U18 Professional Development League 2
Team: Hudnott, Springer-Downes, Williams (J), Klass, Eales, Thompson, Komodikis, Corkery, Alfa, Darbyshire, Bowler
A Nathan Corkery free kick cleared the bar but Rangers were struggling to get going. It was the visitors who were soon creating the better chances and Conor Hudnott made a great save from close range with his legs.
Rhys Springer-Downes brought down an opponent in the box, and not surprisingly, the referee awarded a penalty. The spot kick was very casually struck and the ball drifted onto the bar and safely over.
Rangers were giving the ball away far too often and Paul Furlong shuffled the pack, which included Odysseus Alfa moving out to the wing and Andreas Komodikis playing in a central position. In fact, Komodikis eventually played in three different positions.
The Whites custodian had watched a couple of shots clear the bar but he wasn’t really troubled. I think the first R’s corner came five minutes or so before the break. It followed an excellent run down the left flank by Andreas Komodikis. The corner kick went in low but it was well intercepted by a Leeds defender who averted the danger. Half-time: 0-0.
Paul Furlong made two changes with Barzey and Campbell coming on for Corkery and Darbyshire respectively. The other change was the weather, already overcast, but the wind was gaining significantly in strength.
Leeds took the lead after an under-hit pass was easily tapped in from close range as keeper and defender blamed each other.
By now the strong wind was affecting the flight of the ball and a second Leeds player was booked following a rather nasty challenge.
As Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand looked on, the visitors doubled their lead in dramatic circumstances. The ball was belted straight at Conor Hudnott who then went down in great distress whilst the Leeds player had the easy task of stroking the ball into the net. It wasn’t evident at the time exactly what sort of injury Hudnott had incurred but after receiving lengthy treatment he had to be stretchered off!
With no keeper on the bench, and no further substitutions available, Jordan Thompson went in goal. Furthermore, with Michael Klass’s departure, the R’s were down to nine players!
The R’s battled on, clearing one Leeds effort off the line as the visitors went in search of a third. Final score: 0-2.
Also in attendance at this final U18’s home game of the season were; Alan Barnes, Roger Stokes, Chris Hewitt and Ron Hill (with a couple of their Leeds mates).
Chris later posted on the Indy’s message board: ‘You probably couldn’t see clearly from your position but for the second goal the keeper saved the initial shot but dropped it as he seemed to twist his knee really badly. As Leeds pounced on the loose ball the keeper didn’t move on the floor which told me it looked serious.’
I hope Conor Hudnott is recovering well.