By Richard Wright
Sports fans may be surprised to hear that the football team with the best defensive record in England can be found in Barnsley. No, it’s not Barnsley FC, but Shaw Lane AFC, who play in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South, the 8th level of the English football system.
Shaw Lane lead the division on 59 points, with just one loss and a goal difference of +45, followed by Spalding United on 53 points. Their goals conceded, and per game, are the best in all eight of England’s top divisions, making them statistically the best defensive team in the land.
They have conceded just 15 goals in 24 league matche,s giving them a record of 0.63 goals against per match – it is a better record than Chelsea, who are top of the Premier League.
Shaw Lane manager Craig Elliott told the Barnsley Chronicle: “It’s a huge thing to have the top defensive record in the country.
“It’s a big compliment to everyone in the team, not just the defenders, because we defend from the front.”
The Ducks are certainly not lacking in attack – they are the league’s top scorers with 60 goals.
There are 18 matches to go, and Shaw Lane haven’t lost in 14 league games. So things are looking good for the team from Barnsley as they prepare to take on Sheffield FC away this weekend, in a lower league Yorkshire derby.