Lewis O'Brien scores his first U21 goal
- Under-21s win at Barnsley
- Academy scholar Lewis O'Brien nets only goal
- Highlights on HTTV
Huddersfield Town’s Under-21s beat Barnsley 1-0 in South Yorkshire on Tuesday afternoon thanks to a late second-half strike from first-year Academy scholar Lewis O’Brien.
The Terriers dominated the majority of the encounter but just as it looked to be fizzling out for a draw, O’Brien (pictured above) popped up inside the box to convert a left wing cross to hand the visitors all three points.
Senior Professional Development Coach Frankie Bunn made two changes to the side that beat Birmingham City at the John Smith’s Stadium last week as trialist Dominic Kurasik came in to play in goal – an Australian from Stoke City – whilst Danny Kane replaced Regan Booty in midfield.
Barnsley named experienced defender Lewin Nyatanga in their back four, as the Wales international makes his way back from injury to help towards the First Team’s Play-Off push.
Town got off to a good, fast-paced start and had the first opportunity of the contest when Jack Senior strode forward from left-back, but his shot was well saved by Tykes’ goalkeeper Nick Townsend.
And Bunn’s men continued in an energetic fashion, putting the tackles in and showing they were up for the battle. Winger Jake Charles was next to go close but his effort dragged just wide of the post.
Soon after, Kane burst forward from the middle of midfield to rifle goal-bound which Townsend was even to, although Barnsley grew into the encounter a little and their trialist Rod Young nearly notched, but it evaded the post by a small margin.
Jacob Hanson came close to following in Senior’s footsteps as they both looked purposeful coming forward from the backline, but Town’s frustrations continued as his shot whizzed past the woodwork.
Charles was heavily involved in the first half, and he was superbly aware to turn predatorily inside the box and get a shot away which was deflected clear of danger.
There would be controversial drama that would take place with half-time approaching; Australian trialist Kurasik made a spectacular finger-tip save from Nyatanga’s header and although the hosts argued that it went across the line when it bounced off the crossbar, the referee thought otherwise.
The second period took a bit of time to get going, and Jamie Spencer had the first potshot after 15 minutes of the half which fell inches wide of the mark.
And Town were continually annoyed in their search of an opener, with Charles going close with a distanced volley.
The Terriers were more urgent in their play, and Rekeil Pyke’s work up front was a key contributor in their good attacking play, as he ran the channels and bustled his way past defenders in an attempt to move his side up the field.
Charles and Ronan Coughlan could’ve found the opening goal of the match late on, but it was left to O’Brien to steal the headlines with a fantastic finish.
The scholar, making only his second start for the Under-21s after impressing in last week’s victory over Birmingham, made a smart run into the box which was found by Senior; he took it confidently under pressure and stuck it into the corner and subsequently wheeled away in delight.
Bunn’s side defended like warriors towards the end, with Fraser Horsfall and Joe Wilkinson staying strong to clear any danger to ensure a fourth win in five games.
Highlights from the game, along with reaction from Frankie Bunn, will appear on HTTV
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Dominic Kurasik; Jack Senior, Joe Wilkinson (c), Fraser Horsfall, Jacob Hanson; Danny Kane, Jamie Spencer; Jake Charles, Ronan Coughlan, Lewis O’Brien; Rekeil Pyke
Ryan Schofield Jack Boyle, Callum Charlton, Sam Warde