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With leaders Wigan and third place Bury both winning, and with Shrewsbury, Tranmere and Preston, in fourth to sixth places,  all losing, it really has become a three horse race for the Youth Alliance League title in the North West.

Wigan won at Port Vale while Bury beat one of the chasing pack in Shrewsbury. It was probably no surprise to see Shrewsbury lose and maybe only a mild surprise to see Blackpool win the West Lancs derby against Preston. However, Tranmere’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Carlisle was very much a shock result.

Defender Shaun Hobson
Defender Shaun Hobson

That win for Carlisle, coupled with our heavy defeat at the hands of Rochdale, has seen the two teams directly above us both pick up three points, leaving us in next to bottom place and now four points away from next club Carlisle, although we do have games in hand.

Our poor results this season, which have brought just 17 points from 18 games, is a continuation of the slide in this league over the last few seasons. After three second place finishes in four years, the last of which was in 2011/12, we then ended the season in fifth place in 2012/13 before two ninth place finishes in the next two seasons prior to this season’s struggle.

The results are certainly not the key factor, that’s always been the case. Last week, the club’s academy operations manager Graham Lancashire, said: “The academy isn’t a results business. Obviously we would like to win games, but the be all and end all for us is to produce players.

“If that means we lose every week but still bring players through to be professional footballers, then that’s fantastic and our objective is ticked for the season.”

On the future, Lancashire added: “We have an excellent pool of talent coming through the system at the minute, right from pre-academy all the way through to the under 16s.”

In terms of the league, there’s a big game this week when Wigan face Bury. It won’t determine the destination of the title but a Bury win would take them within a point of Wigan with a game in hand. A defeat would leave them seven points behind the leaders. It’s certainly the big game in the league this week.

Burnley, meanwhile travel to Fleetwood who are having a much better season having made staff changes last summer. Fleetwood are currently seventh in the table and potentially could go up to fourth with a win against us. They’ll be looking to complete a double over us having won the first game this season 1-0 back in August.

Last week’s results and this week’s fixtures are below, followed by Burnley’s goalscorers this season and the current league table. There is also a link below to our fixtures and results, which can also be found within U21/U18 Stats.


Tuesday 23rd February
Carlisle 2 Morecambe 1
Shrewsbury 1 Fleetwood 0

Saturday 27th February
Blackpool 1 Preston 0
Burnley 1 Rochdale 4
Bury 3 Shrewsbury 2
Carlisle 3 Tranmere 0
Fleetwood 2 Morecambe 0
Port Vale 0 Wigan 1
Wrexham 1 Accrington 4


Friday 4th March
Accrington v Blackpool

Saturday 5th March
Fleetwood v Burnley
Morecambe v Tranmere
Preston v Carlisle
Rochdale v Port Vale
Shrewsbury v Walsall
Wigan v Bury


6: Josh Dolling, Khius Metz, Tommy Wood
2: Nashé Chakwana, Tyler Shrimpton, own goals
1: Olatunde Bayode, Miles Fenton, Tristan Jumeau, Dwight McNeil, Andy Nugent


Team pld w d l f a pts
Wigan Athletic 18 13 1 4 34 11 40
Walsall 19 11 3 5 39 20 36
Bury 17 11 3 3 37 19 36
Shrewsbury Town 19 9 3 7 32 22 30
Tranmere Rovers 18 9 3 6 23 19 30
Preston North End 20 9 3 8 26 30 30
Fleetwood Town 19 8 5 6 29 25 29
Blackpool 18 8 4 6 30 21 28
Port Vale 19 7 5 7 25 26 26
Accrington Stanley 17 7 2 8 23 33 23
Rochdale 19 6 4 9 30 31 22
Wrexham 20 6 4 10 29 39 22
Carlisle United 21 6 3 12 21 26 21
Burnley 18 5 2 11 24 40 17
Morecambe 18 2 1 15 19 59 7


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