Lynch lashes home winner
Joel Lynch ensured that Town’s Under-21s finished the regular season on a high by firing home a late winner against Leeds on Monday afternoon.
The defender controlled superbly before firing past Leeds’ stopper to book Town their place in the Professional Development 2 Play-Off. The Terriers will travel to Charlton (date to be confirmed) to contest for a place in the final against either Leicester or Cardiff City.
Town knew that only a seven goal or more defeat would prevent them qualifying for the Play-Offs and produced a superb professional performance to see off a strong Leeds outfit.
The Whites had First Team players Ryan Hall and Aidy White amongst their starters and dominated for large parts of the game, but found Town’s veteran stopper Nick Colgan in inspired form.
With ten minutes played the Irishman made a superb rebound stop after failing to gather a corner before parrying away Ryan Hall’s viciously struck free-kick just a few minutes later.
Colgan was alert again in the 20th minute to deny Hall once more before Dominic Poleon shot wide for the hosts after skipping past Tommy Smith.
Town’s only real opening of the first 45 came courtesy of Jordan Sinnott and Matt Crooks with the latter squaring for debutant Ben Atkinson whose scuffed effort was dealt with easily.
Playing down the slight slope at Thorp Arch in the second half, the Terriers looked more of a threat, but had to be alert at the back as substitute Joe Wilkinson was in the 56th minute to deny White.
With twenty minutes remaining, Town had the ball in the net courtesy of Crooks, but the midfielder was deemed offside from Sinnott’s volleyed through ball.
Town’s attacking threat was continuing to grow and they should have opened the scoring in the 79th minute when substitute Jake Charles’ slide rule pass freed Godwin Abadaki into space, but the striker fired over from 12 yards.
A goal was coming, though, and with less than a minute more played Lynch gathered McIntrye’s header and volleyed low into the far corner.
Town saw out a couple more scares in the final ten minutes and held on to secure second spot.
Town’s team (4-4-1-1):
Nick Colgan; Robbie McIntrye, Joel Lynch, Tom Smith, Israel Johnson (Joe Wikinson, 22); Mickey Starkey (Will Boyle, 86), Dale Hopson, Jordan Sinnott, Ben Atkinson (Jake Charles, 54); Matt Crooks; Godwin Abadaki