Young Terriers progress to the PDL2 Play-Off Final- Town Under-21s progress to PDL2 Play-Off Final
- Terriers defeat Millwall in the semi-final at PPG Canalside
- Regan Booty and Danny Kane score the goals
Goals from Captain Regan Booty and Danny Kane saw Huddersfield Town’s Under-21s progress to the Professional Development League 2 Play-Off Final with victory over Millwall at PPG Canalside.
A very young side featuring five Under-18s and two Under-16 players emerged victorious over the visiting Lions in the semi-final, scoring two first-half goals without reply.
Frankie Bunn’s side will now play northern division runners-up Sheffield United in the PDL2 Final, who defeated Charlton Athletic in the other semi-final. The Blades have home advantage, with the exact venue and date to be confirmed.
Jacob Hanson made a welcome return to the side for the semi-final after a recent hamstring problem, but striker Flo Bojaj was ruled out with a hip issue.
The Terriers played with the strong wind on their backs in the first half and were in control throughout the opening 45 minutes.
Left back Jack Senior was first to test the opposition goalkeeper with a low right footed shot inside the 10th minute before Jack Boyle had a goal-bound shot well blocked by a defender, but the Terriers had to be alert as striker Jamie Philpot dragged a warning shot wide just before the 23rd minute.
It was the familiar route of a set piece that gave Bunn’s side the lead just inside the half hour. A deep corner delivered from the right found its way to Wales Under-21 international Jake Charles and his layback allowed midfielder Booty to stride onto the ball and curl a beauty past goalkeeper Harry Girling from the edge of the box.
The second goal followed 10 minutes later from another corner as Booty’s powerful, driven delivery evaded Girling, leaving centre back Danny Kane with the simple task of heading into the unguarded net.
The two goal lead was exactly what Town deserved after a good passing display in the opening 45, with Booty excellent in midfield and centre backs William Boyle and Kane dealing well with the physical threat of tall striker Alfie Pavey.
Town’s 16 year-old goalkeeper Ryan Schofield was a virtual spectator, but was in the right place to pull off a good close range reaction stop late on as Philpot turned a low cross towards goal.
The second half saw Town switch to face the strong, swirling wind and Millwall enjoyed more of the territory, pressing Town high up the pitch to prevent the defenders playing out. However, the Lions’ direct style of attack played into the home side’s hands, with 16 year-old right back Jordan Williams performing admirably.
At the other end, Bunn’s side showed good transition to break on several occasions. Jack Boyle stung the goalkeeper’s palms after driving in from the right in the 51st minute, whilst Charles’ low cross that would have given Hanson a tap-in was well cut oy centre back Rian Bray.
Millwall’s best spell of pressure came around the 70 minute mark, with winger Joseph Otudeko driving just over from 25 yards out before left back Jack Senior cleared a header off his line at the near post.
Schofield’s only save of note in the entire half came in the 82nd minute, when the young stopper got down well to his left side to push a powerful shot from winger Kris Twardek around the near post.
Highlights of today’s win will appear on HTTV on Wednesday.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Ryan Schofield; Jack Senior, William Boyle, Danny Kane, Jordan Williams; Lewis O’Brien, Regan Booty (c); Jake Charles, Jack Boyle, Jacob Hanson; Rekeil Pyke
Owen Brooke, Joe Wilkinson, Fraser Horsfall, Ronan Coughlan, Cedwyn Scott
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