Manchester Central face Division Two side Tintwistle Athletic in the Murray Trophy Cup Final. The game takes place at Hyde United Football Club’s Ewen Fields (19:45 KO).
Having not played for 17 days, the team are looking forward to Friday’s final.
Central’s route to the final wasn’t exactly easy, having to overcome Division One Champions Chadderton Reserves and fellow league rivals Beechfield United, thereby winning 3 games out of 5 to top Group C.
They then faced Chadderton Reserves again, this time in the Quarter Finals. The game finished 2-2, however Central went through on penalties after a heroic performance from keeper Jordan Hadlow.
In the semi finals neutral fans were not be disappointed yet again with Central after they beat Altrincham Hale 4-3 thriller.
Recent form for Central hasn’t been the most consistent but they have won their last two with a big win against Beechfield last time out. Since their semi final, Central have won two, lost two and drawn one hence showing their inconsistency. Defeats came against Pennington and Atherton Town.
Central’s league top scorer Cory Knight is also the top scorer for Central in the Murray Trophy with 4 goals. However, Central have shown that they have goals from all positions, having had 10 different goal scorers during the competition.
Jordan Hadlow in action against Chadderton Reserves in the Quarter Final
Tintwistle Athletic, who sit 4thin Division Two, still have it all to play for in the league. They can still achieve promotion with two league games left to play, so may have one eye on their league campaign.
Tintwistle also had a strong group stage, losing only once. They finished joint top of Group A alongside Atherton Town, both finishing on 12 points.
Unlike Central, Tintwistle did not have to rely on penalties throughout the knockout stages to reach the final. They beat their fellow Group A competitors Atherton 1-0, going on to beat Division One side Leigh Athletic 3-2.
Ahead of the final, Tintwistle have won their last 3 games scoring 9 goals. Tintwistle have been extremely prolific this season, they are the top scorers in Division Two with 84 goals. In comparison, Central have scored 71 this season.
Tintwistle’s Josh Stevenson and Tom Burns feature in the top 3 scorers in Division Two, the latter will certainly be one to watch out for as he has 25 goals this season, recently netting a brace in Tintwistle’s last fixture.
Manchester Central reached the final last year and were so close to lifting the trophy. They faced Manchester Premier Division side East Manchester and took them all the way to a penalty shoot out. Central will be wanting to make amends this time round.
Here you can view Central’s recent victory over Boothstown
Whilst you can also view manager Paul McGuire’s interview ahead of the huge game at The Ewen Fields.