Under-23s down to third after Leeds defeat
Leeds United have gone three points clear at the top of the northern group of the Professional Development League with only one point then separating Birmingham City, Burnley, Crewe Alexandra and Bolton Wanderers in the next four places.
We started the week in first place, ahead of Leeds on goal difference, but Birmingham took pole position last Saturday when they beat Nottingham Forest. It was expected that Bolton would then take over on Monday night. They needed to beat Hull to move ahead of Birmingham but were beaten 2-0 at home.
That left us and Leeds to challenge for that top place two days ago and it was Leeds who claimed it with a 6-3 win against us behind closed doors at Gawthorpe, and this despite us having led three times. Leeds fielded a very strong team including our former player Patrick Bamford who netted a hat trick.
Our striker Rob Harker (pictured) came in for some praise from coach Steve Stone. Harker got assists on the first two goals and scored the third, his second goal of the season, and this was his first start. Stone said: “I asked him to go and be a handful up there and be difficult to play against and hold the ball up, all those sorts of things I’ve seen him do at Bury.
“He did all those and there’s something to work off and work with there, which is always encouraging. He scored a goal and he made a difference and that’s all you can ask for. I’m pleased with him. He was the bright spark of the day.”
We now sit in third place, behind Birmingham on goal difference, while Crewe, who drew against Sheffield Wednesday on Monday afternoon, have moved ahead of Bolton on goals scored.
The remaining game in the north group ended in a draw between Barnsley and Sheffield United. It was the first game played in the week’s fixtures.
As was the case in the north, the top two at the start of the week also met in the south group. Second place QPR were leading 3-1 against top of the table until two late goals gave the Tractor Boys a point. It’s often a mystery how many people watch these games with very clubs seemingly interested in giving out an attendance, so well done to Ipswich, a total of 44 people saw this game at Ipswich’s training ground.
Crystal Palace were held to a draw by Bristol City when a win would have seen Palace move ahead of QPR into second place.
Last week’s results, this week’s fixtures, the leading goalscorers, our goalscorers and the current tables are found below.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Friday 7th December
Barnsley 1 Sheffield United 1
Saturday 8th December
Birmingham 2 Nottingham Forest 0
Monday 10th December
Crewe 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2
Hull 2 Bolton 0
Charlton 1 Cardiff 0
Colchester 1 Coventry 1
Crystal Palace 1 Bristol City 1
Ipswich 3 QPR 3
Tuesday 11th December
Burnley 3 Leeds 6
THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES
Friday 14th December
Coventry v Crystal Palace
Monday 17th December
Bolton v Birmingham
Leeds v Barnsley
Nottingham Forest v Crewe
Sheffield United v Burnley
Sheffield Wednesday v Hull
Bristol City v Watford
Cardiff v Colchester
Ipswich v Charlton
Tuesday 18th December
Millwall v QPR
10: Dan Agyei (Burnley), Tinashe Chakwana (Burnley), Aramide Oteh (QPR)
9: Kyle McFarlane (Birmingham)
8: Luca Navarro (Bolton)
7: Kian Flanagan (Crystal Palace), Michael Folivi (Watford), Virgil Gomis (Nottingham Forest), Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull)
BURNLEY’S GOALSCORERS (LEAGUE & CUPS)
13: Tinashe Chakwana
13: Dan Agyei
4: Tunde Bayode, Dwight McNeil
2: Jordan Cropper, Rob Harker, Ali Koiki
1: Josh Benson, Marley Blair, Mark Howarth, Christian N’Guessan, Kai Smith, Matěj Vydra, Nahki Wells, Oliver Younger, own goals
CURRENT LEAGUE TABLE
|Queens Park Rangers||15||6||7||2||41||29||25|