Yorkshire clubs handed early season road trips in Carabao Cup

GIVEN some serious bouts of homesickness suffered by Yorkshire clubs in the opening round of the Carabao Cup in recent times, the fact that seven out of nine White Rose sides must hit the road early in 2020-21 should be viewed as no bad thing.
Sunderland's Max Power (6) celebrates scoring to help knock Sheffield United out of last season's League Cup at Bramall Lane.Sunderland's Max Power (6) celebrates scoring to help knock Sheffield United out of last season's League Cup at Bramall Lane.
Sunderland's Max Power (6) celebrates scoring to help knock Sheffield United out of last season's League Cup at Bramall Lane.

Tuesday morning’s round one draw – which will see five clubs head to the North West and another two to the West Midlands and Wearside respectively – will ensure that the new domestic season will begin with barely a ripple in the Broad Acres.

It will host just two ties, with Barnsley scheduled to welcome Nottingham Forest to start the new 2020-21 season at Oakwell on Saturday, September 5 – just 48 days after Forest were its last visitors – and Middlesbrough entertaining Shrewsbury Town in Neil Warnock’s first appointment as full-time manager at the Riverside Stadium.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For newly-promoted Harrogate Town, their first-ever fixture as a Football League club – and maiden tie in the competition –will be staged at Tranmere’s Prenton Park home.

Underwhelming may be the phrase of choice, but it promises to be a history-making day all the same as Simon Weaver’s side start their new adventure. More’s the pity no travelling supporters will be there to witness it.

By contrast, fellow promoted side Barrow’s first game in the League Cup in its various guises since 1971-72 will see the National League champions visit Derby County’s Pride Park and is surely likely to capture the attention of the TV cameras.

It represents a far more high-profile assignment, for sure. If not necessarily winnable.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For those Yorkshire sides who start away from home, statistics should provide a spot of comfort.

Last season, Barnsley, Bradford City and Huddersfield Town suffered embarrassing home exits in the first round with the visiting teams scoring an aggregate of eight goals and home sides not mustering a single goal.

Town lost out to a Lincoln City side led by Danny Cowley, who would become Huddersfield manager less than a month after his Red Imps side won 1-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium, with Jan Siewert sacked three days later.

The other side handed a home assignment in the opening round in Boro also suffered a humiliating exit on penalties to Crewe, with Yorkshire’s three first-round victories all arriving away.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ignominy also arrived a few years earlier in 2016-17 on a grim midweek which saw all four White Rose sides lose out in first round ties on home soil, with Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham and Sheffield United sent packing by Northampton, Forest, Morecambe and Crewe respectively.

It was an opening round which also saw Bradford, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield knocked out at the first hurdle, with only Leeds United progressing to the next round by virtue of tense 5-4 penalty shoot-out win at Fleetwood.

This year’s opening round has a Red Rose flavour with Bradford providing the visiting opposition for Ian Evatt’s first match in charge of Bolton, which also sees City renew acquaintances with former striker Eoin Doyle quickly facing his former employers.

Not too far away at Rochdale, Huddersfield head coach Carlos Corberan will lead the Terriers for the first time in a competitive fixture, with the visitors seeking to make headlines for the right reasons following their infamous last visit to Spotland in a pre-season friendly last July.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Town caused a social media storm by unveiling a shirt with a huge sash across it with the name new sponsors ‘Paddy Power’ written down it.

Huddersfield released a statement confirming it was a PR stunt in collaboration with the Irish bookmaker as part of an initiative backing a move towards unbranded football kits.

Unfortunately, the Football Association took a dim view of developments and charged the club with misconduct for breaching kit and advertising rules, with the club admitting the offence and being hit with a £50,000 fine.

Rotherham supporters will no doubt lament the fact that they are not allowed to attend the club’s first ever fixture at Salford’s Moor Lane home which pits them with an ambitious and big-spending home outfit whose squad includes former Millers loan midfielder Richie Towell.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Millers tried to sign Towell on a permanent basis, but were blown out of the water by Salford, backed by billionaire businessman Peter Lim and members of the ‘Class of 92.’

Dates of all ties are yet to be confirmed, but the majority are likely to be played on September 5 unless international call-ups require individual games to be rescheduled and potentially brought forward by a week.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected]. Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson


Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.