtic in the first round and followed that up with a comprehensive 6-0 success against Bransty Rangers.  Reds received a bye in the first round then won 2-1 at Windscale to set up the Cumbrian derby. 


Adult – £8 

Concession – £5 

15 – 17 year olds – £3 

U15s – free 

All areas of the ground will be open and there will be a mini-programme published, with food and drink available in the Tony Hopper Bar.     

Quarter-final ties: 

Greystoke v. Whitehaven 
Keswick v. Penrith 
Workington v. Carlisle United 
Unisun Athletic v. Carlisle City

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