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Just a week ago we didn’t know who would be the winners of either the north or south groups in the U18 Premier League with Manchester City and Manchester United fighting it out in the north and Crystal Palace and Fulham in the battle at the top in the south.

With the final few games being played since a week last Saturday, the key result in the north was one week ago tomorrow when Manchester City travelled to Leyland and beat us 1-0 with a goal scored by Carlos Borges some 16 minutes from time.

A draw wasn’t good enough for City who kicked off two points behind Manchester United who had completed their fixtures. That win took City to 61 points and one point ahead of United to lift the title that they’d won convincingly in 2019/20.

Could it be a double with Fulham who had won the south group a year ago? Yes is the answer. They and Palace have traded places throughout the season and Palace set Fulham the target of winning at Chelsea to go ahead of them on goal difference. They duly did with a 3-0 victory with both sides on 56 points but Fulham holding a far superior goal difference.

Palace were one of three newcomers this season in the league and did by far the best. Leeds ended next to bottom in the north with ourselves claiming that ninth place finish, four points ahead of tenth place Newcastle and five points behind all of Blackburn, Derby and Wolves who finished directly above us.

For some time we looked set to finish higher in the table but picked up just two points, from draws against Liverpool and Derby, in the final six fixtures. Even so, it’s been a good first season in the U18 Premier League where we have come up against some big teams with probably the win against Manchester United in the first game of 2021 being the highlight.

Sam Unwin scored the only goal of the game that day in January and he’s ended the season as our leading goalscorer with nine goals. It is Sam we highlight in this final review of the U18 season.

On a personal level, I’ve missed it, not being able to go to games down at Gawthorpe, and hope that things can get back to a more normal world next season.

The final League Tables and our Fixtures and Results can be found within U23/U18 Stats on the top menu.

All the final results are below  along with our goalscorers and the current league tables.

FINAL RESULTS

North

Tuesday 11th May
Newcastle 4 Sunderland 3

Wednesday 12th May
Burnley 0 Manchester City 1

Saturday 15th May
Newcastle 2 Everton 4

South

Tuesday 11th May
Aston Villa 3 Norwich 2

Wednesday 12th May
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 2

Saturday 15th May
Chelsea 0 Fulham 3

BURNLEY’S GOALSCORERS

9: Sam Unwin
6: Michael Mellon
4: Joe McGlynn, Joe Smyth-Ferguson
2: Jacob Hamilton, Dylan Moonan, Jake Rooney
1: Corey Brennan, Will Couch, Kade Ratchford, George Walters, Ben Woods

CURRENT LEAGUE TABLES

Team pld w d l f a pts
Manchester City 24 19 4 1 76 19 61
Manchester United 24 20 0 4 79 27 60
Liverpool 24 17 1 6 75 26 52
Middlesbrough 24 12 3 9 48 48 39
Everton 24 11 2 11 42 42 35
Blackburn 24 10 3 11 37 43 33
Derby 24 10 3 11 43 54 33
Wolves 24 10 3 11 38 50 33
Burnley 24 8 4 12 34 38 28
Newcastle 24 7 3 14 50 57 24
Stoke 24 6 5 13 28 61 23
Leeds 24 4 3 17 30 73 15
Sunderland 24 4 2 18 35 77 14
Team pld w d l f a pts
Fulham 24 18 2 4 78 25 56
Crystal Palace 24 18 2 4 67 32 56
Brighton 24 14 3 7 63 40 45
Arsenal 24 12 4 8 52 45 40
Aston Villa 24 11 5 8 45 52 38
Tottenham 24 10 7 7 52 37 37
Chelsea 24 11 3 10 57 43 36
West Brom 24 9 3 12 51 62 30
Norwich 24 9 2 13 58 58 29
West Ham 24 6 7 11 35 57 25
Reading 24 5 4 15 51 83 19
Leicester 24 4 6 14 38 73 18
Southampton 24 3 4 17 35 75 13
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