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Having beaten Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 last week in what was a very enjoyable game, our under-18 team are back in action at Gawthorpe tomorrow morning with a home fixture against Barnsley.

We go into the game in second place in the northern group of the U18 Professional Development League, behind leaders Nottingham Forest on goal difference, and no matter what happens tomorrow we will remain in the top two with us now having a five point advantage over the next three teams, Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton and Hull.

1718 burnley james clarke 00 500x500Our opponents Barnsley are next to bottom of the eleven team table but have played two games less than us. They’ve won two and lost three of their games to date and last week were beaten 3-1 at home against Bolton in their first north v north fixture having previously beaten Coventry and Bristol City and lost against Watford and Colchester.

Our win last week was probably the best so far against a Sheffield Wednesday team previously unbeaten and it was a third successive win and took our unbeaten run to six games, all this coming after we’d been beaten 4-1 on the opening day of the season against Watford, a result that left us wondering how far we might be behind the others in this league.

We’ve certainly been able to find the net, and the three last week has taken our total to 17. We’ve conceded 12 goals though but our two regular central defenders from last season, Oliver Younger and Scott Wilson, have hardly played with both having been with the under-23s and Wilson more recently injured.

Younger certainly won’t play tomorrow. Both he and winger Dwight McNeil were in the under-23 team who beat Newcastle this afternoon. James Clarke (pictured), who was at right-back for much of last season but has been occupying a central defensive role this season, was on the bench today but is likely to be available for selection although there has been no news on the injuries to Wilson and Leighton Egan who were both ruled out a week ago.

Kick off tomorrow at Gawthorpe is 11 a.m. and the problems encountered last week have now been resolved. With it necessary to tighten security, spectators can expect to be stopped at the entrance but will be permitted to make their way to the youth team pitch to watch the game.

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