Away win keeps chase for second alive
Town’s Under-18 side secured a superb 3-2 win at Derby County on Saturday morning to keep their hunt for second place in the Professional Development League 2 alive.
Jake Charles (pictured), Duane Holmes and Ryan Cox scored the goals in a superb victory – the Under-18’s fourth win in five games.
Town went 1-0 down in the game in the early stages, but hit back immediately through winger Jake Charles’ fourth goal of the season. The move started from goalkeeper Ed Wilczynski, with midfielder Duane Holmes eventually finding George Conway on the left. The midfielder threaded a pass through to the first year scholar and Charles made no mistake in slotting past the goalkeeper on his supposedly weaker right foot.
Derby scored again to make it 2-1 before Wilczynski came to Town’s rescue, saving a penalty that would have put the Rams two goals ahead in the first half.
The young Terriers capitalised in the 35th minute when top scorer Holmes netted his 15th of the campaign – firing home after a Town free kick caused a frantic melee in the penalty area.
Professional Development Coaches Frankie Bunn and Tony Carss brought on defender Joe Wilkinson and Paul Mullin at half-time – both had been benched after playing for Town’s U21 side two days earlier – and took control in the second half, netting the eventual winner with 25 minutes to go. Conway was the architect once again, crossing from the left for substitute Ryan Cox to head home neatly at the far post.
Unfortunately midfielder Holmes was also given his first red card of the season in the second half.
Professional Development Coach Bunn told htafc.com:
“It was a great result, although it wasn’t a pretty game – it was ‘rough and tumble’ and a bit sluggish, particularly at the start.
“We got hold of ourselves and did really well in the second-half against a really strong wind, putting our bodies on the line.
“The team was young; we had Under-16 Bradley Carroll playing out of position at left back, Frazer Horsfall at centre back and Under-15 striker Rekeil Pyke leading the line. It’s all good experience for them for when they go full time.”
Town can still finish second in the Professional Development League 2 if they win their final game at home to Sheffield Wednesday next weekend, although they need a midweek result to go their way.
“It’s out of our hands now, but we are still in with a shout after winning four of the last five games on the back of a good FA Youth Cup run. It’s been a very good season for us.”
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Ed Wilczynski; Bradley Carroll, William Boyle, Fraser Horsfall (Joe Wilkinson 46), Thomas Briggs; Danny Morton (Paul Mullin 46), Duane Holmes; George Conway, Kedesh Goddard (c), Jake Charles; Rekeil Pyke (Ryan Cox 60)
Sam Guthrie, Ben Holmes