Senior, Bojaj & Kane secure 12th win
- Under-21s defeat Barnsley
- Jack Senior, Flo Bojaj & Danny Kane score
- 12th straight win for Huddersfield Town U21s
Town’s Under-21 side found a way to win against Barnsley in the final Professional Development League 2 North game of 2015 on Monday afternoon, extending its winning streak to 12 games in the process.
Frankie Bunn’s Development Squad didn’t perform to its very best on the blustery December afternoon at the John Smith’s Stadium and were pegged back twice by the Tykes, but in the end the goals from Jack Senior, Flo Bojaj and Danny Kane sealed yet another victory.
The first 45 minutes was played in appalling conditions, with Town playing against a swirling wind that had the rain driving into the players’ faces. In those conditions it took the young Terriers a full 15 minutes to find rhythm in their passing, but once they did they soon took the lead.
Left back Senior’s first goal of the Under-21 season came on the stroke of the 22nd minute; he received a pass from the impressive Ronan Coughlan and looked up on the left corner of the Barnsley box before delicately dinking a chip out of the reach of the visiting goalkeeper and inside the far post. Given the lack of teammate to aim for in the box, it was evident that Jack’s effort was deliberate.
However, the Tykes struck back within three minutes. Centre back Danny Kane was adjudged to have tripped visiting striker Harry White right on the edge of Town’s box, which allowed George Maris to step up and place his free kick around the wall and past the stationary Lloyd Allinson.
Both sides continued to try and pass the ball in the horrible weather and it was Town that created the next big chance of the game. Jacob Hanson’s pass into the right channel found Bojaj’s run and he passed the ball into the area for strike partner Rekeil Pyke, who had a low left footed drive saved at close range.
Another chance followed in quick fire fashion, but Ben Holmes – who took Duane Holmes’ place in the starting XI due to his recent back-to-back starts for the First Team – was denied by a great covering tackle from right back James Bree after initially breaking clear of the last defender.
The second goal came to give the Terriers a half time lead, with a set piece the route to success. Regan Booty's right sided in-swinging corner was headed home by Flo Bojaj, who shrugged off an opponent to plant his effort past the goalkeeper from around 10 yards out; it was the striker's sixth of the season in his 12th start.
Allinson held midfielder Brad Abbott’s long range effort in the final action of the first half, but Barnsley started the brighter of the two sides in the second 45 – creating three great chances from crosses.
The first saw Barnsley’s George Williams given too much time to deliver, but number 10 Jesse Devers directed an unmarked header onto the outside of Allinson’s right hand post.
Five minutes later, a Barnsley cross from their left side found big striker Harry White, but again he missed the target with Joe Wilkinson in close attendance. The two players clashed heads hard as the ball flew wide, leading to both being substituted. White emerged from the tunnel later with a lump over his eye, whilst Wilkinson subsequently required stitches for a cut on the back of his head.
Next up, Barnsley left back George Smith easily outpaced Sondre Tronstad on the outside before crossing towards Devers, who had to reach backwards to head a difficult chance wide.
Town responded and Kane should have scored in the 69th minute, but somehow placed a volley wide from barely eight yards out after the goalkeeper made a bit of a mess in saving a Regan Booty free kick.
The chances continued to flow, with Town right back Hanson covering excellently after Devers latched onto a pass into the box and looked to shoot past Allinson, but Barnsley did pull level in the 75th minute. Another cross managed to get past Town’s young right back and was spilled by goalkeeper Allinson into the path of substitute Callum Chippendale, who headed into the empty net.
With the winning streak in danger with 15 minutes left, Town stepped up a gear. Senior was denied a clear shot at goal by Williams’ last ditch tackle after working a one-two with Bojaj to break into the penalty area, but Town’s players weren’t to be denied.
The winner came nine minutes from time in similar circumstances to Barnsley’s second. Booty over-hit a wide free kick towards the goalkeeper, but the Barnsley man dropped the ball behind him – allowing Kane to bundle the ball rather awkwardly over the line from two yards out!
Highlights of the game will appear on HTTV
Town’s team (4-4-2 diamond):
Lloyd Allinson; Jack Senior, Joe Wilkinson (c) (Fraser Horsfall, 60), Danny Kane, Jacob Hanson; Regan Booty, Ben Holmes (Jake Charles, 77), Sondre Tronstad (Jack Boyle, 81), Ronan Coughlan; Flo Bojaj, Rekeil Pyke
Tadhg Ryan, Jamie Spencer