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The under-18s kicked off 2024 two days ago with a trip to Wigan which brought us a 3-1 win and a win that moved us up four places in the U18 Professional Development League.

After a goalless first half, Vernon Masara scored two in two minutes just a few minutes after the break and Benji Wetshi netted our third a few minutes from the end after Wigan had pulled one back.

We’ve moved ahead of Crewe, Hull, Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry with only Coventry having played; they were beaten 3-0 at home by Sheffield United. We are just one and two points ahead of this quartet of clubs who all have at least two games in hand so it is likely that we will drop back some places in the forthcoming weeks as those clubs play those extra games.

The only other game played in the north group came at Barnsley who recorded a massive 8-0 win against bottom of the league Peterborough. Those three points keep them five ahead of us and thy are now just two points behind leaders Birmingham, our next opponents. Barnsley’s first goal in this game was an own goal but four of the other seven were scored by Luke Alker. Barnsley fielded the league’s leading scorer Emmaisa Nzondo. He’s already netted two hat tricks this season but failed to find the net in this win.

Peterborough are four points adrift of Wigan at the bottom with Fleetwood a further point clear although they have still only played eight games, the least number in the league and up to six less than the rest in the north group.

There was a full fixture list in the south group with the big surprise coming with Bournemouth winning 3-1 at leaders Bristol City. With Watford winning their game at home against Colchester, it has taken them within two points of the leaders. They are some way clear of the rest but, as it is in the north, there are teams with a number of games in hand.

This weekend sees ten games to be played, five in each of the north and south groups with Burnley’s game against Birmingham at home. They’ve already beaten us in the league back in October but we’ve twice beaten them since, once in the U18 Professional Development League Cup and then, last month, in the FA Youth Cup via a penalty shoot-out.

The player featured this week is Masara whose two goals in the win against Wigan have taken him to the top our scoring charts with seven, five in the league and two in the cups.

The League Tables and our Fixtures and Results can be found within U21/U18 Stats on the top menu.

Last Week’s Results

North

Saturday 6th January
Barnsley 8 Peterborough 0
Coventry 0 Sheffield United 3
Wigan 1 Burnley 3

South

Saturday 6th January
Bristol City 1 Bournemouth 3
Cardiff 3 Millwall 1
Charlton 4 QPR 0
Swansea 4 Ipswich 2
Watford 2 Colchester 0

This Week’s Fixtures

North

Friday 12th January
Hull v Coventry

Saturday 13th January
Burnley v Birmingham
Crewe v Peterborough
Sheffield United v Fleetwood
Sheffield Wednesday v Barnsley

South

Saturday 13th January
Bournemouth v Watford
Charlton v Bristol City
Colchester v Millwall
Ipswich v Cardiff
QPR v Swansea

Burnley Goalscorers (League)

5: Vernon Masara
4: Lucas Wane
3: Callum West
2: Jack Bates, Logan Carlin, Zach Johnson, Jack Rogers, Benji Wetshi
1: Adam Abbas, Adam McCoy

Burnley Goalscorers (Cups)

4: Zach Johnson
2: Vernon Masara
1: Murray Campbell, Oliver Pimlott, Jack Rogers, Rohan Vaughan, Lucas Wane

League Tables

Team pld w d l f a pts
Birmingham 12 8 3 1 27 16 27
Barnsley 12 8 1 3 39 19 25
Burnley 14 5 5 4 24 19 20
Crewe 12 6 1 5 28 29 19
Hull 12 6 1 5 24 30 19
Sheffield Wednesday 11 5 3 3 21 16 18
Coventry 14 5 3 6 30 34 18
Sheffield United 12 3 5 4 19 19 14
Fleetwood 8 3 0 5 17 18 9
Wigan 12 2 2 8 17 29 8
Peterborough 13 1 1 11 18 49 4
Team pld w d l f a pts
Bristol City 13 10 1 2 31 13 31
Watford 13 9 1 3 37 18 28
Cardiff 10 6 1 3 27 18 19
Charlton 10 5 3 2 29 17 18
Swansea 13 6 0 7 25 27 18
Bournemouth 11 5 0 6 23 25 15
Millwall 9 4 0 5 22 24 12
Ipswich 11 3 2 6 28 28 11
Colchester 13 2 4 7 24 42 10
QPR 13 3 1 9 23 43 10
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