Big London Derby In League Cup 3rd Round

The League Cup 3rd Round draw has paired Spurs and Arsenal in what is by far the biggest game of the competition so far. Both teams would have fancied their chances of reaching the latter stages, however one will now go out in their 1st game.

Both Tottenham and Arsenal only joined the competition at this stage due to their European commitments, however as the league cup is not seeded from round three there is always the prospect of a big match. There are six all Premier League ties with Chelsea v Newcastle also looking an attractive tie.

The only  League Two club to have survived this far Northampton have been rewarded with a money spinning trip to Anfield where they should get a warm welcome from a large Liverpool crowd, and the three of the League One clubs have all drawn Premier League clubs too.

The Manchester Clubs have tricky away ties with big spending City traveling to WBA and United visiting Scunthorpe, who are quite a handful at their compact Glanford Park stadium.

The Cup always seems to throw up a needle match and none will be more acrimonious than the Lancashire derby between Burnley and Bolton with ex Burnley manager Owen Coyle assured of a warm welcome.  This could be a close tie and if there is to be a shock it could come here.

The Full draw is:

Brentford v Everton
Portsmouth v Leicester City
Stoke City v Fulham
Chelsea v Newcastle United
Aston Villa v Blackburn Rovers
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
Millwall v Ipswich Town
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Notts County
Burnley v Bolton Wanderers
Birmingham City v MK Dons
Liverpool v Northampton Town
Scunthorpe United v Manchester United
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
Sunderland v West Ham United
Peterborough United v Swansea City
Wigan Athletic v Preston North End

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2010 FA Cup Preliminary Round

Bromsgrove Rovers Team Badge
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After their 10-2 win in the Extra Preliminary round confidence was high at New Mills going into their tie with Chadderton, and this was justified as they won 3-1. The game was highly entertaining and despite having their keeper sent off and going a goal behind New Mills rarely looked likely to lose. They will be a handful for whoever they face from the winner of Curzon Ashton v Congleton Town.

Hertford Town who spoiled FA Cup debutant’s Tackeley’s dreams beating them 4-0 found Maldon & Tiptree just too good and their campaign ended with a 4-2 defeat.

Both of last seasons FA Vase Finalists ended up facing replays with Bishop Auckland holding Whitley Bay to a 2-2 draw and Wroxham and Ely ending up at 2-2 as well.

The weekends biggest wins went to away teams:

Horley Town 0 - 6 Metropolitan Police
Bridport 0 - 6 Clevedon Town
Sunday Game
Glapwell 0 - 6 Lincoln Moorlands Railway, played at Field Mill Mansfield – attendance 107
Now the preliminary rounds are out of the way the 1st qualifying round will begin on 12/9/10 and 232 teams are scheduled to take part.


Finally spare a though for poor Bromsgrove Rovers who not only lost their home for the last 100 years when another club were awarded the lease on their ground but now have been forced to withdraw from the Southern League, FA Cup and FA Trophy because of it. Their planned tie against Pilkington XXX was declared a walk over. Lets hope that the club can survive this and re-establish themselves in the 2011-12 season

A Full list of results is available here.

The updated 1st Round Draw here

Around The Blogs – Tunbridge Wells boss Martin Larkin hails

In what was an enthralling FA Cup Preliminary Round tie at Culverden Stadium yesterday, Keelan Mooney pounced to give the Kent League side the lead inside the opening minute. But their more illustrious Ryman League Division One South …

Publish Date: 08/29/2010 17:23

All Roads Lead Somewhere…: FA Cup round-up

FA Cup round-up. Eight ties involving Leicestershire clubs were played yesterday in the preliminary round and only three secured victories with one all-county tie ending in a draw. Results: Bottesford Town 2-1 BARROW TOWN …

Publish Date: 08/29/2010 6:37

Hallam FC 2-3 Atherton Collieries – FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

I had been to Hallam twice before, against Pickering Town in 2008 and Burscough in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round last year. However since it was such nice weather and an FA Cup Extra Preliminary game, which neither me nor my Dad had …

Publish Date: 08/24/2010 15:36

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Liverpool & Manchester City Get Winnable Europa League groups

The UEFA Europa League logo.
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England’s two remaining representatives in this seasons Europa League should both progress despite not having the easiest of groups to navigate.

Manchester City have been drawn with Italian giants Juventus but the other opponents Polands Lech Poznan, and Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg shouldn’t pose too many problems for them.

Liverpool have an even easier looking group with Celtic’s conquerors FC Utrecht looking the main challengers, while Napoli & Steaua Bucharest complete the group.

If they don’t both progress it will be down to second string squads being played rather than their actual capabilities. For the sake of the English Europa Coefficient lets hope they play to win, although it would take a cataclysmic set of results to push England out of the top three places, so losing that 4th Champions League place.

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Champions League Draw Throws Up Some Tough Groups

Although there are no easy games at this level of the Champions League some of the seeded teams will be decidedly happier than others with the way the draw panned out.  Of the five remaining British representatives Manchester United and Chelsea will be quietly confident of progressing as group winners, while Arsenal barring a major form collapse should at least qualify. Sadly the same cant be said for both Spurs and Glasgow Rangers, both of whom would have been hoping for a kinder draw.


Manchester City & Liverpool Fly The Flag For England In Europa League

Dirk Kuyt
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Manchester City and Liverpool both managed fairly comfortable wins to ensure they progressed to the group stages of the Europa League. Man City rarely looked troubled in seeing off FC Timisoara and the final score could have been higher had they moved out of second gear.

Livepool had a slightly harder time of things in Turkey, and when Teofilo Gutierrez put Trabzonspor a goal up in 4 minutes memories of Liverpool’s 1-0 deafeat to them in the European Cup came to mind. However a late own goal put Liverpool back in the driving seat and then Dirk Kuyt scored what could be his last goal for the club with 2 minutes left to seal the win.

Sadly Aston Villa, who look in a bit of turmoil at the moment couldn’t complete an English Hat trick of wins, as they crashed out to Rapid Vienna for the second time in two seasons. Since Martin O’Neil left over the James Milner transfer Villa have looked in a bit of turmoil, losing 6-0 at Newcastle in the league and now missing out on the Europa League Group Stages.

In the game itself Villa had enough chances to go through and with 12 minutes to go were still 3-2 up on aggregate. However two late strikes were enough to see the Austrians safely through.

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TNS Hold CSKA To a 2-2 Draw In Europa League

Badge of The New Saints
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The New Saints did Wales proud last night gaining what is arguably their best ever European result. Although the tie was practically over given their 3-0 loss in Bulgaria, TNS battled bravely and even when they went 4-0 down on aggregate they never gave up, no only leveling the score but actually taking the lead despite being down to 10 men at the time. Sadly a historic win was prevented when Tiboni scored CSKA’s Equaliser in the 80th minute.

The big disapointment was the attendance which was a hugely disapointing 843. Its a shame that the people of Wales cant show a bit more committment to the team, given they have done the country proud this year.  

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Dreadful Night For Scottish Clubs In Europe

Ricky van Wolfswinkel
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The continuing downward spiral Scottish domestic football seems stuck in was cruelly in evidence again last night as none of their representatives in the Europa League managed to make it to the group stages, with the biggest humiliation being saved for Celtic.

With a comfortable 2-0 lead from the home leg Celtic were expected to be more than capable of at least holding out and taking the tie on aggregate, however the writing was on the wall after 20 minutes when Utrecht leveled the scores thanks to a second Ricky van Wolfswinkel penalty. He completed his hat trick early in the second half and when Barry Maguire added the fourth Celtic’s night to forget was completed.

Dundee United were always going to struggle to qualify against AEK following their home leg defeat and once they went 2-0 down on aggregate thanks to a nice goal from ex Fulham & Portsmouth midfielder Papa Bouba Diop they never looked like getting back into the game. An equaliser on the night briefly gave them some hope but AEK were the better team on the night. The match was watched by a tiny crowd of only 600, of which 500 were Dundee United fans due to AEK’s pitch being unplayable and the vandalisation of the alternative venue at Panionios. This meant that the home fans were banned for fear of crowd trouble.

The only bright spot on the night was Motherwells valiant effort in defeat and despite going 3-1 down on aggregate thanks to Peter Utaka’s 28th minute goal, they continued to drive forward and battered the Odense goal. However it was not to be their night and even when playing against 10 men Odense somehow kept them at bay. A missed penalty summed up Motherwells night and the expectant crowd of 9,105 were left wondering what might have been had Well been a bit sharper in front to goal. Odense finished the game with 9 men as Espen Ruud was sent off when conceding the penalty.

This leaves Glasgow Rangers as Scotlands only European representative and given they are in a tough group its hard to see Scotland improving their European coeficient this year.  There is a real possibility that they could lose their second Champions League place soon if this dismal run continues.

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Great Wins For Braga and Werder Bremen in Champions League

Portugal’s FC Braga who knocked Celtic out in the previous round had an even better win knocking out Spain’s Sevilla 5-3 on aggregate. The game in Sevilla was a thriller finishing 4-3, with four of the goals coming in a frantic last 10 minutes. Braga looked very good and the team is full of pace especially up front. They could give a few teams an unpleasant surprise when they enter the group stages of the Champions League.

Werder Bremen looked to be down and out against Sampdoria when Antonio Cassano put the Italians 3-0 up i the 85th minute, however Nils Rosenberg snatched a 90th minute goal to send the game into extra time and the Germans assured themselves of a group stage place thanks to Claudio Pizarro’s strike which made the aggregate scores 5-4.

The prize for the most acrimonious team goes to Zenith St Petersburg who had 6 players booked and 2 sent off in a bad tempered 2-0 defeat in Auxerre. They crashed out 2-1 on aggregate and will have a few suspensions when they enter the Europa League Group Stages.

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Ross County On Cup Crusade Again

Ross County F.C.
Image via Wikipedia

Not content with last seasons heroics in the Scottish Cup where they reached the Final, Ross County now have their sights set on a Scottish League Cup run after beating SPL St Mirren 4-3 on penalties.

In a hard fought game the lead changed hands three times and finished 3-3 after extra time. However in the ensuing Penalty shoot out Ross County added another SPL scalp to their collection and will now be hoping for another home draw in the next round.

The nights other ties were much more clear cut with Kilmarnock winning 6-2 against Airdrie United, Inverness seeing off Peterhead 3-0 in what would have been a Highland League Fixture not that many years ago, and Queen of the South taking care of Scottish league 2 side Forfar 4-1.

The Third round draw will include the Scottish Teams who are currently involved in Europe so one of the smaller clubs remaining could get a big payday if they get either Celtic or Rangers.

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No Home Field Advantage for AEK Athens Tonight

Dundee United, who are having a hard time of it in the SPL this season have been given a slight ray of hope tonight against AEK thanks to the home fans being banned due to the risk of crowd trouble.

The game was originally set to be played at the Olympic Stadium but this was  deemed unplayable on Monday and the venue switched to Nea Smyrni Stadium, the home of Greek Superleague rivals Panionios.

But with typical Greek fervor angry Panionios fans broke into the ground and proceeded to dig up the pitch and damaged the goalposts so ending any hope of playing it there. Now it looks like the crowd will struggle to reach 1,000 of which 600 will be Dundee United fans.

Even with no home crowd backing AEK will take some stopping and if Dundee United perform as they did against Inverness Caledonian on Saturday the final score could be embarrassing.

None of the British teams look assured of qualification tonight, however it will be a big surprise if Celtic Liverpool and Manchester City don’t make the group stages.

Aston Villa and Motherwell both have good chances, while Dundee United and Welsh Side TNS are playing in hope rather than expectation.

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