Youth team so unlucky at Tranmere

Last updated : 15 December 2003 By Tony Scholes

Many good judges believe that this Tranmere side is the best in the league although just now they trail Wigan Athletic by four points.

We could have gone a goal behind in the very first minute but the usually prolific Chris Dagnall blazed his shot over the top. It hardly set a pattern for the first half though and chances were very much at a premium with the young Clarets certainly playing some good football although we were struggling to create much in the way of chances.

Michael Hale made one good reaction save in the Burnley goal but other than that we contained Tranmere well and although the home side probably had the edge we turned round at 0-0.

There was little change in the second half and although there were spells when we were on top our two strikers Alex Taylor and Rhys Carpenter were finding it tough against two very big strong central defenders.

But Tranmere were by now creating virtually nothing with the Burnley defence once again in top form and inspired by captain Ryan Townsend who was once again magnificent. There is some real potential in this youth team at the moment and we certainly do look to have found ourselves some good defenders with Townsend right now in top form.

It was always going to be tight with one goal deciding it and we came so close to getting the goal when Marc Pugh got down the right. His cross evaded the home defence and Tom Ince was able to get to it. He did well to get a shot on target at all but the Tranmere keeper saved well.

With the score still level and Tranmere very much in need of a win to stay in touch with Wigan there was no chance for time to be lost with replacement balls available for the quick taking of goal kicks, corners, throws etc.

But as a draw looked likely disaster struck and it was so cruel on the young lads. Hale saved well to turn a shot onto the post but was helpless to do anything as it came off the post, onto an onrushing defender and then rebounded into the net.

Suddenly all the spare balls disappeared as the home side decided wasting time was now in order and try as we might we could not find the equaliser we so deserved.

But it had been a good performance and one that certainly should not have ended in defeat. These lads are getting better as the season progresses and with Paul Scott currently injured only one of the side, Rhys Carpenter, will not be eligible next season.

The team on Saturday was:

Michael Hale, Ross Preston, Gary Carter, Ryan Townsend, Danny Pitham, Marc Pugh, Darrel Avery, Joe Booth, Tom Ince, Rhys Carpenter, Alex Taylor.

All the top three clubs won over the weekend and the full results were:

Friday 12th December

Carlisle United 1 Wigan Athletic 2

Saturday 13th December

Blackpool 2 Bury 1
Preston North End 3 Rochdale 0
Stockport 1 Oldham 1
Tranmere Rovers 1 Burnley 0

This week’s fixtures

Saturday 20th December

Blackpool v Oldham Athletic
Burnley v Stockport County

Burnley’s Fixtures and Results

Youth Alliance Table