Young Terriers qualify for the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup
- Huddersfield Town B 2-0 Middlesbrough
- Goals from Kian Harratt and Charles Ondo
- B Team qualify for the knockout stage of the Premier League Cup
The Huddersfield Town B Team continued their excellent run in their 2022/23 Premier League Cup campaign with an action-packed 2-0 win at the John Smith’s Stadium over Middlesbrough on Friday afternoon!
Goals from Kian Harratt and Charles Ondo in the first half secured the Young Terriers' fourth group stage win and means that they qualified to the knockout stage of the competition with two games of the group stage left to play.
The first action of the game saw Aaron Rowe work well in defence to keep possession and he sent it down the right side of the pitch. However, not long after this, Rowe competed in a 50/50 challenge with Afonso Lindo, and this resulted in him going down with an injury and eventually being taken off for Michael Stone in the 13th minute.
A corner taken well by Boro found the head of Lindo in the box, but his effort went straight into the gloves of Nicholas Bilokapic. Our ‘keeper played the ball out fast to counter-attack and Town took it to the other end where Luke Daley received the ball in space, but his low cross into the box was blocked by the feet of the Middlesbrough ‘keeper Max Metcalfe.
Town’s first goal of the game came in the 25th minute from Harratt as he brought the ball down in the box and controlled it well to slot it past the ‘keeper into the bottom right corner after he was found in space by Daley’s deep cross.
Our youngsters showed great teamwork after a great ball from Tom Iorpenda found Donay O’Brien-Brady on the side of the box, who then sent a quick cross into the box as he aimed to find Harratt but this was blocked – Ernaldo Krasniqi headed the ball back into the Boro area but Harratt’s shot was wide.
Charles Ondo made it two for Town’s B Team after a poor kick-out by Metcalfe was intercepted by Neo Eccleston, who then drove the forward and passed the ball across the box. Ondo span with the ball and finished nicely into the far corner.
Middlesbrough had a great chance to get themselves back in the game in the final minute of injury time in the first half as they got a cross into the Town box, and although Bilokapic dealt with the initial threat on goal it meant that he had to come off his line and the visitors had a clear chance on goal, but this was cleared and defended well by David Adewoju to keep the clean sheet going into the final 45 minutes.
The second half started brightly for our Young Terriers as they came out with the same desire to keep possession and go forwards as they aimed to further increase their lead.
Only a few minutes into the restart, O’Brien-Brady had worked hard to keep hold of the ball, but Bilongo made a good tackle and tried to get his cross into the box, but this was denied due to an excellent block by Eccleston, and the ball went out for a Middlesbrough corner. The deep cross from the corner found the head of Bilongo within close range of the goal, but this was read well by Bilokapic and was saved comfortably.
The first great chance for our visitors came in the 62nd minute as Jeremy Sivi ran onto a cross-field pass and sent a strong cross into the box towards Calum Kavanagh, but after the great build up this was headed well wide.
Eccleston produced another brilliant block in the box quickly after this to prevent the strike from winger Ashley McCarthy.
The spell of shots from Middlesbrough continued and required a great save to made from our second ‘keeper as he got down low to his right and turned Kavanagh’s shot around the post.
Not satisfied with just the two goals, Ondo worked well and shrugged off a defender that was marking him before he sent the perfect cross onto the head of Harratt, but he was just too close to Metcalfe and his chance was turned away.
One of our second half substitutes, Sonny Whittingham, then sent the ball across the field to Daley, whose cross into the box was deflected out for a corner, which was taken by Stone. This corner found the head of Krasniqi, who was under pressure from two defenders and headed it over the bar.
The final chance for Town came through great effort shown from the team to get the ball up the field as they piled the pressure on, a good cross from Daley found the head of Eccleston at the back post, but this went just high and over the bar and Town qualify to the knockout stages with two group stage games left to play.
Town’s Team (4-2-3-1)
Nicholas Bilokapic; Neo Eccleston, Loick Ayina (c), David Adewoju, Luke Daley; Ernaldo Krasniqi, Tom Iorpenda (Sonny Whittingham, 74’); Aaron Rowe (Michael Stone, 13’), Donay O’Brien-Brady (Cian Philpott, 74’), Charles Ondo; Kian Harratt
Josh Mazfari, Shane Maroodza
Kian Harratt (25’), Charles Ondo (40’)