Regan Booty nets late consolation for the Young Terriers
- Town's Under-23s lose at Crystal Palace
- Terriers have two huge chances when a goal down
- Regan Booty (pictured) scores late goal
Huddersfield Town’s Under-23 side met defeat for the first time in eight games at the hands of southern division leaders Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Friday afternoon.
After an even and goalless opening 45 minutes, the Eagles took the lead early in the second-half. Mark Hudson’s side then had two huge chances to draw level before a Palace second, with Regan Booty’s third of the Under-23 campaign deep into injury time proving to be nothing more than a consolation.
Hudson took a young side to the capital for the game, with 17 year-old winger Aaron Rowe – a January arrival from London – getting his first start at Under-23 level. It was a great test for the youngster as he faced up against Joel Ward on the left flank during the opening 45 minutes.
Town enjoyed most of the ball during the first-half, but both sides had half-chances.
Rowe hit a shot straight at home goalkeeper Joe Tupper from 20 yards after eight minutes before Scott High fared similarly from range after winning possession high up the pitch on the quarter-hour mark.
Booty then went as close as anyone to breaking the first-half deadlock, curling a free-kick inches over the crossbar after Lewis O’Brien was brought down by Gio McGregor in the 25th minute.
Palace’s shots had been blocked well by defenders before the half-hour mark, but the Eagles then went very close as former Benfica midfielder Erdal Rakip shot wide of the near post from a lay-back by Levi Lumeka. In truth, the Palace man should have done better from around 15 yards out.
Town fought back, with a superb 34rd minute counter-attack almost bearing fruit. Right back Jordan Williams won back possession and launched the break, with O’Brien and Booty combining to release top scorer Dom Tear down the right. Dom made it to the edge of the box before unleashing a cross-come-shot that the ‘keeper had to push behind as it headed towards the back post.
Impressive Palace midfielder Kian Flanagan shot straight at Joel Coleman as the half ended and the home side had the better of the early stages of the second, with Rakip forcing the Town ‘keeper into more action with a free-kick that needed to be pushed wide.
The first Palace goal followed in the 52nd minute, with Rakip finding a trialist with a pass infield from the right. The right back was given too much space to shoot when positioned just outside the area and although Coleman saved his initial half-volley, the rebound dropped straight to striker Rob Street and the teenager tapped home.
Hudson’s men fought back hard and should have been ahead before Palace scored their second. First Rekeil Pyke’s burst into the area was only halted by a good sliding tackle from home centre back Oliver O’Dwyer in the 54th minute.
Two minutes later, Rowe was denied by a great reaction save after a slick Town move. Pyke found O’Brien on the right and he picked out the run of Booty with a clever reverse pass. Regan cleverly crossed the ball low with his right foot without taking a touch and found Rowe on the edge of the six-yard box, but somehow Tupper spread himself and successfully blocked the shot at point blank range.
Tear had an even clearer opportunity just after the hour mark. He made a great inside run from the right and was picked out perfectly by Booty’s raking pass to break clear of the defence but hit the face of the post with his placed effort with the goalkeeper beaten. The rebound fell to Tupper and the chance was gone.
Palace rallied and created their own chances, with Coleman doing very well to block Street’s 71st minute effort with his legs after the striker was picked out in the area by left back Tyler Brown.
The second Palace goal did follow in the 77th minute. Flanagan played a though pass inside right back Jordan Williams, allowing winger Lumeka to race into the area. With the angle narrow, the attacker checked back onto his right foot before smashing a powerful effort past Coleman and into the roof of the net to seemingly secure the win for his team.
Despite this, Town kept plugging away and did score a consolation with the final kick of the game. Booty, who had pulled the strings for Town all afternoon, drove over halfway and rode a challenge before seeing the defence open up in front of him. He used Pyke’s run to his right as a decoy before entering the area and calmly stroking the ball into the corner.
Highlights from the game will appear on #HTTV in due course.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Joel Coleman; Mason O’Malley, Romoney Crichlow-Noble, Rarmani Edmonds-Green (Jake Barrett, 80’), Jordan Williams; Regan Booty, Scott High; Aaron Rowe (Ben Jackson, 71’), Lewis O’Brien (c), Dom Tear (Micah Obiero, 75’); Rekeil Pyke
Regan Booty (50’), Dom Tear (74’)