Kane grabs brace in first win of 2017/18
- Town's Under-23s defeat Crewe Alexandra
- Ireland U21 international Danny Kane grabs a brace
- Substitute Dom Tear caps off the win
Ireland Under-21 international Danny Kane (pictured) was the unlikely goal-scoring hero as Town’s U23 side recorded its first win of the 2017/18 Professional Development League 2 campaign at the expense of Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.
A young Town side, featuring three 16 year-olds in the starting line-up, bossed the game throughout, but had to recover from being a goal down at the interval to secure a well-deserved three points.
In the end, it was the central defender who put Town on the way, with one scrappy goal from a corner followed quickly by a finish that Town’s First Team strikers would have been proud of before substitute Dom Tear made sure with a third.
Senior Professional Development Coach Frankie Bunn’s team was young but included the relative experience of First Team custodian Joel Coleman between the sticks, who got a valuable 90 minutes under his belt at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Otherwise Bunn was without Development Squad players Tadhg Ryan (foot), Dylan Cogill (concussion), Jack Boyle (quad) and Cedwyn Scott (hamstring), which handed opportunities to the trio of 16 year-old first year scholars; right back Jordan Thomas, left back Mason O’Malley and attacker Micah Obiero, who made his Under-23 debut for the Club.
The game was marshalled by some of the more regular faces in Bunn’s line-up throughout. Kane and fellow centre back Rarmani Edmonds-Green looked comfortable, whilst captain Regan Booty was the deep-lying midfield playmaker. Higher up the pitch, Lewis O’Brien and striker Olly Dyson pulled the strings, with creativity and work-rate in equal measure.
Despite all that, Crewe took the lead inside 10 minutes. Town got the balance behind the ball wrong and when visiting centre back Oliver Harrison found teammate Harry Pickering with a pass, the Town press was broken. Pickering quickly found Charlie Kirk and he advanced into the area before unselfishly squaring for striker Lewis Reilly to fire into the vacant net, with Coleman stranded.
From thereon in, it was pretty much all Town – but Coleman was alert just before the interval, executing a superb double save at point-blank range to keep the deficit down to one.
Town had numerous attempts at goal, but two first-half chances really stood out. Midfielder Isaac Marriott set up the first in the 23rd minute, seizing upon a poor pass from Harrison and drawing in the defender before slipping a pass right to Dyson. The striker took one touch around 20 yards out before taking aim and firing towards the far post, missing the target by around two feet.
The other big chance of the half also fell to the industrious striker. O’Brien drove forward and found Olly with a pass into the box, but at full stretch the Academy prospect put his shot too close to ‘keeper David Richards, who reacted well.
Thankfully, Town levelled with the first big chance of the second 45. Right back Thomas won a corner after a superb pass from Marriott set him into space and Town used it well, with Booty finding O’Brien at the back post. The midfielder nodded the ball into the six-yard box and Kane forced the ball over the line at the second attempt.
That gave the young Irishman the taste for goal and after testing the ‘keeper with a decent 30-yard drive, O’Brien curled the rebound over.
Kane grabbed his second to give Town the lead in the 72nd minute – and it was worth the wait. Having played a smart one-two to advance with the ball to the edge of the Crewe box, the defender ignored the cries of O’Brien on his outside and instead sent a shot past the goalkeeper and just inside the near post in expert fashion.
Edmonds-Green nodded a stooping header wide of the far post five minutes later from a Booty free kick, but the Terriers confirmed the win with 11 minutes left with some trademark Gegenpressing. Sub Matty Daly recovered possession high up the pitch from right back Travis Johnson and squared to Dom Tear, who beat the ‘keeper from merely six yards out.
Bunn’s men saw the game out by keeping hold of the ball to secure a welcome three points.
Highlights of the game will appear on #HTTV this week.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Joel Coleman; Mason O’Malley, Danny Kane, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Jordan Thomas; Regan Booty (c), Isaac Marriott (Dom Tear, 76’); Lewis O’Brien, Micah Obiero (George Danaher, 82’), Luca Colville (Matty Daly, 71’); Olly Dyson
Luke Mewitt, Romoney Crichlow-Noble
Regan Booty (55’)