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22 July 2015

Flo Bojaj nets hat-trick in friendly win

- Huddersfield Town Under-21s win again
- Friendly win over local side AFC Emley
- Striker Flo Bojaj scores hat-trick

Striker Flo Bojaj was the star of the show as Town’s Under-21 side recorded a pre-season win over local side AFC Emley at the Welfare Ground on Wednesday evening.

The 19 year-old Albanian, a graduate of Town’s Academy, netted a hat-trick on the evening in a competitive game than the Terriers controlled more and more as the minutes passed, with second year Academy scholar Adam Porritt netting the fourth.

With many of the players having featured at Grimsby Town for the First Team on the previous evening, on top of the Academy scholars having played roles in the Under-18’s 4-3 win over Gateshead in the north east earlier on Wednesday, Senior Professional Development Coach Frankie Bunn constantly shuffled his pack during the 90 minutes.

Despite this, Town’s superior fitness and ability shone through as the game progressed after an opening 45 minutes that featured chances for both sides.

Bojaj led the line beautifully for Town throughout the night, retaining the ball high up the pitch for his team to good effect and seldom losing possession. It was Flo’s pass inside the right back that setup winger Jake Charles for the first chance of the game inside four minutes; his shot from a narrow angle was safely parried behind by the goalkeeper.

Under-18 midfielder Jamie Spencer then floated a ball over the defence for striker Liam Coogans, but the Scottish striker’s attempted lob drifted over.

Spencer then gifted possession to the hosts for their first shot on target in the 18th minute, with bustling striker Ash Flynn’s curling effort being parried away by Town custodian Ed Wilczynski.

Wilczynski had to be alert again five minutes later to keep out a low drive from one-time Town junior Alex Hallam, but Bojaj soon put his side ahead in the 28th minute. 

After collecting a pass just over 20 yards from goal, the forward span neatly onto his favoured left foot with one touch before firing a low drive past the goalkeeper’s left hand side and off the inside of the near post. Although it came in a friendly against Northern Counties League opposition – Emley plays eight tiers below Town’s First Team – the goal would have graced any stage.

Barely a minute later Wilczynski turned a rasping drive from the lively Flynn over his crossbar before winger Hallam side-stepped Joe Wilkinson and fired just wide of the far post; the hosts giving as good as they got at this stage.

Nevertheless, Bojaj doubled Town’s advantage two minutes before the interval. 16 year-old midfielder Lewis O’Brien was impressive during his hour on the field and it was his cute pass that put Bojaj in on goal. The ‘keeper could only slow down Flo’s low shot on its way to goal and the ball rolled over the line, despite a last-ditch effort from centre back Tom Brennan. 

Emley right winger Doran Jordan tested Wilczynski’s reflexes again five minutes after the interval with a stinging volley before Duane Holmes should have made it three in the 58th minute. The diminutive midfielder, by far and away the man with the most Football League experience on the pitch, broke past the defence courtesy of a typical burst and neat one-two with Bojaj, but then could only clip the top of the bar with a curler from 12 yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Emley looked to have made the game a contest again with 20 minutes to go when winger Jordan was left totally free from a cross at the back post and smashed the ball through Wilczynski, but Town quickly fought back and earned a penalty when Irishman Ronan Coughlan was felled in the box; Premier League referee Bobby Madley showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Up stepped man of the moment Bojaj to hammer the ball past the goalkeeper and into the roof of the net, completing a good hat-trick in the process.

From thereon in, Bunn’s side completely dominated the game and Town unsurprisingly made it 4-1 with seven minutes left. Coughlan found young midfielder Porritt with a pass into the left edge of the penalty area and Adam turned before firing the ball comprehensively across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

Town’s Under-21s face another non-league opponent in the next friendly – Brighouse Town next Tuesday.

Town’s team (4-4-2):
Ed Wilczynski; Dylan Cogill (Jack Senior, 34), William Boyle (c) (Jacob Hanson, 67), Joe Wilkinson (Dylan Cogill, 71), Danny Kane; Jake Charles (Lewis O’Brien, 34 (Adam Porritt, 73)), Ronan Coughlan, Jamie Spencer (Sondre Tronstad, 34), Jack Boyle (Duane Holmes, 34); Liam Coogans (Rekeil Pyke, 46), Flo Bojaj

Unused substitute:
Sam Guthrie

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