Clarets get Birmingham or Newcastle in next round

Last updated : 08 January 2007 By Tony Scholes
We could be coming face to face with the Sinister One in the next round
These two sides drew 2-2 at St Andrew's on Saturday and will now meet again at St James' Park a week on Wednesday to determine which of them will go through to meet either Reading or ourselves.

I'm sure, should we win through, that most Burnley fans would prefer a trip to the North East. We'll be playing at Birmingham in April in any case but it is now over twenty-six years since we last played at Newcastle, a 3-0 defeat in the old Second Division.

We've met Birmingham four times previously in the FA Cup whilst we've been paired with Newcastle on three occasions and there's no doubt that we've had better fortune against Birmingham. We've beaten then on three out of the four occasions, whereas the Geordies have beaten us in all our FA Cup meetings.

The wins against Birmingham have come in 1892/93, 1934/35 and 1978/79 whilst the only defeat was in the 1900/01 season. The most recent of wins was played on the same date as we play Reading tomorrow, Tuesday 9th January after the game had been postponed on the Saturday.

It proved to be a difficult journey for Burnley fans because of a fuel crisis, and most travelled on the train rather than risk running out of petrol. Goals from Tony Morley and Leighton James gave us a 2-0 win that led to us beating Sunderland in Round Four before going out to Liverpool.

Those Newcastle cup defeats have been in 1894/95, 1953/54 and most recently on what I still consider to be one of my worst memories as a Burnley fan, the semi-final in the 1973/74 season. We eventually lost to two Malcolm MacDonald goals, but it was an unjust result and at the time we were a much better side than Newcastle.

I found that a very difficult defeat to deal with, I'd so much confidence ahead of the game played at Hillsborough, and I've always wanted to exact some revenge for that defeat. To get the opportunity to do it now against a side managed by the Sinister One would be just about perfect. If we get through tomorrow then for more than one reason I'll be rooting for Newcastle in just over a week's time.

The full draw is:

Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers
West Ham United v Watford
Bristol City or Coventry City v Hull City v Middlesbrough
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Chester City or Ipswich Town v Swansea City
Cardiff City or Tottenham Hotspur v Southend United or Barnsley
Barnet or Colchester United v Peterborough United or Plymouth Argyle
Birmingham City or Newcastle United or Reading v Burnley
Derby County v Bristol Rovers
Sheffield Wednesday or Manchester City v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Preston North End
Manchester United v Portsmouth
Blackpool v Norwich City
Queens Park Rangers or Luton Town v Blackburn Rovers
Wolverhampton Wanderers or Oldham Athletic v West Bromwich Albion
Leicester City or Fulham v Stoke City