Eric Kinder hopes Carlisle United’s Under-18s can reverse last season’s defeat to Bradford when they bid to reach the FA Youth Cup third round tonight.

The young Blues host the Bantams at Brunton Park (kick-off 6pm) for the right to face Kinder’s former club Blackburn in round three.

The Yorkshire side got the better of Carlisle with a 3-2 extra-time win in last season’s competition.

Tonight’s tie is also the latest rematch between teams who also faced each other in the Alliance Cup on Saturday, Carlisle edging a 1-0 win.

Kinder’s team reached the second round by beating Chester earlier this month and the academy manager hopes for a positive effort under the floodlights tonight.

“We played well for 60 minutes against Chester but the story of our season is we’ve been very inconsistent,” he said.

“We can’t put 90 minutes together; we can’t even put 70 minutes together. We have a good 45-60 minutes then let the opposition back in.

“It’s been a massive concern. If you look at our results we don’t score a lot of goals, we win games 1-0, 2-1.

“Bradford have been here before, they turned us over last year in the last seconds of extra-time, and that will be in the back of the second years’ minds; the first years will just get on with it.

“We have to play to our capabilities and if we do we’ll be ok, but we have to take our chances.”

One key player for the Cumbrians is likely to be winger Lewis Bell, who has stepped up to the first team squad recently and came off the bench for Chris Beech's side in Tuesday's Papa John's Trophy game against Aston Villa U21.

Kinder said the Cumbrian will give everything for the cause as he moves back down to the youth side.

He said: “With young second years who’ve already got a pro contract and train with the first team,, when they come back to the youth team my experience tells me it just upsets the applecart a little bit.

“We’ve played teams in the past who’ve brought people back from the first team to play in the Youth Cup, and they’ve been their two worst players, because they’re not on that wavelength any more - they’ve actually left the youth team behind.

“With Lewis it’s a bit different – he’s very grounded, very quiet, he has a little bit of an edge to him, and he’s growing up rapidly.

“I walked off the pitch at Fleetwood two weeks ago, and told him I was watching this shy little boy who came into the club grow up every week.

“He gives everything. He wasn’t the best player on Saturday for us but never stops trying or working. Whatever Lewis Bell we get in this game you won’t be able to criticise his work ethic or will to win for the youth team.”

The three first-year youth players who made the first-team bench on Tuesday will also be involved - striker Sam Fishburn and defenders Josh Barnett and Max Kilsby.

Victory tonight will hand United a Brunton Park tie against last season’s semi-finalists Blackburn, a game which would have a familiar ring for ex-Rovers academy boss Kinder.

He said: “The lads couldn’t wait to tell me about the draw on Saturday. I knew on Friday afternoon, but I wasn’t going to say anything to them until after the game – but they knew, because social media gets it out quicker than the draw itself.

“I think the second years are more excited for me [than themselves].

“I know what it was like when I went to Blackburn and came back to Carlisle at the start of that season in the League Cup [in 2013]. I had a different feeling then, because I actually missed being here.

“If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t miss being at Blackburn in the same way. I’d like to have gone to Ewood for the players, because it’s a great stadium, but I’m quite happy the game will be here - if we get through.”

Kinder says the weekend win over Bradford will have little bearing on tonight’s game, having experimented with United’s formation and certain selections. He added: “They weren’t really pressing the way we do and the tackling wasn’t what we expect. I fully understand it because the FA Youth Cup is massive for these young lads.

“It’s a fantastic competition and they all want to be involved. We’re at home, and they don’t often get the chance to play on the main pitch.”

United are without Ryan Swailes and Lewis Rooks to injury. The Blues are streaming the game live on their YouTube channel.