Manager Neil Reynolds brings his FC United of Manchester outfit to the QEII Stadium tonight (Friday 12th, 7.45pm) to provide the toughest of initial tests for Town in advance of the forthcoming 2019-20 campaign.
The winners of tonight's match will receive the Brian Lomax Supporters Direct Cup. This trophy celebrates the role of supporter-owned football clubs, and is named after the man considered to be the founding father of the supporters’ trust movement, who sadly passed away in 2015. Town are current holders, having beaten Clapton Community FC 4-0 last year.
Formed in 2005 when a significant supporter protest movemennt against issues with the running of Manchester United FC led to a breakaway group forming their own club, FCUM rose up the leagues, ground sharing at Gigg Lane, Bury for a number of years. The club moved into their superb Broadhurst Way ground in 2015. A four-year stay in National League North came to an end last term, against a backdrop of three managers and 57 players, all unable to prevent a return to the Northern Premier League for 2019-20. FCUM beat Morecambe 3-0 at home in their previous pre-season friendly outing on Tuesday.
The gate tonight is expected to be boosted by a sizeable away support. Butler's Bar will be open from 5.30pm, providing a selection of craft ales from local breweries New River and Redemption. Admission on the trunstiles is £8 adults £4 concessions and £1 Under 16s.
After tonight's game FC United will move south to take on fellow supporter-owned club Lewes at The Dripping Pan on Saturday 13th July at 3pm.
Before the main event this evening, an Enfield Town Ultras side will play an FC United supporters team at the Donkey Lane 3G facility; a 7 a side game, 20 mins each way, kicking off at 6.30pm.