Oxford United's under 18s take on Bristol Rovers in the second round of the FA Youth cup tonight. here we have a full preview of the game.
United overcame Gloucester City 2-1 in the first round thanks to goals from Albie Hopkins and Owen James. However they had to work hard to progress and now take on a Rovers side who they beat 4-0 in a league meeting on Saturday.
United have no new injury worries although centre-half Freddie Niblett is currently sidelined with a knee injury which means he misses out. He is joined on the sidelines by keeper Niall Clayton, striker Dejon Noel-Williams and Graham Bryan and Matt Berry-Hargreaves who are all ineligible due to age.
Keeper Max Evans stepped up from the under 16 side in the last round and also kept a clean sheet on Saturday and one or two of his younger teammates may get their chance tonight.
The game takes place on Wednesday 15th November at Oxford City’s Court Place Farm, with kick off at 7pm.
Admission is £5 adults, £3 for over 65s and under 18s.
The bar will be open and there is always a warm welcome at Oxford City.
“There is no added pressure from me at all” Coach Leon Blackmore-Such told us. “The FA Youth Cup is all about development; that’s all I want them to do. Keep making progress as players and as a team, in the league or in the cup. I want us to continually do well but I will genuinely wish them the best of luck and just want them to enjoy the game and hopefully get through.”
“We were losing at Gloucester in the last round and had to show character and this will be another challenge. We may have beaten Rovers on Saturday but I will just warn them not to get complacent. Last season we went down to Bournemouth and beat them 4-0 then played them in the League Cup three days later and lost 3-2! So the first message will be not to judge Wednesday’s game by what happened on Saturday. If those thoughts even creep into your mind then you can be punished for it.”
“There will hopefully be a lot of people there so that adds to the nerves and the lads have to overcome that sort of thing first before the game settles down” Leon said. “But that is what the game and the competition is for and they will learn plenty from the game and obviously we want them to do well and get through.”
An official programme is available tonight, priced 50p and available at the turnstiles.
OUFCOfficial will be there to tweet throughout the game and we will have a report right here at the final whistle.
The winners of tonight's game will be at home to either Dagenham and Redbridge or Clanfied 85 in the next round