Hakeem Sandah scores in narrow cup defeat
- Huddersfield Town U19s defeated by Scunthorpe United
- Midfielder Hakeem Sandah scores the opener
- 90th minute strike condemns Young Terriers to loss
Huddersfield Town’s Under-19s side fell to a last-minute defeat at the hands of visitors Scunthorpe United in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup on Tuesday morning.
The Young Terriers didn’t manage to hit the heights of the performance in Saturday’s 2-0 league win over Doncaster Rovers, but still took the lead through midfielder Hakeem Sandah midway through the second half.
However, the Iron hit back quickly and subsequently scored the winner in the final minute of normal time at the Millers Oils High Performance Complex.
George Danaher’s side started brightly enough and actually had the ball in the net inside five minutes when Omari Mrisho, playing up front, volleyed home Tyree Sanusi’s cross from the left. Unfortunately, the assistant’s flag was up, ruling it out for offside.
Scunthorpe then came into the game and enjoyed a good spell over the next 10 minutes. Forward Tyrell Sellars-Fleming should have done better after intercepting Ajay Weston’s back-pass, firing over from a wide angle, before striker Grayson Giles shot wide from 18 yards out.
Despite this, Town still had penalty box entries of their own, with both Weston and skipper Tom Iorpenda having penalty shouts waved away.
The visitors still had the better chances, with Benjamin Pike shooting wide after centre back Michael Parker cleared an initial ball into the box before Town stopper Michael Acquah pulled off a tremendous save, tipping Joshua Cunningham’s 20-yard strike onto the crossbar.
The final opportunity of the half did fall Town’s way, and it was a good one. Patient passing ended with Weston crossing to the unmarked Iorpenda in the middle of the penalty area, but his miscued his header and the ball dropped wide.
Scunthorpe had the first couple of efforts of the second 45, but Town started to take control of the ball and had a great moment just before the hour mark when right back Joseph Johnson’s superb cross just evaded Iorpenda at the near post. Weston kept the ball alive at the other side of the pitch and his return cross found Iorpenda again, but the goalkeeper did just enough to smother the chance.
Town’s momentum paid off barely a minute later with the opener. Iorpenda was involved again, picking up the ball and driving 30 yards up the centre of the pitch before slipping a pass right to wide midfielder Sandah, who took one touch in the area before driving the ball hard and low past the goalkeeper in comprehensive fashion.
Unfortunately, the lead lasted just three minutes. Johnson was caught dribbling out of Town’s defensive third and the ball was quickly passed to striker Sellars-Fleming, who finished impressively across Acquah and inside the far post.
The game was wide open thereafter, with Iorpenda forcing the goalkeeper into another couple of saves with efforts from outside the area before Acquah showed a great reaction to smother the ball after an initial stop of his own.
Sadly for the home players, it was Scunthorpe who scored the all-important third goal of the game in the 90th minute. Substitute Blake Gregory did very well to bring down the ball on the Town right and pick out Sellars-Fleming on the right, whose finish was almost a carbon-copy of his first.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Michael Acquah; Joseph Johnson, Freddie Fletcher, Michael Parker, Ajay Weston; Temi Okuwa, Daniel Vost; Hakeem Sandah (Aaron Ojungu, 84’), Tom Iorpenda (c), Tyree Sanusi (Fope Deru, 46’); Omari Mrisho (Hazeem Bakre, 46’)
Francis Hurl; Archie Sheppard
Hakeem Sandah (60’)
Temi Okuwa (83’)