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Having seen their league game at Blackburn abandoned with us leading 1-0 last Saturday, our under-18s are in cup action tonight with Luton Town our visitors in the third round of this season’s FA Youth Cup.

We went out at this stage last season with a 1-0 defeat at Wimbledon but in 2019/20 we beat Curzon Ashton, Mansfield and West Brom on the way to the quarter-final before losing so narrowly 1-0 at Manchester City. It had been our best run in the competition since 2011/12 when we reached the semi-finals.

Yesterday, we learned that it we could be facing a potential trip to Liverpool in the next round should we get through and should they beat Fleetwood but, as we found last year at Wimbledon, we will be facing a tough game tonight.

While we are in our second season as a Category 1 club, Luton are two levels below us and play in the Youth Alliance League. They are in the South East Division and are currently fifth in the ten team league with sixteen points from thirteen games. They were beaten 2-1 by second place Cambridge last time out.

There is some history to this tie in this competition that a member of our first team squad should remember well. It was fifteen seasons ago that we drew them in the fourth round having beaten MK in the previous round.

The game was played on Padiham on 10th January 2007. We won 2-0 with both goals scored by Jay Rodriguez, one of which was memorable. He was somewhat fortunate with his first, failing to score from the penalty spot but converting the rebound.

The second was stunning. Goalkeeper Ross Faulds had just denied him with a 30-yard shot so next time Jay tested him from even further out. As the ball dropped just about 40-yards out, he hit a dipping shot with such power that it left Faulds with no chance even though, incredibly, he got a hand to it.

Tonight it is Leyland with a 7 p.m. kick off. Admission is £3 adults and £1 over 65s and under 16s. For those at home, the game is being streamed on YouTube.

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