Loftus nets winner
Connor Loftus netted the winner as Town under-21s beat Barnsley at Canalside to complete the double over their county rivals.
In a tight and entertaining encounter Loftus’ goal – coming on 66 minutes – was the highlight of a good Town performance.
Town almost made the perfect start to the match when Godwin Abadaki raced onto Dale Hopson’s superb through pass before smashing the upright.
Despite the Terriers' good start, the visitors were countering well and found Lloyd Allinson in superb form on eleven minutes when he pushed away Danny Rose’s shot.
Abadaki sliced wide a few minutes later before Connor Loftus turned down a great opportunity to shoot and was eventually crowded out.
Academy graduate Israel Johnson was making his first start in a year following hip surgery and was getting forward well from right-back. On 24 minutes Lukas Lidakevicius produced a great save to deny the right-back who had got in behind the Tykes’ defence.
At the other end, Johnson had to be on guard at the back to deny Rose before Barnsley had a penalty shout turned down after the impressive Toni Silva had been challenged by Abadaki.
The Terriers enjoyed a decent spell of possession at the start of the second half, but struggled to break down Barnsley’s resolute defensive back line.
The first effort of note from either side came on the hour when Abadaki cut inside his marker before flashing an effort just wide of Barnsley’s goal.
Town’s territorial advantage eventually earned them the breakthrough when Loftus collected a rebound and after skilfully cutting inside two Barnsley defenders, he prodded the ball home into the far corner.
Tom Smith – who had earlier been booked for a professional foul on Rhys Oates – missed a brilliant chance to double Town’s lead moments later when he headed over from close range.
As the clock ticked down the Terriers began to retreat and had Allinson to thank for keeping them ahead. On two occasions in the dying moments, Silva found himself in behind the Terriers’ defence, but on both times he found Town’s stopper in inspired form.
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Lloyd Allinson; Robbie McIntyre, Tom Smith, Tom Clarke, Israel Johnson (Duane Holmes, 57); Matt Crooks, Dale Hopson, Jordan Sinnott, Max Leonard (Will Boyle, 79); Godwin Abadaki, Connor Loftus (Jake Charles, 88)