Young Terriers victorious from battle in South Yorkshire
- Huddersfield Town Under-19s win at Rotherham United
- Hakeem Sandah puts side ahead with a brace
- Substitute Joseph Johnson hits the late winner
Town’s Under-19 side had to do the basics well to add to their attacking threat and come away with a 3-2 win at Rotherham United in the latest EFL Youth Alliance game of the season on Saturday morning.
A brace from midfielder Hakeem Sandah (pictured above), and a late winner from substitute Joseph Johnson, proved enough for George Danaher’s side, who had to rally after losing a two-goal lead in South Yorkshire.
The game started very well for the Young Terriers, who scored the opening goal inside two minutes without Rotherham properly getting hold of the ball once. A patient passing move, which saw the ball switch from left to right and back again on several occasions, gathered pace when captain Tom Iorpenda played Michael Parker into space down the left. The big centre back’s low cross evaded the defenders and fell into the path of Sandah, who beat the ‘keeper to his right whilst at full stretch.
The Millers were direct on the day and carried a real threat too. Goalkeeper Michael Acquah was first called into action in the seventh minute, pushing a near post effort away after a Rotherham free kick was not effectively cleared.
Acquah made an impressive stop five minutes later, getting down smartly low to his left to save a well-struck half volley hit from around 15 yards out after good wing play from the Rotherham number seven, who was the clear dangerman throughout the 90 minutes.
However, it was Town who bossed possession throughout the game, creating decent chances too. Midfielder Dylan Helliwell, playing at right back, was the next to try his luck, seeing his free kick from just outside the area deflected wide by the wall after a foul on Sandah.
Parker was in the action again soon after, sliding a terrific pass into the left channel to perfectly find Iorpenda’s forward run. He had forward Hazeem Bakre looking for the square pass in the area, but instead hit a tame effort with his weaker left foot that the goalkeeper easily claimed.
Acquah had another save to make from the tricky right winger before the half ended, but Town were back on the front foot as the second 45 began.
First a short corner was played to Iorpenda, whose tremendous cross was inches away from Bakre at the back post, then Helliwell saw another shot blocked – this time from inside the area – after excellent work from Johnson.
Town’s second goal came in the 66th minute – a sweeping move that started with a throw-in at right back. The youngsters quickly transitioned the ball up the field, with Sandah finding winger Fope Deru and, in turn, he used the overlapping run of full back Ajay Weston. Weston’s pull back was ideal for Sandah to charge onto and place into the far corner on his left foot for his second of the game!
Rotherham hit back quickly, with the winger getting a deserved goal. After robbing Parker of the ball in his own half, he skilfully ran past two defenders before finishing past Acquah. Although Danaher will have wanted a defender to stop the move in its infancy, it was an impressive strike from the home player.
It looked like Rotherham were in the ascendancy when they equalised with 10 minutes left. A ball lobbed over the top of Town’s defence allowed the number seven to race onto the ball ahead of Parker and Acquah to slam home, causing big celebrations among the home contingency.
However, after defending three Rotherham set pieces in fine style, the Young Terriers rallied impressively and scored the game’s final goal to take all three points. The move came down the left again, with Weston and Deru combining well to set substitute Tyree Sanusi into space; his pull back rolled to the penalty spot, where fellow sub Johnson strode onto the ball before thundering a shot past the goalkeeper and inside the far post! The celebrations were a joy to behold, with every outfield player joining JJ in the corner.
Rotherham tried to fight back in the last moments, but the best they could muster was a long-range effort that was easily held by Acquah.
The Under-19s are back in action on Saturday with a cup game at Bradford City.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Michael Acquah; Dylan Helliwell, Archie Sheppard, Michael Parker, Ajay Weston; Tom Iorpenda (c), Daniel Vost; Hakeem Sandah, Temi Okuwa (Tyree Sanusi, 75’), Fope Deru; Hazeem Bakre (Joseph Johnson, 61’)
Hakeem Sandah (2’, 66’); Joseph Johnson (90’)
Archie Sheppard (38’); Tyree Sanusi (90+3’)
Want to support the Academy? Find out more about the Blue & White Members Club - click HERE!