Man Utd Steamroller Continues At Anfield

There was another huge fixture in Division 1 week 7, as Liverpool hosted bitter rivals Manchester United. There was a lot to play for as Man Utd could go provisionally top with a win, but Liverpool could get back in the running if they took all 3 points. Neither side wanted to lose this crucial match and concede a title change to their opponent. Manchester United are undefeated in the league so far, and after their previous league title disappointments, they really wanted to keep their good form going.

It was a hectic start as both sides flew in with hard tackles to set the tone for the game. It was clear from the outset that it would be a close match with not much between the sides. Despite Liverpool having the greater possession, it was Man Utd that struck first with a great strike from a counter-attack.

Liverpool knew they must score to have a chance, but Manchester’s defence stood solid. Liverpool could not get their attack going and continued to give away needless free-kicks which broke up the flow of the game. Eventually time ran out for the hosts and Manchester United celebrated taking all 3 points at Anfield.

The second match was between Tottenham and West Ham. There was a lot of history between these sides after West Ham pipped Spurs to the Division 2 title in Year 4. Both sides have been struggling with form this year, so a win was required to pull themselves away from the relegation contenders.

West Ham got off to a flyer as they scored a beauty on their first attack. Spurs knew they needed to score and were soon back in the match as they found the net near the end of the first half. Despite getting back into the game, a clumsy tackle gave West ham a direct free kick on the edge of the area. The first shot was inconclusive if it had gone in to the goal, so the referee ordered a re-take. West Ham scored to take the lead again.

Spurs continued to push forward to get even and they were rewarded when West Ham gave away a silly penalty. The Spurs striker had a lot of pressure on him, but easily found the net to make it 2-2. It was looking as if the sides would share the points, but Spurs made a lovely move down the left wing with a cross that went straight to a waiting forward.

Spurs continued to push forward to get even and they were rewarded when West Ham gave away a silly penalty. The Spurs striker had a lot of pressure on him, but easily found the net to make it 2-2. It was looking as if the sides would share the points, but Spurs made a lovely move down the left wing with a cross that went straight to a waiting forward. A West ham defender tried to block, but missed timed it and the Spurs player slammed the ball into the top corner to make it 3-2. Spurs move up to mid-table but West Ham are in trouble as they are left near the bottom.

League Cup Semi-Final 1st Legs Report

Fans were set for some thrilling League Cup semi-finals as the draw created some excellent ties. Aston Villa were drawn to play Manchester City, both from Division 2. Both teams were promoted from Division 3 last year and are vying for promotion once again this season. This has built an interesting rivalry between the sides, which can only be enhanced as they go in search of their first Cup Final.

The second semi-final placed the First Division sides against each other as Arsenal play Liverpool. Despite Liverpool having an exceptional League Cup record, they last won the Cup way back in Season 3. Arsenal are currently top of Division 1, as they chase a first league title but have never reached a League Cup final. There is everything to play for as each side knows just how difficult it can be to win a trophy.

The first match saw Aston Villa play host to Manchester City at Villa park. It was difficult to nominate a favourite, with the bookies calling a close match with Villa having the home advantage in the 1st leg. Aston Villa wore their traditional claret and blue, whilst City worse their away black kit.

Man City started the brighter with plenty of flying tackles coming in from the beginning. Man City put together some great passing which led to a goal in the first half. In the second half, Villa gave away a clumsy free kick and City converted to make it 2-0.

Villa knew they had to score to get back into the tie and it was only thanks to the City keeper that they did not find a way through. Later on, City continued to pressure and some fabulous passing led to another great chance. The City forward made the most of it and Villa fans were shocked to see the score at 3-0 to the away side (see featured photo). Despite Villa trying hard they could not get past the opposition defence and City nearly got a fourth late on. It will be a huge uphill task for Aston Villa to get back into contention in the 2nd leg.

The second game was a tight match between Arsenal and Liverpool. Arsenal had home advantage for the 1st leg and they wanted to get ahead before a difficult 2nd leg at Anfield. They got off to a good start after a lazy tackle gave them a direct free kick in the first half. They made the most of it to hammer the ball past the goalkeeper. The game remained a close tie with both sides having a few chances on goal but they either missed or the keepers made good saves. In the final few minutes Arsenal looked to extend their lead and a fantastic forward pass found a forward in lots of space. Despite a Liverpool defender trying to block the shot, he mistimed it and could not get in the way. Arsenal looked odds-on to score their second but a tremendous save kept Liverpool in the tie. Arsenal take a slender lead into the second leg but there is still everything to play for in a weeks time.

Chelsea v West Ham Is Plum Tie From Second Round Draw

The draw for the Second Round of the FA Cup has taken place, with the top match being an all-Division1 affair as Chelsea host West Ham. Historically Chelsea have struggled in the FA Cup whilst West Ham made it to the final in Year 1, so there is everything to play for.

The only other all-Division 1 tie is Arsenal taking on newcomers Watford at the Emirates.

There were three national league sides in the draw and they have all been given difficult matches. Sheffield United take on current Cup holders Nottingham Forest. Huddersfield Town were given the potentially easiest match-up as they are away to Division 3 Leicester City. Brentford were given an away match too, in an all-London encounter against Tottenham Hotspur.

There is at least one Conference side guaranteed in the third round after Birmingham were drawn against Burnley. There will also be at least one Division 3 side in the next round as Oxford United take on Crystal Palace. Losing finalists from the last two finals, Norwich City were given a tricky tie against Luton Town.

Other notable games include Conference side Brighton hosting Manchester United, Aston Villa host Liverpool and Leeds United take on Division 1 Everton.

Matches are to be played in Season 6 – Week 7.

The Second Round draw in full..

  1. Brighton & Hove A v Manchester United
  2. Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest
  3. Birmingham City v Burnley
  4. Manchester City v Q.P.R.
  5. Aston Villa v Liverpool
  6. Arsenal v Watford
  7. Leicester City v Huddersfield Town
  8. Wolves v Newcastle United
  9. Leeds United v Everton
  10. Wimbledon v Portsmouth
  11. Norwich City v Luton Town
  12. Charlton Athletic v Coventry City
  13. Oxford United v Crystal Palace
  14. Southampton v Sheffield Wednesday
  15. Tottenham v Brentford
  16. Chelsea v West Ham United

FA Cup Second Round Draw Tomorrow

With the final FA Cup 1st Round matches completed, we now have the full list of 32 teams in the draw for the second round. The second round comprises of twelve Division 1 team, eight Division 2 teams, plus the twelve winners from the 1st Round.

It is the first time that the FA Cup has allowed for 44 team, in the biggest Cup competition ever for Subbuteo club. In another first, 8 teams from the Conference were include, as well as 8 non-league sides. There were also 8 teams from Division 3 in the 1st Round, which was made up of 12 matches. There was an expectation of 5x Division 3 teams, 4x Conference and 3x non-league sides to make it through and that was exactly how it panned out.

The big teams from Division 1 now enter the Cup and some of the non-league sides will be hoping for a tie against the giants. There is a buzz of anticipation around the big draw for the second round which takes place on Tuesday 5th March 2024.

Each team is assigned a number for the draw, with the teams qualifying from Round 1 being given numbers 1-12, based on their match order. Division 1 sides have been given numbers 13-24, based on their current league position with Division 2 sides occupying numbers 25-32, also based on their current league position.

The draw numbers in full are as follows:

  1. Coventry City
  2. Wolves
  3. Birmingham City
  4. Huddersfield Town
  5. Brentford
  6. Sheffield United
  7. Portsmouth
  8. Oxford United
  9. Burnley
  10. Leicester City
  11. Crystal Palace
  12. Brighton & Hove Albion
  13. Arsenal
  14. Everton
  15. Manchester United
  16. Liverpool
  17. Newcastle United
  18. Watford
  19. Southampton
  20. Chelsea
  21. Tottenham Hotspur
  22. West Ham United
  23. Nottingham Forest
  24. Norwich City
  25. Manchester City
  26. Aston Villa
  27. QPR
  28. Luton Town
  29. Sheffield Wednesday
  30. Leeds United
  31. Charlton Athletic
  32. Wimbledon

FA Cup First Round Match Report

The 1st Round of the FA Cup has taken place. Here is a round up of the results, with match reports from games between Division 3, Conference and non-league sides.

Coventry City v Middlesbrough – This was non-league Middlesbrough’s first game and they came up to Division 3 Coventry City. Coventry got off to a flying start as they were awarded a penalty within the first few minutes, which they easily converted. An even contested then ensured and Middlesbrough got a bit of luck as they found an equaliser just before half-time. Middlesbrough then pushed on strongly and could of almost scored a couple of times, as they even skimmed a shot off the crossbar. Coventry stayed with the plan and soon enough got the winning goal, as Middlesbrough were left weak in defence.

Result: Coventry City 2 v 1 Middlesbrough

Wolves v Sunderland – Division 3 frontrunners Wolves took on non-league Sunderland at home. It did not take Wolves long to break down the Sunderland defence and they were quickly 1-0 up. They continued to pressure the non-league side and were duly rewarded soon after with a second. The spectators expected Wolves to keep on and increase their lead, but the team sat back and let Sunderland come at them as they defended their lead. Sunderland could not break down the defence, so it is the Division 3 side Wolves, that go through to the 2nd Round. The featured image shows Wolves scoring their spectacular second goal.

Result: Wolves 2 v 0 Sunderland

Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City – Birmingham City took on non-league Bolton in the third match and it was clear to see the difference in the two sides. Birmingham immediately took hold of the game and never looked back. They scored three simple goals and although both keepers made some good saves, Bolton were unable to score a goal. Although Birmingham’s performance in the Conference has not been great, they will be pleased to have a convincing win, to see them into the second round.

Result: Bolton Wanderers 0 v 3 Birmingham City

Huddersfield Town v Bournemouth – A thrilling encounter took place between non-league Huddersfield and Conference team Bournemouth. In a close tie, Huddersfield were the first to score, before they dug in with all their might to defend their lead. Bournemouth threw everything at them and it was only down to the Huddersfield keeper and the goalpost that kept them out. The Bournemouth keeper also made some vital saves to keep them in the tie. In injury time Bournemouth won a corner and after a shot was deflected, a Bournemouth player was near the line to tuck it in to level. In extra time Huddersfield broke forward once more and shot but the ball did not cross the line. The Bournemouth keeper went to clear the ball but only kicked it towards a Huddersfield player, who was able to thunder it back into the goal. Bournemouth tried everything to find an equaliser but ran out of time as Huddersfield become the first non-league team to make it into the 2nd Round.

Result: Huddersfield Town 2 v 1 Bournemouth (AET)

Brentford v Ipswich Town – This all non-league encounter was a great opportunity for one of these sides to make it into the second round. Brentford started off the stronger and went 1-0 up just before half-time. Ipswich did their best to fight back but Brentford remained strong. Later in the second half, Brentford found a gap between defenders and duly made it 2-0. Ipswich had a great chance to get back into the game soon after, but their chip shot went over the top of the goal. In injury time, Brentford had another shot which rebounded off a defender and into the goal to make it 3-0, which was a bit unfair on the away team who had played well.

Result: Brentford 3 v 0 Ipswich Town

Derby County v Sheffield United – Derby County from Division 3 suffered a shock defeat against non-league Sheffield United in this classic Cup tie. United took an early lead but Derby used their skill to get back into the match and scored to make it equal. Derby went on to score a second before United got their second to make it 2-2 at the end of normal time. Derby soon went 3-2 ahead in extra time and thought they were through but Sheffield Utd did not give up and scored again to make it 3-3. In penalties Derby went first and Sheffield missed theirs, giving Derby the advantage. But Derby missed their second as Sheffield got level once again. It was all even until Derby missed their 5th, leaving Sheffield with a chance to go through. After a mistaken penalty, Sheffield got a retake and cleaned slotted home to win this thrilling match.

Result: Derby County 3 v 3 Sheffield United (P.3 – 4)

Portsmouth v Blackburn Rovers – This clash of two struggling Conference sides wanting a turn-around in fortunes, had all the makings of a Cup classic. Despite Portsmouth getting off to a better start, it was the away side that scored first. The Blackburn keeper then kept his side in the tie with some incredible saves, until Portsmouth finally found a way around him to make it 1-1 after full time. In extra time, Portsmouth were quick to score almost from the kick off. Blackburn were facing elimination and pushed forward and shocked the home supporters when they got a surprise equaliser. With the game heading towards penalties, Portsmouth had one last chance attacking. The defender needed to block the shot but clipped the attacker, giving a penalty. Portsmouth hammered the ball home to make it 3-2, and with only seconds remaining, it was not enough time for Blackburn to get another chance.

Result: Portsmouth 3 v 2 Blackburn Rovers (AET)

Stoke City v Oxford United – Oxford from Division 3 got off to a lightning start as they grabbed possession from Stoke and raced up the other end to score. Non-league Stoke were shocked by this encounter but prevailed until Oxford doubled their lead later on. A fantastic save from the Oxford goalkeeper prevented Stoke from getting back into the match and Oxford were happy to play out time until the final whistle to record their first FA Cup match win since Year 1.

Result: Stoke City 0 v 2 Oxford United

Burnley v Fulham – There was the prospect of a great game between these two Conference rivals, especially after Fulham beat Burnley earlier in the season. It was a close game although Fulham had the best of the chances after they struck the post. In the second half, Burnley had a good chance to score and the defender kicked out in haste, causing a penalty. Burnley duly scored and then pressed on with their home advantage as they grew in confidence to make it 2-0. Despite Fulham fighting back, time was against them and although they too hit the post, they could not find the back of the net.

Result: Burnley 2 v 0 Fulham

Leicester City v Millwall – There was nothing between these two Division 3 sides as neither were able to find a breakthrough. Leicester came the closest as they hit the post and had a series of corners in injury time, but their forwards were off target. In extra time both sides had good chances but the game remained at a deadlock. It went to penalties with Millwall going first and missing. Leicester scored but then missed their second to make it equal once more. Millwall had their fifth penalty saved and Leicester just had to score to take the result on the night.

Result: Leicester City 0 v 0 Millwall (P.4 – 3)

Crystal Palace v WBA – Division 3 leaders Crystal Palace took on a tricky West Brom team as they both looked for their first FA Cup victory. Palace began the stronger and soon took the lead. It was then a surprise when West Brom hit back before taking a shock lead. Palace were stunned back into life and were able to bring the game level again. West Brom were then awarded a free kick but Palace were able to keep the ball out of the net. Palace pushed on but could not score before time ran out. In extra time, both sides had chances but were not able to capitalise. The match reach penalties and Palace were in a state when they missed their first two. Thankfully for them, West Brom missed their second and fourth so after 5 each, the penalty score was level at 3-3. Sudden death took place and both sides scored a further two nail-biting penalties before West Brom missed their third and they were out of the Cup.

Result: Crystal Palace 2 v 2 WBA (P. SD -Crystal Palace)

Brighton & Hove Albion v Hull City – Conference Brighton took on this years Division 3 surprise team who are excelling with their league performances. It was a close encounter although it was the Hull City keeper who was working harder to keep his team in the tie. With three quarters of the match gone, Hull City gave away a free kick on the edge of the area. Brighton took full use of the opportunity and put a score on the board. Hull had a couple of good chances from a wide position. but the Brighton keeper was equal to them, with one incredible save to note. Brighton were able to hang on to take the victory.

Result: Brighton 1 v 0 Hull City

Top Of The Table Match Ends In Draw

The game of the week saw joint division leaders Arsenal take on Everton in a winner takes all match. Arsenal, who had home advantage, took the game by the scruff of the neck as they tore into Everton from the beginning It did not take them long to score, after the Everton keeper was totally wrong footed and watched aghast as the ball slid past into the goal.

Everton were all over the place as Arsenal continued their domination and soon scored a second to move further ahead, as a rebound took it past the keeper once more. It looked like Arsenal would continue their scoring run until a quick reacting Arsenal defender touched a moving ball to give Everton a free kick outside of the area. Despite the distance, Everton converted the free kick to bring the score to 2-1.

Arsenal tried to find a third goal but were beginning to tire after their midweek Cup match. Everton kept the attacks going and soon found an attacker on the edge of the area with the ball. A sublime thunderbolt of a shot left the Arsenal keeper stunned as it flew into the top corner. Arsenal continued hunting for a winner and managed to hit the post twice within minutes, but could not get the break they needed. The 2-2 draw keeps both teams level at the top of the table with 14 points.

The second match of the week saw Newcastle take on Nottingham Forest. Newcastle were the stronger team in the beginning and used that to take a well deserved lead. Notts Forest then began pushing for an equaliser but their attackers could not put a good shot at the keeper. Despite a lot of pressure they could not find a way through. Newcastle nearly found a second near the end of the game but the score remained 1-0.

The third match was a big game between Liverpool and Chelsea, as both teams were mid-table and needing a win. Chelsea started the brighter but Liverpool were dangerous on the counter and scored the first goal. Liverpool soon found a second and Chelsea came close a number of times, including hitting the post before they did manage to get one in the back of the net. Chelsea pressed hard for an equaliser, but Liverpool caught them on the break once more to get a third in the final minutes to close down the match.

The week brought another big tie as Tottenham took on Manchester United. Spurs needed a win and Manchester were looking for revenge after Tottenham dented their title ambitions last year. Spurs got off to the better start and were soon 2-0 up, even after a dubious freekick that had to be retaken. Man Utd needed to fight back and soon they got the goal they needed. They continued to push forward and Spurs could not hold back the tide with only seconds remaining, leaving the score at 2-2.

The next match was between rivals West Ham and Watford. It was quite even to being, until West Ham opened up the scoring. Watford were quick to equalise to make it 1-1. It appeared as if the teams were going to settle for the draw until West Ham pushed forward and Watford attempted a back pass, only for the keeper to fumble the ball into his own net. Watford were furious with going behind and attacked from kick off. A neat little chip saw the ball float past the West Ham keeper and the score was level at 2-2.

The final match of the week was a relegation 6-pointer between Southampton and Norwich City. Southampton got off to a dreadful start as they gave away a series of free kicks, giving Norwich an early lead. Southampton soon got back into it to make it 1-1 before Norwich once again took the lead. Southampton did not give up and soon it was Norwich being careless in defence. Southampton made the score 2-2 and then pushed on against a tiring Norwich to find a winner. Southampton take a crucial 3 points to move up the table whilst Norwich remain nailed to the bottom of the Division.

SubbuteoCLUB FA Cup Official Ball Announced

As with the actual football tournaments around the country, SubbuteoCLUB also nominates special footballs to use in our competitions.

The FA Cup is the longest standing knock-out Cup competition we have and has undergone a revamp for Year 6. This year will see the largest number of teams enter the competitions, including a number of non-league sides, many playing for the first time. Teams from Division 1 and Division 2 will enter in the second round, meaning that teams from Division 3, the Conference and non-league will need to progress through the 1st Round before they can potentially face one of the big teams.

The 1st Round kicks off during Week 6, so to commemorate this historic event, SubbuteoCLUB would like to announce the ball that will be used for the duration of the competition. We have chosen to use the Mitre Ultimax Pro 2, which is the same ball that is being used in the real FA Cup for the 2023/24 season.

We have obtained a replica of this ball in 22mm form and we are ready to commence this great Cup. The 1st Round fixtures can be found on the competition page. We will have to wait until the 1st Round is completed for the 2nd Round draw and Cup holders Nottingham Forest begin the defence of their trophy.

League Cup Quarter-Final Results Are In

The 2nd Legs of the League Cup Quarter-Finals got underway this week as teams looked to obtain a place in the semi-finals.

The first game was Leicester City of Division 3 against previous winners Liverpool. Leicester were 3-1 down from the 1st leg so it was imperative that they scored first. They went close when they hit the crossbar, but it was Liverpool who then found a way through. With a 3 goal advantage, Liverpool sat back to see out the match. Leicester managed to find an equaliser but Liverpool stood tough to make their fourth semi-final in a row.

The second game saw West Ham host Aston Villa after all was equal after the first leg. The game was very close but current Cup holders West Ham took the lead with a tight shot just outside the 6-yard box which surprised the Villa keeper. Villa pushed to make it level but West Ham were up to the job and kept them at bay, even though Villa hit the crossbar. In injury time Villa through all their players forward and the intense pressure paid off as they found a way through from a corner.

In extra time West Ham once again had Villa on the ropes but they could not score, despite a few good shots. In injury time, the momentum was with Villa once more. Despite West Ham thinking they had enough defenders, the Villa player tried a cheeky chip and it paid off as it fell into the goal. Aston Villa go through to their first semi-final.

The third match was an all-London tie between Chelsea and Arsenal. Defending league Champions Chelsea got off to a flying start and were only denied thanks to the Arsenal keeper. Arsenal then turned on the gas and forced a number of good saves from the Chelsea keeper. A Chelsea defender then gave away a free kick and Arsenal found the back of the net.

Chelsea had to score to remain in the tie and it did not take long before they got a free kick of their own. They duly put the ball in the net to make it all even once more. The final stage of the match was close, but Arsenal continued to press and a lucky pass found a striker free. Despite two Chelsea defenders rushing in to try and block the shot, it was not enough and the Arsenal player took full advantage. With only seconds left, Chelsea had one last corner, but Arsenal were able to clear the ball and the game was all over. Arsenal move into their first League Cup semi-final.

The Arsenal player scores the winning goal

The final match of the round saw Manchester City host Tottenham. Spurs were previous Cup holders but they were already 1-0 down to their Division 2 opponents. Spurs got off to a flying start and it was only the goal post that stopped them from getting the equalising goal early in the game.

City were not flustered and began to press on with their attacking. It was near the end of the first half that City got a clear chance. It was not an easy shot but the City player got just enough curve to slot the ball into the net.

The City player scores their first with a left-footed shot

Spurs had to push forward now they were two goals down, but they were caught out when a free kick on the edge of City’s area went straight through to a player. They did not need to take a second touch, as they hammered the ball home. With a 3 goal advantage, Spurs looked for a consolation goal but it was not to be as City go on to the semi-finals.

Semi-Final Draw

Following the last quarter-final match, the draw for the League Cup semi-finals has just been made. The two Division Two teams have been drawn together which ensures that at least one team from Division 2 will reach the final, as Aston Villa face Manchester City. In the other tie, the two big teams from Division 1 meet each other, as Arsenal take on rivals Liverpool.

Aston Villa vs Manchester City

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Inter Milan Win Year 5 European Cup

After a fantastic tournament, the Final of the Year 5 European Cup has arrived. The two finalists are Inter Milan from Italy and Dinamo Bucharest from Romania. Dinamo were the surprise team after beating both Rangers and Celtic from Scotland as well as an unbelievable victory over Bayern Munich. Inter Milan’s journey was almost more difficult as they beat of beating Chelsea, then reigning Champions Liverpool before overcoming Atletico Madrid.

Straight from kick-off Dinamo pressed for an early goal as Milan were content to take their time and absorb the pressure. They did this well and then moved forward to begin their offense. Dinamo panicked and gave away a free kick on the edge of the goalkeepers area. Milan duly stepped up and hammered home the first goal to make it 1-0.

Milan take the lead from a free kick

The spectators were ready for Milan to hold tight but Dinamo found back as they looked for the equaliser. The fans did not have to wait long as a cutting pass caught out Inters defence as they too gave away a free kick. Despite the wall shielding the keeper, it was not enough and Dinamo made it 1-1.

Free kick for Dinamo to equalise

The early pressure from Dinamo was beginning to show, as the players in red began to tire. Milan took full advantage of this as their sticker was soon through with a great chance in front of the goal. He hit the ball cleanly to find the corner of the net.

Inter regain the lead after a shot from outside the area

Things began to fall apart for Dinamo at this point as the players could not keep up with Inters dominance. Inter almost got a third goal from kick off and it was only down to goal line technology that proved that the ball did not cross the line.

Inter’s shot did not cross the line

The disallowed goal did not stop Inter and they continued pushing forward to increase the margin. Once again, the ball was passed forward and a fabulous strike from wide left caught the Dinamo keeper out. The score was 3-1 to Inter and Dinamo were falling apart.

In the dying minutes of the game, Inter continued passing the ball around. It was only a matter of time that they found a way through the dejected defenders and soon enough they made sure of the result with a fourth goal. Dinamo did try and get a second to make the score line a little better but Milan stood strong.

A great strike makes it 3-1 to Inter Milan

The final whistle blew and Inter Milan from Italy take the victory and the European Cup for the first time.

Week 2 Conference Results Are In

The battle to claim a place in the league is hotting up as the Conference teams completed their Week 2 games.

In Conference 4a, there were wins for Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion. After the four teams drew their Week 1 matches, it leagues Bournemouth and WBA top, whilst Portsmouth and Birmingham sit at the bottom of the table on 1 point each. There is everything to play for in the final fixtures, with all four teams capable to grabbing one of the vital top two positions.

In Conference 4b, the teams are in a similar position to 4a, with two teams level on 4 points. In the East Lancashire derby, Burnley took on Blackburn in a vital match after both teams lost their first game. Whoever lost the derby would be in big trouble.

Despite Burnley having home advantage, it was Blackburn who got off to a surprising lead. Burnley were able to even the score, before Blackburn took a surprise lead after their sticker scored a tap in from an unbelievable angle. The the dying minutes Burnley found the equaliser to leave the score at 2-2. Although neither team lost, it gives each team only a single point from two games and a struggle to finish in the top 2.

The second game involved league leaders Brighton & Hove against Fulham. After both teams won their opening game, a win would guarantee a team a top 2 position and a place in the promotion finals.

Brighton got off to the stronger start and they managed to hit the crossbar in the first half, as Fulham found it hard to find traction on the soggy pitch.

In the second half, Fulham pushed forward and it was their turn to come close as they hit the post. Despite good chances at either end, the score finished 0-0, leaving both teams on 4 points.

There will be everything to play for in Week 3 as the final league positions will be decided and the places in the promotion finals completed.