Charles nets winner to secure Sixth Round spot
Huddersfield Town’s Under-18s produced a superb performance to defeat Manchester United 2-1 and progress into the Quarter Finals of the FA Youth Cup.
Ben Atkinson got Town on their way with a 14th minute opener and after James Wilson had pegged Town back, Jake Charles netted the winner from the penalty spot.
The margin could have been greater with Town wasting a number of good openings in the second half, but they proved to be irrelevant and now the Terriers will play either Manchester City of Fulham away in the next round.
United’s Nick Ioannou had the first sight of goal just five minutes into the Fifth Round tie at the John Smith’s Stadium, but the central defender was unable to connect with a curling cross.
Town were slow out of the blocks in fairness, as United controlled the play during the opening exchanges.
Jake Charles sparked life into Town with a direct run down the wing though, before the Terriers made their mark on the scoreboard. Flo Bojaj’s through ball was deflected neatly into the path of Ben Atkinson, who had stolen in behind United’s defence, and finished with aplomb from eight yards.
Andreas Periera looked the visitors’ liveliest player up top and shot wide on 17 minutes as he tried to level matters.
It was almost two though a few minutes later when Ben Holmes hit a snapshot from the area, which was parried unconvincingly to safety by Joel Periera in United’s goal.
Atkinson spurned a chance to grab a second when he was played clear after good work from Bojaj and Kedesh Goddard, but he saw his shot smothered by the onrushing Periera.
Town’s narrow advantage lasted until the 26th minute before United Captain James Wilson brought equilibrium to the tie. The Terriers didn’t do enough in midfield to prevent a long ball being played and Wilson did well to beat William Boyle to the ball before slotting past Sam Guthrie.
The young Terriers continued to play their football though, and earned their reward five minutes from the interval. Charles was first to react to Ben Holmes’ chipped ball and was ready to pull the trigger only to be hauled back by United’s Ben Barber.
The attacker shouldered the responsibility and confidently struck the ball over Periera to give Town a half time lead.
Charles’ penalty spot success was his 13th goal of the season, and he went in search of his 14th nine minutes into the second half with a dipping volley that Periera dealt with at the second attempt.
Town continued to carry the intent and on the hour mark spurned an excellent opening to create a two goal cushion. Goddard worked hard to fashion the opportunity, but shot straight at Periera from 12 yards when maybe the square ball was the better option.
United’s threat had dropped since Town’s second, but with the highly rated Wilson amongst their ranks they were a danger on the counter.
In the 71st minute he got the better of Boyle again from a long ball and drove past Joe Wilkinson into the box, only to be denied by the feet of Guthrie.
The best chances were still falling to Town though, and with ten minutes to go Charles sliced wide from ten yards. It was a flowing move from the Terriers which saw the ball switch from left to right before Kane found Charles, only for the attacker to slice wide.
Charles wasted another chance a minute later when he shot wide from the edge of the area after excellent hold up play from Bojaj.
The Terriers looked out on their feet during the final five minutes, but they held firm to record a fantastic win.
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Sam Guthrie; Brad Carroll, Joe Wilkinson (c), William Boyle, Danny Kane; Kedesh Goddard, Philip Billing, Ben Atkinson, Ben Holmes (Regan Booty, 50); Jake Charles, Flo Bojaj (Rekeil Pyke, 87)
Aaron Ramsdale, Nathaniel Pells, Jack Boyle