Preston now clear favourites for youth league title
By Tony Scholes
Updated Tuesday, 17th April 2012
Preston won the big game at the weekend, following the Clarets in becoming only the second team to beat Walsall, and are now four points clear at the top of the Youth Alliance League as the season comes to a close.
|Aryn Williams, one of the players current out injured|
We are in second place with two games in hand but the simple mathematics are now that we will need to win our three remaining games to win the title should Preston, as expected, win their last game against Wigan a week tomorrow.
I reported last week that the worst possible result for Burnley in the Walsall v Preston game was a win for North End but that's exactly how it went and this after Walsall had taken the lead.
Preston coach Jamie Hoyland, in a clear dig at Burnley, claimed after the game that it had involved the two best sides in the league whilst admitting that they were still hoping for a slip up from the Clarets to clinch the title.
That leaves Walsall out of the running despite having lost only twice this season and the title will now go to us or Preston whilst Walsall will battle third place with Carlisle who are hoping for a slip up from the Saddlers in their last match after coming within two points last Friday with a win at Shrewsbury.
Wigan were also winners on Friday and on Saturday, apart from Preston, there were wins for Bury, Morecambe, Oldham and Wrexham and the Morecambe win has to be highlighted. Their 5-1 success at Stockport was just their fourth win of the season and it lifted them off the bottom of the league for the very first time. They've now gone a point clear of both Accrington and new bottom club Blackpool.
So, it's simple now, we need to win three out of three starting with tomorrow afternoon's game at home to Carlisle. It's beginning to look very similar to three years ago when we lost out on the league title simply because of a heavy backlog of both reserve and youth fixtures at the end of the season.
It's happening again, our small squad has suffered injuries whilst also losing players to first team calls, but simply to win a trophy this season we are going to have to either win three league games or beat Preston at Deepdale in the final of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup.
The results from last week are below along with this week's fixtures, Burnley's goalscorers (up to date and including last night's game) and the current league table.
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Friday 13th April
Shrewsbury 2 Carlisle 3
Wigan 3 Rochdale 1
Saturday 14th April
Port Vale 1 Bury 3
Stockport 1 Morecambe 5
Tranmere 0 Oldham 3
Walsall 1 Preston 3
Wrexham 4 Accrington 0
THIS WEEK'S FIXTURES
Wednesday 18th April
Burnley v Carlisle
Saturday 21st April
Accrington v Tranmere - being played at Tranmere
Blackpool v Walsall
Burnley v Wigan
Bury v Wrexham
Oldham v Port Vale
BURNLEY'S GOALSCORERS (LEAGUE AND CUP)
22: Jason Gilchrist
20: Shay McCartan
13: Steven Hewitt
9: Adam Evans
6: Cameron Howieson
3: own goals
2: Archie Love, Alex Mullin, Aryn Williams
1: Jamie Frost, Charlie Holt, Lewis Nuttall, Dean Overson, James Taylor
CURRENT LEAGUE TABLE
|Preston North End||23||18||2||3||58||21||56|