Current FA Trophy holders Stevenage Borough have been drawn against Kidderminster Harriers in the 2010 FA Trophy semi-final which will be played over 2 legs. This is a repeat of the 2007 final played at the New Wembley (the 1st competitive match played there),which finished 3-2 to Stevenage.
In the other semi-final, Salisbury City will take on Barrow or York City depending on who wins the twice postponed quarter-final.
The teams winning their semi-final will receive the princely sum of £16,000 each from the Football Association’s prize fund a great benefit for any smaller club, but barely enough to keep a top premier league player in Champagne. Maybe it’s time football gave a little more thought to how the money is distributed within the game.
The Red half of Merseyside were the only ones cheering last night as Everton crashed out of the Europa League Cup losing 3-0 in the second leg to Sporting Lisbon. Leading 2-1 from the 1st leg Everton held out for 64 minutes before Miguel Veloso levelled the score stabbing the ball home from close range.
On 77 minutes the game effectively ended with Sporting’s second and the 3rd goal deep into injury time only served to rum salt into the wound as Everton’s last realistic chance of silverware this season evaporated.
Liverpool by comparison had a much easier time against Romanian side Unirea Urziceni. Already leading 1-0 from the 1st leg their only brief moment of worry was when Bruno Fernandes levelled the scored briefly in the 18th minute. However 1st half goals from Mascherano and Babel calmed Liverpool’s nerves and Gerrard struck a third in the 57th Minute to effectively kill off any hopes Unirea Urziceni had of pulling off a shock.
Liverpool join Fulham in the last 16 where they will face French club Lille while Fulham have a very tough game against Italian giants Juventus.
Stoke progressed to the FA Cup Quarter Finals after an extra time win over Manchester city in the replay at the Britannia Stadium. They will now face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 7th March.
Although a great result for Stoke this will put considerable pressure on the Manchester City manager Roberto Manchini who was expected to bring some silverware to the club. Its short odds now that he will be replaced at the end of the season.
Manchester United and Aston Villa will compete in this years Carling (League Cup) Final in a repeat of the 1994 fixture which saw Villa win 3-1 and in doing so prevented United from winning the domestic treble.
Villa had a slightly easier path to the Final winning 7-4 on aggregate against a plucky Blackburn Rovers who played their part in a highly entertaining second leg which Villa won 6-4.
Manchester United on the other hand had a much tougher time of it having to comeback from a 2-1 1st leg deficit, which they duly did snatching the victory with an injury time goal from Wayne Rooney.
It should be a great final.
After causing upsets in the last two rounds in beating Conference Premier league sides Rushden and AFC Wimbledon, Workington Towns dreams of of a 1st Wembley appearance finally ended in a bruising encounter with FA Trophy holders Stevenage Borough.
Despite going 1-0 up Workington were finally out muscled and Stacey Long snatched victory for Stevenage in injury time.
Workington can take some consolation in the prize money gained which will help with their somewhat precarious financial status, while Stevenage will be hoping to retain the trophy and are well placed to achieve their long term aim of gaining promotion to the Football League.