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Papa Johns Trophy

Recap the Papa John's Trophy Group Stage!

11 November 2021

As the final round of Group Stage fixtures comes to a close, just 32 teams remain in the Papa John’s Trophy with Round Two drawing closer.

Who is through and who is out? We take a look at how the tables stand at the conclusion of the Group Stage.

Northern Group

Carlisle United booked their place in Round Two, going through as champions of Group A, five points clear of third-placed Everton Under-21s, closely followed by Hartlepool United, who qualified with six points, meaning Morecambe also missed out.

Fine margins separated Group B, with Tranmere Rovers sitting at the summit of the standings, whilst Oldham Athletic, who secured second place, Salford City and Leeds United Under-21s all finished tied on three points.

Meanwhile, Wigan Athletic and Crewe Alexandra edged out Shrewsbury Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-21s in Group C, and Bolton Wanderers and Port Vale made it through in Group D, spelling the end of the road for Rochdale and Liverpool Under-21s.

Topping Group E with a 14-point goal difference, Rotherham United secured their place in Round Two, alongside local rivals Doncaster Rovers, whom six of those goals came against, as the Millers registered a record win over their South Yorkshire neighbours. Manchester City Under-21s and Scunthorpe United bow out.

Reigning champions Sunderland and last year’s Quarter-Finalists Lincoln City qualified from Group F, with Accrington Stanley and Fleetwood Town securing passage from Group G.


And although the Stags gave it their best shot, Mansfield Town bowed out at the Group Stage, in the wake of a hard-fought nine-goal thriller with fellow departures Newcastle United Under-21s. Instead, it was Sheffield Wednesday and Harrogate Town that occupied the top two spots in Group H.

Southern Group

Due to a three-point deduction for West Ham United Under-21s, Ipswich Town and Colchester United went through to Round Two from Group A, with the Hammers and Gillingham exiting the competition.

Sutton United capped off their Group Stage campaign with a 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon in the South London derby earlier in the week, with the Papa John’s Trophy newcomers joined by Portsmouth in Round Two from Group B. Crystal Palace Under-21s, meanwhile, finished bottom of the table.

Despite bowing out of the competition, Burton Albion ended their Group Stage crusade on a high with a 5-0 win over fourth-placed Wycombe Wanderers, with Aston Villa Under-21s and Milton Keynes Dons having already reached Round Two prior to the final flurry of Group C fixtures.

In Group D, Forest Green Rovers and Walsall made it through, as the Gloucestershire side beat the Saddlers 2-0 earlier in the week.

Exeter City’s emphatic display against Bristol Rovers in midweek saw the Grecians – who fashioned a 5-0 lead before the break and went on to win 5-3 – through to the last 32. Chelsea Under-21s took second spot in Group E, and the Gas and Cheltenham Town placed third and fourth respectively.

Swindon Town and Arsenal Under-21s are in the hat, making it through from Group F, whilst Leyton Orient and Charlton Athletic earned their place in Round Two from Group G, with Orient and Swindon taking maximum points from the Group Stage.


Level on six points in Group H, Cambridge United and Stevenage complete the final 32, edging out Tottenham Hotspur Under-21s and Oxford United.

The Round Two draw will take place live on Sky Sports Football on Saturday 13 November, following the conclusion of the Sky Bet League Two fixture between Port Vale and Bradford City in the 12pm kick-off.


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