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Opposition Report: Bristol City Under-23s

Blues have finished second in the PDL North section and as a result, have qualified for today's play-off game against Bristol City.

BCFC

All you need to know about this afternoon's PDL play-off semi-final opponents...

FORM GUIDE:

Bristol City come into today's game as the top-ranked PDL south side in the country. Across the course of this season, the young Robins have won 16 of their 25 fixtures, drawing twice and losing on seven occasions. 

They boast both the best attack and defence of the nine teams in their league as well - dispatching 51 goals, conceding 35 across their games.

The Robins waltzed to top spot in the end, finishing eight points clear of second place Ipswich Town, who will face Sheffield United in the other play-off game this year. 

Their most recent result was a 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic on the 3 May. 

IN THE DUGOUT:

Alex Ball is the man leading Bristol City's Development team and he has plenty of experience in bringing some of the very best through the junior ranks. 

After being released as a footballer aged 19, Ball coached in America before returning to England to work with Bath City. He's also spent a spell working at the lauded Southampton Academy, where he helped develop some of the South Coasts' most promising youngsters. 

But since then, he's been at Bristol City, first working as a Youth Development Phase coach before making his way up the academy rankings to his current position as lead coach with the Under-23s. 

ONE TO WATCH: 

Robins' Under-23s team has served as a real springboard for several youngsters to gain first-team experience this season.

And one of those who's blistering form saw him start and score in last weekend's defeat to Brentford was Louis Britton.

The former Mangotsfield forward was given his chance by Nigel Pearson and repaid the favour - dispatching well on his first-team debut. 

But the goals have been there all season; he's converted on sixteen occasions for the Under-23s throughout the course of the campaign. 

There are high hopes that the youngster could be increasingly involved over the coming months and he'll want to keep showing club bosses what he can do in games like these this afternoon. 

BLUES FORM:

Blues' Under-23s finished this season's PDL programme with a staggering 11-1 win over Wigan Athletic earlier this week. 

It was a young Latics side but make no mistake, Steve Spooner's Blues were at their clinical best and the scoreline could've been worse had it not been for a string of fine saves by young Tom Watson in the Wigan goal. 

However, the result would've surprised few who've followed Blues' youngsters over the season - particularly in recent months. 12 wins in their last 15 marks an incredible turnaround in form, considering only three games were won in their opening ten. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Blues had the opportunity to become PDL National Champions two years ago when they faced Leeds United in the final at Elland Road.

The game went to penalties but Blues fell at the final hurdle, losing on spot kicks. 

The likes of Zach Jeacock, Caolan Boyd-Munce, Geraldo Bajrami and Joe Redmond were all part of the squad that day. 

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