Pyke scores, but Town lose semi-final
Huddersfield Town’s Under-18 side were defeated at the Professional Development League 2 Play-Off semi-final stage at the hands of Brentford at the John Smith’s Stadium this afternoon.
Despite taking the lead late in the first-half through top scorer Rekeil Pyke’s 11th of the season, the Bees fought back and will now progress to meet Charlton Athletic in the final thanks to goals from Seth Owens and Bradley Clayton.
It was a disappointing end to a good season for Tony Carss’ team, who have still been crowned the Professional Development League 2 North Champions for a second successive season.
Throughout the game Brentford looked comfortable in possession, much like their First Team counterparts, but the Terriers worked opposing goalkeeper Nik Tzanev more throughout the game. The first chance came inside the third minute, where Jack Boyle worked the custodian with a long range shot.
At the other end Brentford’s best chance of the half came through a Town error. Skipper Regan Booty gifted possession to Jeremiah Kamanzi and he found teammate Clayton, but his tame shot was easy pickings for goalkeeper Tadhg Ryan.
Town left back Jack Senior soon did brilliantly to deny Khanye Makhosini a clear shot at goal with a necessary last ditch tackle.
The Town goal came in the 43rd minute – and Boyle was at the heart of it. His fierce shot from 20 yards was too hot for goalkeeper Nik Tzanev to handle and the rebound fell to Pyke, who shrugged off a defender before smashing the ball home.
The Bees came out of the blocks well in the second half and equalised inside seven minutes. Booty conceded a free-kick right on the edge of his own box and when Zain Westbrooke fired the ball goalwards Ryan couldn’t collect, allowing left back Owens to pounce on the rebound.
Brentford sub Courtney Austin wasted a great chance to put his side ahead only moments after coming on before Boyle shot wide from a set piece routine moments later, but the away side scored what was ultimately the winning goal in the 65th minute.
A ball into the centre of the pitch tempted centre back Fraser Horsfall out of position and Brentford intelligently played a pass into the space for striker Clayton to run onto, with the forward finishing excellently into the far corner.
Town tried valiantly to get back into the game, with Booty curling a free-kick inches wide of target after Boyle had been clipped by Owens.
The two better chances came in the closing moments of the game. Substitute Ronan Coughlan’s lob landed on the top of the net after he had been put clear before the Irishman found Boyle moments later with a pass into the area, only for his shot to land straight in ‘keeper Tzanev’s hands.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Tadhg Ryan; Jack Senior, Danny Kane, Fraser Horsfall, Jacob Hanson (Nathaniel Pells, 46); Regan Booty (c), Jamie Spencer; Callum Charlton (Ronan Coughlan, 60), Jack Boyle, Liam Coogans (Adam Porritt, 66); Rekeil Pyke
Sam Guthrie, Dylan Cogill