21:20 5th December 2016
by David Threlfall-Sykes
Goals from Jack Boyle and Lewis O’Brien
- Town Under-23s beat Ipswich Town
- First Premier League Cup win of the season
- Jack Boyle & Lewis O'Brien with the goals
A very young Huddersfield Town Under-23 side recorded its first Premier League Cup game of the new season against a much more experienced Ipswich Town after a great performance at Portman Road on Monday evening.
In a well-contested game between two focused sides, it was Bunn’s youngsters that triumphed thanks to spectacular goals from attacking midfielders Jack Boyle and Lewis O’Brien, which came late in each half.
The performance was all-the-more impressive given that none of Bunn’s side have played senior football, compared with a combined 1,160 senior appearances for the Tractor Boys through Brett Pitman, Dean Gerken, Leon Best, Kevin Bru, Jonny Williams and Josh Emmanuel.
In fact, the starting line-up for Bunn’s Town Under-23 side included four Under-18 scholars in Jordan Williams, O’Brien, Dom Tear and striker Cedwyn Scott; the latter making his first start at this level after an impressive start to the Under-18 season.
The game started in even fashion, with Town winger Tear having the first shot of the game after a good counter-attack and pass from Boyle.
Town enjoyed all the genuine chances as the first half progressed, with Boyle trying his luck in the 28th minute from 25 yards out. Gerken did well to hold the effort with striker Scott lurking for a rebound.
Young right back Jordan Williams went similarly close from range in the 36th minute after intercepting a pass from Wales international Williams; he charged forward before a sweetly hit 30-yard effort that flashed just wide.
The first goal finally came on the stroke of half time from a corner. Skipper Regan Booty worked the ball to the edge of the box for teammate Boyle, who took one touch before slamming the ball in off the crossbar to give his side the lead at the interval.
Ipswich’s first real chance at goal came in the 54th minute when Mauritius international midfielder Bru fired just over the bar from 20 yards out, after which the home side enjoyed its best spell. However, Town’s defence stood firm, repelling three successive corners just after the hour mark.
Town still carried a threat, with O’Brien firing over the bar after a good pass from Booty, before another Under-18 player – substitute midfielder Olly Dyson – had a big chance to double the lead, beating the last defender skilfully before firing his shot too close to Gerken.
Town ‘keeper George Dorrington kept his side ahead with a great 82nd minute save, tipping Williams’ deflected 25-yard drive over.
In the end, O’Brien settled the tie with an outstanding goal with a minute of normal time remaining. Under-18 captain Rarmani Edmonds-Green, usually a centre back, came on up front and played a big role; he worked a counter-attack one-two with O’Brien that released the young midfielder into space and Lewis made no mistake, giving Gerken no chance by firing into the top corner.
The win was Town’s first in the third game of the six game Premier League Cup group stage, moving them joint second on points with Ipswich and West Brom behind leaders Liverpool with three games left.
Highlights of the game will appear on HTTV this week!
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
George Dorrington; Jacob Hanson, Dylan Cogill, Danny Kane, Jordan Williams; Regan Booty (c), Lewis O’Brien; Dom Tear, Jack Boyle (Olly Dyson, 71’), Sam Warde (Denilson Carvalho, 69’); Cedwyn Scott (Rarmani Edmonds-Green, 88’)
Ryan Schofield, Jamie Spencer
Sam Warde (49’)