Hanson and Holmes score in stalemate
- Town U21s draw 2-2 with Leeds United
- Jacob Hanson & Duane Holmes score for the Terriers
- Highlights on HTTV
Town’s Under-21 side came away from a typically competitive Yorkshire derby against Leeds United with a point after a 2-2 Professional Development League 2 draw at PPG Canalside on Monday afternoon.
Frankie Bunn’s young charges twice went ahead against a more experienced opponent, but Leeds twice managed to quickly peg back the Terriers to ensure a share of the spoils.
With regulars Philip Billing, Flo Bojaj and William Boyle all on First Team duty ahead of the midweek Sky Bet Championship game at MK Dons and the Irish duo of Ronan Coughlan and Danny Kane injured, Bunn handed starts to four Academy scholars. That quartet included Jamie Spencer for just a second competitive start at Under-21 level.
Bunn also fielded 20 year-old goalkeeper Luke Coddington, who is on trial from Middlesbrough. He is the grandson of legendary Town player John Coddington.
Leeds, whose team included 27 year old right back Gaetano Berardi and 23 year-old Danish midfielder Casper Sloth, shaded possession throughout the 90 minutes – but both sides created chances.
The first goal went Town’s way in the 24th minute and was an excellently built move, featuring a quick transition from defence to attack. When skipper Joe Wilkinson won a crunching tackle in the Town half, Duane Holmes sped away into the right channel and covered around 50 yards before slipping a pass right to striker Rekeil Pyke. The Under-18 striker looked up and crossed low to the near post, where right back Jacob Hanson had continued his overlap to expertly sweep the ball home.
Leeds’ first equaliser followed 10 minutes later as Irishman Eoghan Stokes’ third man run into the penalty area wasn’t picked up; he had time and space to steady himself after collecting a pass before thumping a powerful shot past Coddington.
Pyke had a superb chance to restore Town’s lead 10 minutes after the break. Midfielder Regan Booty’s fantastic first time pass found Holmes in space on the right and his cross was ideal for the striker, but he volleyed straight into goalkeeper Eric Grimes’ hands from barely six yards.
However, the Terriers didn’t have to wait long for their second. After an initial snapshot was blocked in the Leeds penalty area, Holmes fired a low effort – via a small deflection – into the bottom corner for his sixth of the season at Under-21 level.
Sadly for most of the sizeable crowd, the visitors took barely 90 seconds to draw level. Holmes allowed left back Tyler Denton to turn and he found Stokes, who sent another crisp drive from the right edge of the penalty area between Coddington and his near post.
Coddington did excellently just after the hour when Denton’s shot deflected away from his dive; he managed to deflect the ball into the air with an outstretched heel before bouncing to his feet to collect the rebound.
The Town custodian was called upon again in the 73rd minute, getting a strong hand to a powerful 20 yard drive to turn the ball onto the crossbar before the Town defence cleared to safety.
Town finished the game strongly and could have taken all three points when a golden chance fell to Jordy Hiwula. Substitute Lewis O’Brien put his teammate in on goal with an outstanding through pass, but Jordy hit the outside of the post with his first time effort as the goalkeeper narrowed the angle as well as he could.
Another Academy scholar, Jack Boyle, had the final chance of the game – forcing Grimes to turn his powerful drive around the near post.
Highlights of the game will appear on HTTV
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Luke Coddington; Jack Senior, Joe Wilkinson (c), Fraser Horsfall, Jacob Hanson; Regan Booty, Jamie Spencer (Jack Boyle, 59); Jake Charles (Lewis O’Brien, 75), Jordy Hiwula, Duane Holmes; Rekeil Pyke
Tadhg Ryan, Jordan Williams, Sam Warde