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U21s 1-2 Huddersfield - report

14 May 2016

United's youngsters cruelly suffered defeat in the U21 Professional Development League 2 final at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Three goals in the final 10 minutes saw the Terriers edge an entertaining clash, with Jacob Hanson netting the winning goal, after Ben Whiteman had cancelled out William Boyle's opener for the visitors.

Huddersfield started on the front foot and after a couple of corners from the left were cleared, Senior hit the near post with an inswinging set-piece from the right. At the other end, from a Brooks pass, De Girolamo got the better of W. Boyle and found space for a shot which was saved by the legs of Schofield.

United were gradually getting to grips with the game and from a Whiteman corner, only an excellent reflex save from Schofield denied Kennedy with a powerful header and the Terriers managed to scramble the loose ball clear.

As the first-half entered the final ten minutes, the Blades continued to look the most likely to open the scoring, with Reed shooting narrowly over the bar from distance. Then in the next attack, Brooks found the run of Adams who got the better of Hanson before teeing up De Girolamo but he saw his path to goal blocked by Booty. United's number 10 then shot wide having been sent clear by Whiteman.

There was a brief scare for the hosts as Kennedy played a short back pass in the direction of Ramsdale, but the United stopper was quickly off his line to win the tackle against J. Boyle.

Despite the home side enjoying the majority of the first period, the game was all square at the interval, with Town defending resolutely.

In front of a crowd in excess of 4,000, the second-half began, with O'Brien firing wide from a promising position. The tie had become an open affair, Kennedy saw another header saved, before Semple was well positioned to clear after Charles had got the better of Gilmour and Cummings on the left.

United continued to dominate and in the 64th minute, the home side regained possession high up the field and Schofield was again required to beat away a powerfully struck effort from De Girolamo. In response, Town almost snatched a goal against the run of play. Coughlan saw his effort blocked and Bojaj reacted first to beat Cummings to the ball before firing over.

With 15 minutes, W. Boyle became the first player to be carded for stopping a quick free-kick. But in the 80th Town took the lead, as W. BOYLE headed home from Williams cross-cum-shot. United responded within two minutes though, WHITEMAN toe poked home from close range after Booty inadvertently headed a loose ball into the pathway of the Blades skipper.

The game was now end-to-end and with five minutes left of normal time; Town regained the lead, as HANSON fired under the advancing Ramsdale, after the Blades twice failed to clear decisively. The
Blades hoisted a number of balls forward in attempt to force extra-time, but that momentum was stopped as Cummings was booked for a foul on Charles and Booty almost got a third for the visitors as he curled an effort just wide.

Three minutes added time we signalled, as Hall replaced Kennedy, from a corner Reed volleyed wide with the last meaningful action of the final, as the Blades suffered heartbreak at the Lane.

Blades: Ramsdale, Cummings, Kelly, Whiteman, Kennedy (Hall 90), Semple, Gilmour (Hamilton 65), Reed, Adams, De Girolamo, Brooks (K. Smith 86).
Unused: Eastwood, Hallam.

Huddersfield: Schofield, Hanson, Senior, Booty, W. Boyle, Kane, O'Brien, Coughlan, J. Boyle (Williams 69), Bojaj, Charles.
Unused: Brooke, Scott, Horsfall, Wilkinson.

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