U21s win on penalties to progress into semi-finals
- Town U21s beat visitors Charlton on penalties
- Duane Holmes equalised for Town as game finished 1-1
- Terriers progress into the semi-finals of the U21 Premier League Cup
Town’s Under-21 side progressed into the semi-finals of the Premier League Cup after keeping their nerve in a penalty shoot-out against Charlton Athletic.
Frankie Bunn’s side went behind early on after a tap in from Josh Umerah. They replied shortly after through a Duane Holmes penalty, after which both sides could have won a game that finished 1-1 before holding their nerve to win in a penalty shoot-out.
A good start from the visitors put Frankie Bunn’s side on the back foot early on and it only took them seven minutes to take the lead.
The ball fell to Anfernee Dijksteel 20 yards out and although his low drive was tipped onto the post by Tadhg Ryan, the ball fell to Josh Umerah who tapped into an empty net to give the Addicks’ youngsters the lead.
However, the visitors didn’t have the lead for long. Just five minutes later Duane Holmes bagged his fifth goal of the season from the spot. Right back Jacob Hanson was brought down by a Charlton defender after making a darting run into the box, before Holmes sent the ’keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Town began to dominate possession and test Charlton goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov. After playing a superb one-two with Jordy Hiwula, Flo Bojaj drew a good save out of the ‘keeper before Mitov stopped a well work effort from Ronan Coughlan.
Another chance fell to Hiwula mid-way through the first half. A beautiful searching pass from Regan Booty found Jack Senior on the left. He picked out Jordi Hiwula in the area whose miss-timed volley skewed over the ball.
After 37 minutes Town fans thought the youngsters had taken the lead. Another ball from Booty found Senior; he sliced his cross towards goal but it went straight into the side netting.
Charlton had the final chance of an exciting first half. A cross from left back Archie Edwards picked out Brendon Hanlan, but the attacker rose too early and couldn’t direct his header towards goal.
Straight after the break Town almost took the lead. Jake Charles played the ball across the area to Jack Senior but his shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Town continued to create the best chances and next Booty drove forwards before playing in Senior down the left. He whipped over a low cross to Hiwula whose shot was excellently saved.
Chances then fell to Frankie Bunn’s side in quick succession. Holmes struck the post with a curling effort before Hiwula dragged a shot wide after a wonderful run by Coughlan.
Town continued to press and drew another brilliant save out of Mitov. Booty played the ball to Senior 25 yards out who arrowed a shot towards the top corner which was tipped over by the Charlton youngster.
With the match all square after 90 minutes it went into extra time at the John Smith’s Stadium.
A very open first half of extra time saw chances for both sides. Town’s best chance of the half fell to Flo Bojaj; he was played behind the Charlton defence but couldn’t squeeze his slot past the on rushing goalkeeper.
However, it was Charlton who should’ve taken the lead through Josh Umerah. The striker turned William Boyle and drove into the box but was denied after a fine save by Tadgh Ryan.
The visitor’s striker was involved in the first chance of extra time; he ran behind the Town defence but a last ditch tackle from the chasing Jacob Hanson deflected the ball past the post.
More golden chances fell Charlton’s way. Hanlan dazzled William Boyle but sliced his shot wide from the edge of the area, before a fantastic save by Tadhg Ryan denied another Charlton substitute George Lapslie. The midfielder’s shot was deflected and Ryan stood up well to deny him.
With seconds left Frankie’s Bunn side should’ve won it. Hiwula dummied a ball through by Booty to Bojaj. The Under-21s top scorer went one-on-one with the Addicks ‘keeper but his shot was smartly saved.
The quarter-final of the U21 Premier League Cup finished 1-1 and went to penalties.
Five perfect penalties from Town helped them progress into the semi-finals of the Premier League Cup.
Charlton’s right back Erzi Konsa blazed his effort over the bar leaving Regan Booty to score the winner. The young midfielder stepped up and picked out the top corner to earn Frankie Bunn’s side the win.
The semi-final draw has not yet been made; keep checking htafc.com for full details.
Highlights from this game will appear on HTTV
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Tadhg Ryan; Jack Senior, William Boyle (c), Danny Kane, Jacob Hanson; Regan Booty, Duane Holmes; Jake Charles (Jack Boyle 74’), Jordy Hiwula, Ronan Coughlan (Jamie Spencer 99’); Flo Bojaj.
Sam Guthrie, Jordan Williams, Fraser Horsfall