Late equaliser seals point in six-goal thriller
Town’s under-18 side showed fantastic character to maintain its unbeaten start to the season against Derby County on Saturday morning.
The young Terriers survived two Derby penalties and a sending-off to draw 3-3 at Canalside Sports Complex in front of a healthy crowd on the canal pitches – which included County’s First Team Manager Nigel Clough.
Town started the game brightly and midfielder Duane Holmes hit the post in the opening stages from a George Conway corner, but despite this the Rams soon scored the first goal of the game via their own set piece.
Frankie Bunn and Tony Carss’ side kept plugging away and restored parity in the scoreline with just over five minutes of the half remaining in spectacular fashion. Duane Holmes’ long range piledriver was the pick of the goals on the afternoon and maintained his record of scoring in every competitive game so far this season.
There was still enough time left in the first half for Derby to be awarded a penalty when defender Tom Briggs tripped the visitors’ winger upon the restart. However, the penalty taker hit the crossbar with his effort before the ball was cleared to safety.
Town punished that error just two minutes into the second period when trialist striker Paul Mullin netted his first competitive goal for the Terriers to make it 2-1 to the hosts – with the bounce of the ball deceiving the Derby goalkeeper slightly.
The hosts looked to turn the screw at that point and Mullin, midfielder Kedesh Goddard and Conway all had shots at goal before centre back William Boyle hit the bar with a header from a corner.
Unfortunately Derby responded and a striker converted a cross to make it 2-2.
The momentum then changed in Derby’s favour, who soon won another penalty - with defender Boyle receiving a red card. This time they scored, converting the follow-up after a superb initial save from Town ‘keeper Ed Wilczynski.
That goal left Town with five minutes to get an equaliser – and they did through first year defender Joe Wilkinson, who emerged from the bench to net his first goal for the under-18 side.
Town’s team vs. Derby County (4-3-3):
Ed Wilczynski; Michael Starkey, Joe Wright (c), William Boyle, Tom Briggs; Ben Holmes (Joe Wilkinson 80), Kedesh Goddard, Duane Holmes; George Conway, Paul Mullin, Jake Charles
Unused subs: Jordan Porter, Sean Collins, Danny Morton