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Our under-18s are in action tonight as we step into the FA Youth Cup against a Curzon Ashton side that has already won through six rounds to reach this stage including wins against league clubs Blackpool and Oldham Athletic in the last two rounds.

It’s now eight years since we reached the semi-finals of the competition for what was a fourth time, but it has hardly been plain sailing for us in this competition since. In the following season we won superbly against Manchester United at Old Trafford but there has been little to write home about since and in the last two seasons we have gone out at home to Plymouth and Oxford although those defeats doesn’t even compare to the result suffered four seasons ago when we were beaten on penalties by the Metropolitan Police.

Tonight’s game, on paper, suggests it shouldn’t be too difficult but that is certainly not going to be the case and coach Tony Philliskirk has warned: “It’s going to be a very tough game. I went to the last round when they knocked Oldham out, after beating Blackpool in the first round, so you have to give them the upmost respect.

“They have some great players, they are a very tight knit group, as a lot of them have known each other for years. They’re good going forward, they break in numbers, they defend well when needed to, so we are going to have to be patient.”

He is expecting a win though, and added: “Our mentality on the day has to be right and if we do that and approach the game in the right way, which I’m sure the lads will, then we just have to go out and do what we do and the game will take care of itself.

The winners of tonight’s game were given an away tie against Mansfield or QPR in the next round; we now know that will be Mansfield who won their game 3-1 last night.

Kick off tonight at the Tameside Stadium is 7:45 p.m. Admission is £5 adults, £2 concessions.

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