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1920 burnley jordan cropper 00 500x500Despite having won just three of our nine games to date this season, our under-23s will go top of the Professional Development League should we beat Barnsley this afternoon at Curzon Ashton if only for a few hours.

Only the bottom three teams have won less games that us but with the defeat column at zero and having played more games than all the teams around us in the league, we kick off in second place two points behind Nottingham Forest and above both Crewe and Hull on goal difference. Neither Crewe nor Hull play today and while Nottingham Forest do have a game they kick off five hours later than us which means a win would take us top for at least five hours.

Our opponents Barnsley have won more games than we have. Four times they’ve recorded victories from their eight games but they sit three points behind us having lost the other four and they currently sit seventh in the table which shows just how tight things are.

It is a fixture that we’ve won in each of our two previous seasons in the Professional Development League. In 2017/18 we recorded a 1-0 win with a Tunde Bayode goal and last season it was a 4-1 victory in our last league game prior to Steve Stone taking over as coach. Tinashe Chakwana, Jordan Cropper (pictured), Dwight McNeil and Josh Benson were our scorers that afternoon at Curzon Ashton but five of that team – Ed Cook, James Clarke, Mark Howarth, Dan Agyei and Chakwana – are no longer at the club.

At the time we were scoring goals for fun and that latest goal spree had taken our total to 32 in 12 league games with Agyei and Chakwana leading the goal charts for the entire league.

Today’s game, like those in the previous two seasons, is at Curzon Ashton and kicks off at 2 p.m.

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