Lincoln City Under-18’s suffered a 3-2 defeat to Huddersfield Town at the Soper of Lincoln Elite Performance Centre on Saturday morning.
After going into half-time 2-0 down, Tom Shaw’s young side showed great character and spirit to make the scores level midway through the second half. However, City suffered a late blow with 10 remaining after Connor Falls poked home the winner from eight yards.
A much-changed Imps side started well, moving the ball around the pitch quickly, trying to carve open an early effort at goal. Ben Sault was the first City player to force an effort at goal, but the midfielder saw his effort deflected behind for a corner.
The Terriers saw their first chance come shortly after the 10th minute. Falls cut in from the left-hand side to fire a curling effort towards goal, but it could not trouble goalkeeper Sam Green.
Huddersfield then took the lead in the 18th minute. A corner into the box wasn’t cleared, and David Adewoju prodded home from inside the six-yard area.
The Young Imps, though, had a great chance to level just a minute later after a break down the right-hand side allowed Sault to play a low cross into the box. His cross found Nathan Odokonyero, who had he not been under pressure, looked very likely to have equalised.
City, despite their composure and technical skill on the ball, couldn’t quite force the equalising goal during the first half. Odokonyero had another opportunity at goal in the 38th minute, but his shot from the edge of the area was comfortably dealt with by Nicholas Bilokapic.
Huddersfield then doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. Donay O’Brien-Brady took the chance to score from the edge of the area and the Huddersfield number seven made no mistake, firing a superb curling effort beyond the reach of Green.
As the young Imps began the second half, Tom Shaw’s team talk had clearly had great effect. City made a fast start, looking to pull one back from the off. Mekhi Angol saw his shot from the edge of the area blocked by a Terriers defender, before Odokonyero saw his chance go just wide moments later.
However, the young Imps started to grow frustrated as the second half drew on without a goal for their efforts at this stage.
However, that all changed in the 71st minute as Freddie Draper clawed one back for the home side. After a scramble in the box, the ball fell to the substitute, who then blasted beyond the reach of Bilokapic and into the top corner.
Spurred on by that goal, City searched for the equaliser with confidence. Five minutes later, the Imps had made it all-square after an excellent passage of play, Billy Brooks laid the ball off to Ben Sault, who after taking a touch, fired powerfully into the bottom corner.
However, the joy was short-lived, as the Terriers made it 3-2 four minutes later. A ball into the box from the left found Falls, who made a late run into the box and the Huddersfield number 11 took his chance, and poked home what proved to be the winner.
The Imps made a last gasp push to level as there was a late goalmouth scramble at the death but it did not prove fruitful, as Huddersfield ran out the winners.
Tom Shaw’s side now turn their attention to their trip to Burton Albion on Friday 4th December.