Leonard and Loftus score in defeat
Huddersfield Town’s Under-21s returned to action on Monday afternoon falling to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Derby at Canalside Sports Complex.
Two second half goals from Derby sealed the victory despite Connor Loftus’ late striker. American striker Conor Doyle put them ahead before Max Leonard equalised for the Terriers after they had missed a host of chances.
With Steve Eyre on first team duty, Academy coaches Tony Carss and Frankie Bunn took charge for the Terriers and saw their side dominate the open exchanges. Leonard had Town’s first chance of the game after good play from Godwin Abadaki before the striker then missed two guilt edge chances. On both occasions Saul Deeney in the Derby goal did well to deny the on loan Rochdale striker.
The visitors made Town pay for their misses and took the lead on 19 minutes when Doyle converted at the near post following good Derby play down the wing.
Derby’s opener didn’t knock Town’s confidence and they continued to knock the ball around with Oscar Gobern pulling the strings as he continued his recovery from ankle surgery. The Terriers got their reward six minutes from the interval when Leonard fired home from the edge of the area.
Abadaki had one more chance before the half-time whistle, but he again fired at Deeney from a narrow angle.
Playing in to what was now a very strong head wind, the Terriers struggled to dominate at the start of the second half and although Derby’s second goal came through strange circumstances, they deserved to go ahead. Keiran Freeman scored the goal, curling his corner over Lloyd Allinson and in to the back of Town’s net.
Abadaki had another chance to grab a goal just after the hour mark and although he got the better of Deeney this time, he failed to hit the back of the net after rounding the ‘keeper.
Tom Clarke – playing on his return from injury – headed over Tom Smith’s cross before Derby made it three with just five minutes to play when substitute Jamie Hanson smashed home a fearsome shot from twenty yards.
Town replied late on when Loftus converted Dale Hopson’s neat reverse pass, but the goal proved to be the Terriers’ last shot on goal.
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Lloyd Allinson; Robbie McIntrye, Murray Wallace (James Burke, 46), Tom Clarke, Tom Smith; Dale Hopson, Matt Crooks, Oscar Gobern (Connor Loftus, 76), Scott Kay; Max Leonard, Godwin Abadaki
Nick Colgan, Jake Charles, Israel Johnson