Cup tie puts youths centre stage

West Ham United will play Bolton Wanderers in the FA Youth Cup third round on Wednesday at the Boleyn Ground.

The 7pm fixture, which has to be played to a finish on the night, is the first match in this season's competition for Tony Carr's Under-18 side. The 2007/08 edition began with the preliminary round back in September before the first and second rounds were played. The winners of the tie will have a home tie against Port Vale in the fourth round, after their 4-0 defeat of Swansea City last week.

The two sides do not meet regularly because Bolton compete in Group C of the Premier Academy League, while West Ham United are involved in the eleven-team Group A. The clubs have met twice in the past ten seasons. West Ham United recording a 2-1 home win in an 1998/99 play-off game and drawing 0-0 in an inter-group game in the 2005/06 season, in a match played at Leyland FC.

West Ham United have won the FA Youth Cup on three previous occasions - 1963, 1981 and 1999. The most recent success saw a 9-0 aggregate defeat of Coventry City, when a team inspired by Joe Cole and Michael Carrick turned on the style - particularly in the 6-0 second-leg win at the Boleyn Ground. Only Manchester United and Arsenal with nine and six triumphs respectively have a better overall record in the competition with West Ham United also finishing as runners-up on four occasions. The competition dates back to the 1952/53 campaign.

Tickets for the Bolton fixture will be £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. Doors open at 6pm, with fans advised to go to Dr Martens Stand Lower turnstiles 13, 14 and 15. Return to later for a full match preview.