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The Youth Alliance League got underway for 2017 last weekend with Burnley having a watching brief after our game against Walsall was called off due to our involvement in the FA Youth Cup on the Friday against Norwich City.

Defender Oliver Younger

Defender Oliver Younger

Top of the league Walsall, despite this game being postponed, had a four point lead and couldn’t be knocked off the top, but Blackpool’s comprehensive win against Carlisle has now taken them within a point of the leaders.

It looks as though it is going to be tight at the top. The three teams below Blackpool are five points behind but two of them, Bury, who were league leaders for some time, and Accrington, who missed out on their chance to go top a few weeks ago, have a game in hand which could take them within a win of first place.

At the other end of the table, it is looking increasingly likely that Wrexham will finish bottom. They were beaten at home by perennial strugglers Morecambe who have now moved up to tenth place in the table, surely the highest place they’ve occupied since they joined the league.

They’ve crept above both Tranmere and Fleetwood and just hung on to the one point lead they had over Preston who beat Wigan. That’s only Preston’s second win of the season’ this from a side who always seemed to be up there contesting the title up until the last two or three years.

We are nestled in nicely in sixth place and face a Rochdale side this week who are one point behind us and have a game in hand. We might not be title challengers but this is already a far better season than last. I’m told Michael Duff has settled in well in his new role and  the department, while nowhere near where it should be, is at least looking forward again.

The results from the opening week of 2017 are below along with this week’s fixtures, Burnley’s goalscorers this season and the current league table.

The League Table is updated as results are confirmed and can be found with Burnley’s Fixtures and Results in U23/U18 Stats on the top menu.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Saturday 7th January
Blackpool 3 Carlisle 0
Burnley v Walsall – postponed
Fleetwood 2 Shrewsbury 3
Port Vale v Rochdale – postponed
Tranmere 0 Accrington 0
Wigan 1 Preston 2
Wrexham 2 Morecambe 4

THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES

Saturday 14th January
Accrington v Wigan
Bury v Blackpool
Morecambe v Preston
Rochdale v Burnley (10:30 a.m.)
Shrewsbury v Tranmere
Walsall v Port Vale
Wrexham v Fleetwood

BURNLEY’S GOALSCORERS (League & Cup)

6: Tommy Wood
5: Olatunde Bayode, Nashe Chakwana
4: RJ Pingling
2: Dwight McNeil, Tyler Shrimpton, Scott Wilson
1: Tristan Jumeau, Kwasinkosi Mpofu

CURRENT LEAGUE TABLE

Team pld w d l f a pts
Walsall 13 9 3 1 23 8 30
Blackpool 13 9 2 2 35 15 29
Bury 12 8 0 4 22 11 24
Port Vale 14 7 3 4 24 19 24
Accrington Stanley 12 7 3 2 17 13 24
Burnley 13 6 4 3 21 19 22
Rochdale 12 6 3 3 17 14 21
Shrewsbury Town 15 5 5 5 22 25 20
Wigan Athletic 16 4 5 7 24 27 17
Morecambe 14 4 2 8 23 27 14
Preston North End 14 2 7 5 19 24 13
Carlisle United 14 4 1 9 15 24 13
Tranmere Rovers 15 3 4 8 10 19 13
Fleetwood Town 15 3 3 9 23 36 12
Wrexham 14 1 5 7 17 31 8
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