Dunne happy with U’s home draw

Joe Dunne, whose Colchester side will entertain Sheffield United in the first round of the FA Cup

Joe Dunne, whose Colchester side will entertain Sheffield United in the first round of the FA Cup - Credit: Archant

Colchester United have been drawn at home to Sheffield United in the first round proper of the FA Cup, following this lunchtime’s televised cup draw.

And Braintree Town’s reward for yesterday’s 2-1 win at Weymouth, in a fourth qualifying round tie, is a home match against Newport County.

It will be the third time that the U’s have faced Sheffield United in the FA Cup in the last nine years. They won 2-1 at Bramall Lane in a third round tie in 2006, and were knocked out 1-0 by the Bladies in South Yorkshire in 2004.

Manager Joe Dunne was happy with this lunchtime’s draw.

He said: “Sheffield United are one of the bigger clubs in our league, so it will be a difficult game.

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“But we have done well against them at our place over the last couple of seasons, and it is a team we know all about, so there will be no need for any individual player reports.

“It’s a good first round tie. Sheffield United will bring down a lot of fans, and we will have a lot, so it will be a good spectacle.

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“Sheffield United are in a false position at the moment, and I’m sure that they will soon be challenging at the other end of the table under new manager Nigel Clough,” added Dunne.

Clough’s first game in charge of the Blades, following David Weir’s dismissal, yielded a 3-1 home win over Crewe yesterday. The result lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, the U’s will be hoping to end a bleak recent cup record – they have lost their last seven matches in various cup competitions.

They have exited the League Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at the hands of Peterborough and Dagenham & Redbridge already this season, at the first hurdle.

Last season, they were humbled 3-1 at non-league Chelmsford City in the FA Cup, as well as losing to Yeovil and Northampton in the other two cup competitions.

In fact, the U’s last Cup success was a 4-1 win at Crewe in the first round of the FA Cup in 2012, before losing at home to Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon in round two.

Joe Dunne’s men, though, will be encouraged by Saturday’s 1-0 win over Peterborough, courtesy of teenager Macauley Bonne’s 70th minute winner. It was the Essex club’s first victory in 12 games.

Braintree, meanwhile, will be hoping to improve on their Cup exploits of last season, when they were beaten 3-0 at home by then-League One high-fliers Tranmere Rovers.

Newport were promoted to the Football League last May, and knocked the Iron out of the FA Cup in the fourth qualifying round in 2012.

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