Marcus Braddock previews tonight's Checkatrade Trophy tie against Manchester City Under-21s
This evening, Manchester City under 21's in the Football League Trophy. It's our first game in the group stages and our group also includes Crewe Alexandra and Tranmere Rovers. City is one of 16 top-flight youth teams invited to join the 48 clubs from League One and League Two. The Blues must field an Under-21 side although two players over 21 will be allowed to play provided they have made more than 40 senior appearances.
Paul Harsley joined the Blues from Barnsley, where he was coaching a similar role although he was briefly the Tykes’ caretaker manager earlier this year. His playing career saw him make 500 appearances for a number of clubs including Port Vale, Macclesfield Town and Scunthorpe United. He took the post after it was made vacant by Simon Davies who has become head of youth coaching.
Paul Marsden from Lancashire is in his first season as a football league referee, having officiated in the National League. Last season he gave 74 yellow cards and eight red cards in 21 appearances. This season he has been in charge three times and has given five yellow cards and no red cards.
Assistants - Christopher Husband and Steven Rushton.
Fourth Official - Christopher Sarginson.
John Askey could make a few changes tonight to enable some of the players on the fringes get a little experience and show what they can offer.
This could be quite an interesting game, City have some top quality players in their youth set up and have so far won both of their league fixtures. A 6-5 win against Arsenal and a 6-4 win against West Ham. That's 21 goals in two games with Nabil Touaizi scoring a hat-trick in both! Having said that, this is “proper” football and by that I mean that the City players will be playing against experienced professional players with a bit of nous.
Don't forget that kick off is at 7pm this evening, not the usual 7.45 pm kick off time for evening games.