Great performance brings 10th straight victory
- Coughlan & own goal seal victory over Bolton
- 10th straight win for Town Under-21s
- Highlights on HTTV
With new Head Coach David Wagner watching from the stands, it was fitting that a bit of Gegenpressing that helped seal a tenth straight win for Town’s Under-21 side over Bolton Wanderers at the John Smith’s Stadium this afternoon.
Having lost the ball high up the pitch, it was good reaction pressing from Duane Holmes that led to the first goal of the game for Ronan Coughlan and despite an early second half equaliser, the young Terriers deserved their win, sealed by an own goal.
That form of a high pressing game has been deployed by Town’s Under-21s for a few seasons now and will have pleased the likes of Wagner and Christophe Buehler in the stands.
Wanderers presented Town with arguably the toughest test of the 10 game streak and the young Terriers showed great composure and character to respond after the visitors pulled level.
Whereas Bunn didn’t field any overage outfielders once again, the visitors played former Real Madrid defender Derik – who was sent off in the equivalent First Team game earlier this term – 29 year-old ex-Cagliari defender Francesco Pisano and 25 year old Man City loanee Luke Brattan.
Bolton started the game well and put Town on the back foot for the opening 15 minutes, but Bunn’s side still had the best chances on the break. Rekeil Pyke headed a half chance over after a good cross on the left from Jack Senior before Jacob Hanson, impressing once again as a centre half, had a good shot blocked from a corner.
Hanson enjoyed a good battle in the first 45 minutes with powerful, pacey Wanderers striker Kaiyne Woolery; one that he came out well from.
First year professional goalkeeper Tadhg Ryan saw his first action of the game in the 18th minute when he held Brattan’s long range effort well and three minutes later, Wanderers’ Jamie Thomas curled a 20 yard free kick over the bar.
Town responded, with another good cross from Senior being headed just wide by striker Flo Bojaj.
On the stroke of the half hour, the impressive Duane Holmes almost scored a ‘Goal of the Season’ contender. Picking up the ball in the centre circle, he dribbled through the midfield and defence to enter the area but placed his drive too close to the goalkeeper.
However, Holmes did play a role in the opener 10 minutes later. After losing the ball on the edge of the box, Duane reacted well to win it back and quickly flashed it across the area. Coughlan – playing as a number 10 again – picked it up and looked to take too long over releasing his shot, but showed good feet to wriggle free of the defenders before poking a shot home for his third of the season.
That goal boosted the young Irishman and barely two minutes later the forward fired a useful drive just past the far post from range.
Just four minutes into the second half, Bolton equalised through the lively Woolery. The former Tamworth striker collected a ball into the channel and stepped inside Town Captain Joe Wilkinson before firing powerfully between Ryan and the near post on his left foot.
The striker almost got a quick-fire second after breaking when a Town short corner went wrong, but the covering Senior forced him wide and that allowed Ryan to narrow the angle and block his eventual shot.
Ben Holmes and Bolton’s Thomas traded long shots, but the Terriers gained control of possession once again and scored a well worked second in the 67th minute. Duane found Coughlan with a pass into the edge of the area and Ronan’s first time flick was perfect for Regan Booty to stride into the area with. His low cross was destined for Pyke’s boot, but instead visiting centre back Alex Finney turned the ball past his own goalkeeper in a last ditch attempt to clear.
Thomas turned a snapshot wide of the near post in reply before the same player forced a flying save from Ryan with a curling effort, but Town also had further chances; subs Jack Boyle and Jake Charles, fresh from Wales U21 duty, combining well, with the latter hitting the base of the far post.
Bolton’s best chance to equalise came right at the death as the ball dropped to the dangerous Woolery, but he blazed his half volley high and wide of target when invitingly positioned in the area.
Highlights of the game will appear on HTTV
Town’s team (4-4-2 diamond):
Tadhg Ryan; Jack Senior, Joe Wilkinson (c), Jacob Hanson, Sondre Tronstad; Regan Booty, Duane Holmes (Jack Boyle, 72), Ben Holmes, Ronan Coughlan (Jamie Spencer, 90); Flo Bojaj (Jake Charles, 68), Rekeil Pyke
Sam Guthrie, Dylan Cogill
Duane Holmes (37)