Joe Wilkinson scores in victory at PPG Canalside
- Joe Wilkinson goal seals U21 win over Ipswich
- Trialist Leon Best plays 90 minutes for the Terriers
- Highlights on HTTV on Tuesday
Jamie Paterson, Kyle Dempsey and trialist Leon Best all played as Frankie Bunn’s Under-21 side recorded a 1-0 victory over visitors Ipswich Town in the Professional Development League 2 at PPG Canalside on Monday afternoon.
Captain Joe Wilkinson scored the only goal of the game just before the hour mark for the home side, which had the majority of possession throughout the game without finding consistent quality in the attacking third.
Under-21 top scorer Flo Bojaj had the best of the first half chances, but was unusually errant with his finishing. His first came as early as the sixth minute when Paterson collected a short corner and drove the ball across the face of goal; the striker couldn’t beat the goalkeeper from the edge of the six yard box.
Dempsey then cleverly turned past two defenders by the right hand corner flag and drove a low delivery across goal that managed to evade both Town strikers in the area.
At the other end, Ipswich’s major threat going forward was the physical power of former Stoke City striker James Alabi. His presence caused centre back Danny Kane to misjudge a bounce in the 10th minute, allowing Ipswich’s Cemal Ramadan to run clear of the defence. With the ball bouncing, he was unlucky to see his volley cannon back off the crossbar.
Normal service was resumed two minutes later when Duane Holmes’ pass sent Paterson into space, but the Nottingham Forest loanee was wasteful and blazed a shot high over the bar from 20 yards out.
Bojaj should have scored in the 19th minute after Dempsey picked him out with a fine cross to the back post, but his point-blank header was saved by goalkeeper Jonny Henly before the Academy graduate somehow turned the follow up onto the woodwork from almost on the line!
After the early flurry of chances, the game settled down. Holmes had a deflected shot loop wide of target, whilst at the other end Lloyd Allinson did just enough to block Sam Ford’s shot after initially hesitating to come and sweep up a through pass.
In the final minute of the half, Paterson forced the visiting goalkeeper to turn his snapshot from inside the area around his near post.
Ipswich’s most consistent spell of pressure came in the first few minutes after the restart, when Allinson produced a strong one-handed save to push Alabi’s powerful drive on the turn over the crossbar.
However, Town’s first proper chance of the half resulted in the only goal of the game in the 58th minute. Philip Billing, who was excellent in front of the back four in the second 45 minutes, marched to the left to take a long throw and when the ball was cleared back to him, he volleyed it towards the near post. Wilkinson was the most determined man in the box and he beat a defender to power a header past the goalkeeper from 12 yards out.
Left back Jack Senior hit the near post with an in-swinging corner intended for Billing soon after before trialist Best got his head to Paterson’s free-kick into the danger zone, only to be flagged offside.
The dangerous Alabi then diverted a header over the bar at the other end before forcing Allinson into another save with a powerful right-foot drive.
Duane Holmes soon hit a shot wide from the edge of the box after Senior pushed a wide free kick into his path before the Terriers hit the woodwork for a second time; substitute Jake Charles hitting the outside of the post from a very narrow angle after Paterson stood a cross up to the back post.
Lloyd Allinson made the final contribution of the game, springing from his line excellently to block a shot after a 91st minute scramble in his box to preserve his side’s lead.
Highlights from the game will appear on HTTV
Town’s team (4-4-2 diamond):
Lloyd Allinson; Jack Senior, Joe Wilkinson (c), Danny Kane, Jacob Hanson; Philip Billing, Duane Holmes, Kyle Dempsey, Jamie Paterson (Ronan Coughlan, 86); Flo Bojaj (Jake Charles, 65), Leon Best
Ed Wilczynski, Fraser Horsfall, Sondre Tronstad
Joe Wilkinson (47)