Mackems Turn Down Ticket Request

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NEWCASTLE'S request for more tickets for their Under-21s' Checkatrade Trophy trip to arch-rivals Sunderland has been rejected on safety grounds.

The Magpies asked for an increase after the initial allocation of 2,800 for the third round tie at the 48,000-capacity Stadium of Light on January 8 sold out.

However, after considering written submissions from Northumbria Police and other key stakeholders, the English Football League decided to turn down the request.

An EFL statement said: "It has been determined that Newcastle United supporters will be allocated 2,800 tickets for their upcoming Checkatrade Trophy Round Three tie with Sunderland.

"The EFL reviewed written representations made by Northumbria Police and other key stakeholders in relation to supporter safety following a request from Newcastle United for an increased provision, in line with competition rules, and a recommendation was made to maintain an allocation of 2,800, which is consistent with the Club's previous visits to the Stadium of Light.

"The EFL would like to thank Newcastle United for respecting the recommendation."

Even though the tie represents a clash between League One Sunderland and Premier League Newcastle's youngsters, it has stirred considerable interest.

The two clubs have not met at senior level since March 2016, when a 1-1 draw at St James' Park ended the Black Cats' run of six successive derby victories.

They last went head-to-head on Wearside in October 2015 when Sunderland won 3-0 after Magpies skipper Fabricio Coloccini had been sent off.

However, there has been a history of unrest around fixtures involving the neighbours and there was trouble during an Under-23's Premier League International Cup quarter-final in March this year when a minority among a 300-strong contingent of travelling fans at the Stadium of Light damaged seating and toilet blocks.