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SHEFFIELD UNITED U21 0 TOWN 1

4 February 2013

Crooks nets winner as the Terriers return to winning ways

Matt Crooks earned Town a hard fought win against Sheffield United’s Under-21’s on Monday afternoon, as the Terriers returned to winning ways in the U21 Professional Development League 2.

Crooks’ winner, coming in the 78th minute, was slightly harsh on United who had matched the Terriers in difficult conditions. It was, though, a well worked goal involving Oscar Gobern who laid the ball back for the midfielder to guide into the bottom right corner.

The Terriers were up against a European Cup winner in Greek Angelos Charisteas, who scored the winner for his country in the 2004 European Cup Final. The 32 year-old striker on the whole failed to make much of an impression for the Blades, but did have one shot of note in the first half, which Town stopper Ian Bennett dealt with easily.

Playing down slope and in gusty conditions, Town dominated possession in the first half, but struggled to break down a resolute Sheffield United defence. Chris Atkinson – on his return from injury – fired wide in the 9th minute before Oscar Gobern’s header clipped the cross bar from a corner.

At the other end, James Burke did well to recover and block Craig Lynch’s goal bound effort after the defender had earlier gifted United the ball. 

Town dominated the rest of the half, but failed to have anything to show for it at the interval. Their best chance fell to right-back Tommy Smith who hit the post from a narrow angle after connecting with Crooks’ deep cross.

With the wind in their backs United took control of possession during the opening stages of the second 45, but like Town failed to create any really openings. Their best chance fell to the lively Lynch who forced Bennett into a smart save low down. 

Unlike last time out when they were wasteful in front of goal, the Terriers made no mistake from their one and only chance of the half. Following a good period of sustained pressure, Gobern recycled the ball out wide before finding Crooks just inside the area, who finished astutely to put Town ahead.

United continued to throw bodies forward in the hope of earning an equaliser, but Town held firm to secure their first win of 2013.

Town’s team (4-4-2):

Ian Bennett; Robbie McIntyre, James Burke, Tom Clarke, Tom Smith; Matt Crooks, Jordan Sinnott (C), Oscar Gobern, Chris Atkinson (Dale Hopson, 68); Godwin Abadaki, Max Leonard (Connor Loftus, 78)

Unused substitutes:

Lloyd Allinson, Israel Johnson

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