Alliance Affairs - Clarets take pride of place

Last updated : 19 December 2002 By Peter Heywood

David Lee’s Latics were enjoying a spell of three consecutive wins, and at last were producing the consistent form that could, on its day, rival Tranmere and Preston. Confidence was high after a 5-0 mauling of Blackpool, and although the Clarets had ended Stockport’s winning run the previous week, Wigan were expected to be too strong on the day.

However with a full complement of third year scholars available, and with Paul Scott returning from injury and Richard Chaplow from illness, the youth supremo was able to field his strongest line up in what seemed like months. The last time the two teams met the Clarets came away somewhat fortunate 2-1 winners, but this time the was no luck involved as the youngsters turned in probably their best performance of the season. They now have moved up to seventh in the table, but with only three points separating second and eighth the competition for the Merit League places has intensified.

No doubting who is going to claim the top spot now after Preston’s 3-0 defeat of Tranmere opened up a mere 13 point lead at the top of the table for the Lilywhites. Paul Carvill, Michael Kewley and Alan McCormack gave rise to the Rovers’ latest setback. After 14 consecutive wins they’ve now drawn twice and lost once. Coach John MacMahon displayed a stiff upper lip in defeat, maintaining that the scoreline was unjust and Tranmere had dominated throughout.

Bury moved into third place with a 3-1 win at hapless Blackpool, whilst Stockport recovered from their defeat at our hands to beat Rochdale 4-2. Finally, Carlisle reverted to that old trick of playing at home on a Friday afternoon, but to no avail as they went down to wily Oldham 1-0.

The Football League in its infinite wisdom has decreed that this Saturday’s fixtures should be the reverse of the previous week, so Wigan are again our opponents, only this time at Gawthorpe. A win could move us into second place, so if you’re not off to Gillingham why not get down and give the lads your support?

This Saturday’s fixtures:

Burnley v Wigan (11am)
Bury v Blackpool
Tranmere v Preston

Leading reported league scorers:

12 Paul Robinson (Tranmere)
9 Kelvin Langmead (Preston)
6 Michael Kewley (Preston)
5 Lee Hamilton (Carlisle)
5 Jamie Baguley (Stockport)
5 Chris Dagnall (Tranmere)

Youth Alliance League Table