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REPORT: TOWN U23s 2-3 BIRMINGHAM CITY

PUBLISHED

16:37 18th April 2017

by David Threlfall-Sykes

Scannell & Payne score in defeat

- Town Under-23s lose to Birmingham City
- Sean Scannell & Jack Payne both score
- Hudson, Holmes-Dennis, Bunn & Coleman also play full 90

Several members of David Wagner’s First Team squad got an important 90 minutes under their belts ahead of the Sky Bet Championship run-in during Tuesday’s Professional Development League game.

Sean Scannell and Jack Payne both netted in the game, whilst Mark Hudson, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Harry Bunn and Joel Coleman also played the full game for Senior Professional Development Coach Frankie Bunn’s side.

Unfortunately the Terriers lost on the afternoon to the Blues, who came from behind to win 3-2 at PPG Canalside; a result that ended Town’s slim chances of reaching the PDL Play-Offs.

Town bossed possession for large spells of the first-half and started very brightly, with Payne immediately winning possession from the visitors and finding Bunn, who curled over the bar from distance.

Bunn was a lively figure on the afternoon and tested the visiting goalkeeper inside the quarter of an hour mark, slipping as he hit another long range effort that went straight into the custodian’s hands.

Birmingham’s left winger Wes McDonald produced some powerful infield runs, but had left his shooting boots in the second city; firing high and wide from very far out on several occasions.

Visiting midfielder Charlie Lakin had a much more presentable chance in the 21st minute having been found by a smart pass from Corey O’Keeffe, but sliced a poor left-footed effort well wide.

The visitors then took the lead in the 22nd minute, with the lively McDonald finding space to whip in an excellent, deep cross. Striker Ronan Hale pulled off the back of Town centre half Danny Kane to hit a well-controlled volley past Coleman from close range.

Town fought back well to lead at the interval. First Bunn shot wide from the edge of the area after an impressive dribble infield from the right and then 17 year-old striker Olly Dyson nicked the ball off centre back Dan Cleary before running clear down the left; his square pass to Payne being cut out vitally by a defender.

Cleary did the same at the other end soon after, seizing upon a poor pass before striding into space and forcing Coleman to tip a rising drive over the crossbar.

The game was stretched at this stage, and Town took full advantage with a 36th minute equaliser. The move started with Coleman finding midfielder Lewis O’Brien in space and the Terriers quickly transitioned the ball up the field, with the final pass finding Scannell’s infield run. The powerful winger easily held off the last defender before advancing on the ‘keeper and placing a shot past goalkeeper Jake Weaver to level the scores.

Town’s players enjoyed their best spell between the equaliser and the interval, applying pressure to the away defence.

Bunn soon found Dyson on his outside, but the youngster drove a shot over when well positioned just inside the penalty area.

However, the second Town goal soon followed with three minutes to go until the interval. O’Brien and Bunn combined to find Dyson inside the area and he turned goalwards smartly before firing in a powerful shot. His effort was too close to Weaver but the goalkeeper’s parry fell straight to Payne, who looped a header into the vacant net.

There was still time for Bunn to run past the outside of right back Wes Harding and hit a rising drive over the bar.

Town started the second-half in decent fashion, with Kane hitting the post with a header after Dyson’s cross was deflected into the air.

Holmes-Dennis soon shot over from long range, but Birmingham began to grow into the game as the hour mark came and went, establishing decent possession.

The Terriers still carried a threat, with Dyson forcing the ‘keeper into a save with a cross-come-shot before Payne was just ruled offside when running onto Dyson’s slide-rule pass.

Birmingham’s pressure began to tell, however. McDonald stung Coleman’s palms with a shot on the turn before Lubala had similar look with a shot that was placed too close to the Town goalie.

The Blues weren’t to be denied, however, and centre back Cleary drew them level in the 73rd minute with a low finish into the far corner after the ball ricocheted around the Town penalty area.

Two minutes later, the Terriers were behind. Striker Hale did very well to cut inside right back Jordan Williams on his way into the penalty area and he found sub Koby Arthur, who switched onto his right foot before curling a beautiful effort beyond Coleman and into the top corner.

Bunn and Payne led the charge for an equaliser, with the latter unlucky to see Bunn’s low pull-back hit him and roll straight into the ‘keeper’s waiting arms.

Town sub Jack Boyle had the last effort of the game, powering a shot over the bar from 25 yards out.

Highlights of the game will appear on #HTTV later this week.

Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Joel Coleman; Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Danny Kane, Mark Hudson, Jordan Williams; Lewis O’Brien, Regan Booty (c); Harry Bunn, Jack Payne, Sean Scannell; Olly Dyson (Jack Boyle, 81’)

Unused subs:
Tadhg Ryan, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Isaac Marriott, Denilson Carvalho


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