Development Squad’s run of form continues
Three goals in as many second-half minutes secured another win for Town’s Development Squad in the latest Professional Development League 2 game of the season at Cardiff City this evening.
First year Academy striker Rekeil Pyke led the way, celebrating his first start at Under-21 level with his first goals; a second-half brace that turned the tide in Town’s favour.
A first-half penalty had given hosts Cardiff the lead at the interval, but Pyke’s double – later added to by Joe Lolley – secured another win; the eighth in 10 games for Frankie Bunn’s side.
Town played two overage players in the game, with Adam Hammill making his second start as he continued his return to fitness alongside Lolley. Otherwise, only midfielders Duane Holmes and Philip Billing had any First Team experience.
Bunn was also without the services of Under-21 regulars Jordan Sinnott, Flo Bojaj and Ben Holmes through injury, hence starts for Academy scholars Pyke and defender Jacob Hanson.
The Terriers were bright in the early stages of the game, with big centre back Joe Wright hitting the crossbar with a towering header before midfielder Sondre Tronstad had a volley tipped onto the woodwork by home goalkeeper Charlie Horton.
Cardiff grew into the half and took the lead 10 minutes before the interval. Hanson brought down Macauley Southam to concede a penalty, which Wales Under-21 midfielder Tommy O’Sullivan converted.
However, it was all Town after the half-time break. Pyke opened his account in the 50th minute, heading home a free-kick, before the powerful teenage striker put Town in front barely two minutes later by seizing upon a handling error from the Cardiff ‘keeper.
It was three just a minute later when Hammill embarked on a superb forward run, with Lolley volleying home a rebound after the custodian had saved Adam’s initial effort.
Holmes almost made it four with just over 10 minutes to go after a good driving run from Lolley, but the Academy graduate’s shot was cleared off the line.
The win keeps Town’s Under-21s top of the Professional Development League 2 North table.
Town U21s vs Cardiff:
Lloyd Allinson; Jacob Hanson, William Boyle (c), Duane Holmes, Joe Wilkinson, Joe Wright, Sondre Tronstad, Philip Billing, Adam Hammill (Ben Atkinson, 88), Rekeil Pyke (Ronan Coughlan, 85), Joe Lolley (Regan Booty, 81)
Tadhg Ryan, Nathaniel Pells