From bottom to top in two weeks
After defeats against Millwall and Bristol City, the under-18s were bottom of the U18 Professional Development League, but wins since against Cardiff City and, last Saturday, Crystal Palace have seen us move to the top of the league.
The south group continue to have the upper hand on the north and that explains why six points gets you to the top of the north group while Coventry, the team with six points in the south, are just in the bottom half of the table.
It was another week when the south group got the upper hand although there were a fair number of draws. Five of the ten games ended all square but in the other four there were four south group winners in Colchester, Coventry, Millwall and Watford with Burnley the only north group winners.
In the two previous seasons we’ve been in this league, the north has tended to look the stronger, but this season Leeds, Wigan, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest have all won once while we are the only north group team to have recorded two victories.
That was reflected in the big game of the week between the leaders of the two groups. Watford beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 to keep their 100% record after four games while Forest suffered a first defeat of the season which means all north group teams have now lost at least once.
There is every chance we won’t be top in a week’s time. We have no game and that could open the door for any or all of four teams to move ahead of us with three of those teams having a game in hand. Our next game will be on Saturday 14th September and a tough one away against south group leaders Watford.
The player featured this week is central defender Jake Rooney who has been with the Clarets since the summer of 2016 having previously been at Tranmere. His cousin, by the same surname, played professional football and I’m told for Everton and Manchester United.
Last week’s results, this week’s fixtures, our goalscorers and the current tables can all be found below.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Saturday 31st August
Bristol City 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2
Cardiff 2 Wigan 2
Charlton 1 Barnsley 1
Colchester 4 Birmingham 2
Coventry 5 Bolton 2
Crystal Palace 1 Burnley 2
Ipswich 4 Crewe 4
Millwall 5 Hull 2
QPR 1 Leeds 1
Watford 2 Nottingham Forest 0
THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES
Thursday 5th September
Birmingham v Crystal Palace
Saturday 7th September
Barnsley v Coventry
Bolton v Ipswich
Crewe v QPR
Hull v Watford
Nottingham Forest v Bristol City
Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton
Wigan v Colchester
2: Mitch George
1: Cricky Conn-Clarke, Joe McGlynn
LATEST LEAGUE TABLES
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