Development Squad out of the Final Third Cup
Town’s Development Squad was eliminated from the Final Third Development League Cup on Tuesday afternoon following a defeat at home to Derby County.
In truth the score-line was harsh on Frankie Bunn’s side and didn’t tell the whole story of the game, but the Rams had a bit of extra quality in important areas – thanks in no small part to the experience within their side.
The young Terriers hit the woodwork on three separate occasions throughout the 90 minutes, but couldn’t get past Derby goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell to find a way back into the game.
County started the game well and forced Town stopper Lloyd Allinson into two good saves within the opening 10 minutes, but Town fought back into the game and struck the post in the 11th minute when Jake Charles worked a set-piece routine back to Duane Holmes on the edge of the box, whose sweetly struck 20 yard shot was only inches away from giving his side the lead.
Derby did take the lead just after the 20 minute mark when right back Isak Ssewankambo, recently signed from Chelsea, drove infield and advanced impressively to the edge of the penalty area before slipping a clever reverse pass to striker Alban Bunjaku, who finished past Allinson.
The deficit could have been more just four minutes later when Bunjaku got goal side of the Town defence and was bundled over by Anthony Gerrard, but Allinson came to the rescue – flinging himself to the right to push away Ivan Calero’s effort from 12 yards out.
Frankie Bunn switched his team’s shape to 4-4-2 at this stage in an attempt to get back into the game and Charles did test the goalkeeper with an effort after cutting in from the right onto his preferred left foot.
Derby winger Shaquille McDonald’s 35th minute header was correctly ruled out for offside by the Assistant Referee before Town went back on the attack; Matt Crooks’ speculative volley following a poor clearance from the goalkeeper being saved.
Town continued to press after the interval, with Charles hitting a weak shot at the goalkeeper when well placed, but Calero was a constant threat at the other end and Allinson had to smartly parry his near post effort away in the 53rd minute.
Derby did double their advantage barely a minute later when striker Mason Bennett sent in a low cross from the left, with McDonald getting just in front of Town skipper William Boyle to cleverly flick the ball inside the far post.
Duane Holmes took the fight to the visitors, setting up striker Flo Bojaj in the area for a left-footed snapshot that was well saved. Bojaj then turned provider, finding substitute Regan Booty’s driving run; goalkeeper Mitchell’s save from his low drive was even more impressive than the last.
Impressive Norwegian midfielder Tronstad then clipped the top of the crossbar with a 67th minute volley before substitute Daniel Carr’s header from Booty’s near post free-kick produced another good stop from the goalkeeper.
Mason Bennett and Ivan Calero both missed the target on counter-attacks before Holmes drove to the by-line and stood up a back post cross for Booty, who planted a header against the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
Ivan Calero then settled the tie with two minutes to go, showing great feet to sidestep two defenders and take the ball around the sprawling Allinson before placing his side-footed effort into the vacant net.
Lloyd Allinson, Joe Wilkinson, William Boyle (c), Sondre Tronstad, Anthony Gerrard (Nathaniel Pells, 55), Joe Wright, Duane Holmes, Matt Crooks, Jake Charles (Regan Booty, 62), Flo Bojaj (Daniel Carr, 75), Philip Billing
Ed Wilczynski, Ben Holmes