Clarets go top as league goes goal crazy
Burnley drew 1-1 against Barnsley last Saturday and that point was enough to take us to the top of the north group of the U18 Professional Development League as previous leaders Nottingham Forest crashed to a 6-3 defeat at Hull City.
Whilst watching the game at Gawthorpe, we could never have known that it was providing less goals than any of the other nine fixtures on a day when a massive total of 57 were scored with Hull joined by Cardiff as the biggest scorers on the day and Cardiff and Bristol City recording the biggest victories, both winning by four goals.
Cardiff beat QPR 6-2 with Bristol City winning 5-1 at Ipswich, but it was the result at Hull that was most eagerly awaited. Forest hadn’t been beaten prior to last week but that’s a second successive loss and that’s left Hull alongside Burnley with only one defeat.
There are new leaders in the south group too since last week. Crystal Palace went top last Tuesday with a win against Charlton and with both Watford, who were top a week ago, and Millwall losing yesterday it enabled Palace to go five points clear. They remain the only unbeaten side in the league and their win yesterday was against a Coventry side who are bottom of the south group and are still looking for their first point of the season.
League tables are certainly not meaningless at this level but it is all about player development ahead of results. However, watching our youth team last season finish second in the Youth Alliance League and now go top of this league has been excellent news for our academy.
It was like going into the unknown this season at the higher level and perhaps we feared the worst when we lost the first game 4-1 against Watford on the day the first team were winning at Chelsea. Reports I received suggested we hadn’t played too badly and that it was never a 4-1 game.
Since, it’s five wins and two draws and, although Saturday’s game wasn’t the best, the team have turned in some good performances with some very good individual performances, and this without some of the players who have moved up to the under-23s.
For now, our leadership might be for just a week. There are an odd number of teams in the north group, brought about by our entry into the league, and we are the team without a game this week so we’ll drop should Nottingham Forest get anything at Sheffield United or Hull win at Barnsley.
Our next game comes a week on Saturday when Bolton, who are currently fifth in the north group, are our visitors.
The player photographed is Australian goalkeeper Kai Calderbank-Park. He was named as substitute for the first time for the Barnsley game with his international clearance having come through.
Last week’s results, this week’s fixtures, our goalscorers and the current league tables can be found below.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Tuesday 26th September
Crystal Palace 4 Charlton 1
Saturday 30th September
Bolton 4 Birmingham 4
Burnley 1 Barnsley 1
Crewe 4 Sheffield Wednesday 1
Huddersfield 3 Sheffield United 3
Hull 6 Nottingham Forest 3
Cardiff 6 QPR 2
Colchester 4 Watford 1
Crystal Palace 3 Coventry 0
Ipswich 1 Bristol City 5
Millwall 2 Charlton 3
THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES
Saturday 7th October
Barnsley v Hull
Birmingham v Huddersfield
Bolton v Crewe
Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest
Bristol City v Colchester
Charlton v Ipswich
Coventry v Millwall
QPR v Crystal Palace
4: Jordan Cropper
3: Michael Fowler, Tristan Jumeau
2: Dwight McNeil, Kian Yari
1: James Clarke, Leighton Egan, Oliver Younger, own goals
CURRENT LEAGUE TABLES
|Queens Park Rangers||7||2||0||5||12||22||6|