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Monday’s 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday at Curzon Ashton has seen the under-23s drop to third place behind Birmingham City and Leeds United who beat Barnsley and Hull City respectively.

It was a disappointing afternoon, definitely in that we should not have lost the game against Wednesday having dominated the game almost from start until last, but the one goal came in the first half when a shot from Wednesday defender Ben Hughes deflected in off Jimmy Dunne.

1819 burnley mark howarth 00 500x500We had chances to at least draw level but failed to take them but coach Steve Stone had praise for the way they played, particularly the midfield pair of Josh Benson and Mark Howarth (pictured). He said: “There were some really good performances in the first half. I was really pleased with Mark Howarth in the middle of the park. He and Josh were really good.

“I have been demanding more of Mark. I’ve been really tough on Mark. Josh can handle me being tough, but I wasn’t so sure Mark could, so it was great they both got on the ball and tried to pass it and dominate it. They were the pleasing things. That was the best we’ve passed the ball in any conditions, so I was delighted by that because we are developing footballers who have to be technically good.”

We’d already seen Birmingham move three points clear on the Saturday and Leeds did likewise with an expected win at Hull while Crewe moved within a point of us as they continued their excellent recent form with a home win against Sheffield United.

In terms of the league, Stone will be looking to tighten things up at the back with only bottom team Hull and Colchester, the two bottom clubs, having conceded more goals, but despite the rare blank ourselves, we remain leading goalscorers along with Ipswich and QPR.

Ipswich hit four in the south group and with second place QPR losing they are now five points clear at the top. The result at QPR was the surprise, beaten by Watford which enabled them to move up one place from next to bottom. Colchester remain rooted to the bottom of the league.

This week’s fixtures see Burnley play on Friday, in two days time, at Barnsley, while the two teams above us both play on Monday.

The League Tables are updated as results are confirmed and can be found with our Fixtures and Results in U23/U18 Stats on the top menu.

Last week’s results, this week’s fixtures, the leading goalscorers, Burnley’s goalscorers and the current tables are all below.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Saturday 5th January
Birmingham 3 Barnsley 0

Monday 7th January
Bolton 3 Nottingham Forest 2
Burnley 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1
Crewe 4 Sheffield United 2
Hull 1 Leeds 3
Charlton 1 Coventry 2
Colchester 0 Millwall 2
Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff 1
Ipswich 4 Bristol City 2
QPR 1 Watford 2

THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES

Friday 11th January
Barnsley v Burnley
Nottingham Forest v Hull
Bristol City v Charlton
Coventry v QPR
Watford v Colchester

Monday 14th January
Leeds v Crewe
Sheffield United v Birmingham
Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton
Cardiff v Ipswich

LEADING GOALSCORERS

12: Dan Agyei (Burnley)
11: Aramide Oteh (QPR)
10: Tinashe Chakwana (Burnley)
9: Ben Folami (Ipswich), Michael Folivi (Watford), Kyle McFarlane (Birmingham)
8: Luca Navarro (Bolton), Lewis Reilly (Crewe)
7: Kian Flanagan (Crystal Palace), Virgil Gomis (Nottingham Forest), Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull)

BURNLEY’S GOALSCORERS (LEAGUE & CUPS)

15: Dan Agyei
13: Tinashe Chakwana
5: Dwight McNeil
4: Tunde Bayode
2: Jordan Cropper, Rob Harker, Ali Koiki
1: Josh Benson, Marley Blair, Mark Howarth, Christian N’Guessan, Kai Smith, Matěj Vydra, Nahki Wells, Oliver Younger, own goals

CURRENT LEAGUE TABLES

Team pld w d l f a pts
Birmingham City 17 10 3 4 32 14 33
Leeds 17 10 3 4 36 24 33
Burnley 18 9 3 6 44 34 30
Crewe Alexandra 18 8 5 5 32 29 29
Bolton Wanderers 16 8 2 6 21 18 26
Sheffield United 17 6 5 6 26 31 23
Sheffield Wednesday 17 6 4 7 19 32 22
Nottingham Forest 16 6 3 7 31 24 21
Barnsley 16 5 2 9 16 33 17
Hull City 16 4 2 10 19 35 14
Team pld w d l f a pts
Ipswich Town 17 9 6 2 44 21 33
Queens Park Rangers 17 7 7 3 44 31 28
Crystal Palace 17 7 5 5 33 28 26
Millwall 16 7 4 5 21 16 25
Coventry City 17 6 4 7 31 29 22
Bristol City 17 5 5 7 25 30 20
Cardiff City 16 4 6 6 27 25 18
Watford 16 4 4 8 22 31 16
Charlton Athletic 17 3 6 8 17 27 15
Colchester United 16 3 1 12 19 48 10
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