U23s come from behind to win against Birmingham City
- Town triumph 2-1 over Birmingham City in Monday’s PDL game
- Matty Daly (pen) and Abdelhamid Sabiri on the scoresheet for Town
- Highlights available on #HTTV tomorrow
Huddersfield Town U23s earned their ninth win of the Professional Development League season as they beat Birmingham City U23s 2-1 at PPG Canalside. Second half strikes from Matty Daly and Abdelhamid Sabiri secured the three points for Mark Hudson’s side.
On a snowy day at PPG Canalside, Town's U23s dominated the ball in the opening stages. Town's forward line was pressing particularly well and forcing the visitors into mistakes. This meant that Town were able to enjoy the lion's share of possession, but they were unable to break down Birmingham’s defences in the opening stages.
With Town dictating the ball, Birmingham were forced to play on the counter, with the pace of striker Kyle McFarlane a particular threat running in behind the Town backline. An early chance came in the 17th minute when McFarlane got in behind the Town ranks and managed to round ‘keeper Joel Coleman, but the striker put his shot wide of the mark.
The half hour mark passed, and Town continued to enjoy large periods of possession, in particular through midfielder Matty Daly. The 16-year-old was making his 11th appearance for the U23 side and was pulling the strings in the heart of the midfield.
Town pressed forward but were routinely being denied by the linesman’s flag, as Dean Whitehead picked out an offside Dom Tear on the break. With half time looming, the visitors got the opening goal of the game.
McFarlane again beat Coleman, but this time the ‘keeper brought him down. Referee Aaron Jackson prepared to blow the whistle and point to the spot, but Remeao Hutton was quick to the loose ball and with the advantage, he finished from close range in the 41st minute to give Birmingham the lead.
After another half time flurry of snow, Town looked to continue to dominate possession but this time hoping to create more clear-cut chances. Tear once again got in behind, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag, coupled with a Town corner that was cleared at the near post.
The host were always looking the most likely to score the next goal with Abdelhamid Sabiri in particular looking a threat.
Daly was continuing to have a very good game and attempted to get the ball moving quickly, which helped Sabiri get at a depleted Birmingham defence. The Moroccan was unfortunate to see a powerful free kick go just wide. The deep set piece - which looked more likely to be used as a cross - was struck by Sabiri and the swing on the ball took it past the post.
A few minutes after the free kick attempt, Sabiri was again involved. He collected a loose ball in the Birmingham box and was brought down. Unlike Birmingham’s goal in the first half, this time the referee did blow his whistle and pointed to the spot.
Daly stepped up in the 69th minute and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner giving Rihards Matrevics no chance; the equaliser was Daly’s first goal for the U23s.
Pressing for the winning goal, Mark Hudson made a double change with 15 minutes left to play. Micah Obiero and Jon Stanković departed, with Olly Dyson and Romoney Crichlow-Noble coming on in their place.
Town continued to probe at the Birmingham goal but with only a few minutes left on the clock, it was looking increasingly like the game was heading for a draw. As 90 minutes ticked over on the clock, Town would get the winner and secure all three points, as Abdelhamid Sabiri was in the right place at the right time to bundle home a cross from the left by Regan Booty.
On reflection, it was a deserved comeback from Town who had looked a danger throughout. There was barely time to restart the game before the referee blew the final whistle to confirm the three points for Town with a 2-1 win.
Town’s Starting Line-Up:
Joel Coleman; Regan Booty, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Jon Stanković (Romoney Chrichlow-Noble, 75’), Jordan Williams; Matty Daly, Dean Whitehead; Dom Tear, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Lewis O’Brien (c); Micah Obiero (Olly Dyson, 75’)
Luke Mewitt, Scott High, Mason O’Malley