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UNDER-18S CROWNED CHAMPIONS

PUBLISHED

21:00 15th May 2013

by @OfficialQPR

Skapetis penalty the difference at Loftus Road ...

QPR UNDER-18S were crowned Professional Development League Two champions after a 1-0 play-off final win over Huddersfield Town at Loftus Road.

R’s top scorer Peter Skapetis added his 13th league goal of the campaign from the penalty spot just before half-time to decide a tight contest.

The win also saw Steve Gallen’s side record their fifth clean sheet in six outings, with the Irishman’s young guns worthy recipients of the championship trophy come the full-time whistle following a fine season.

The game enjoyed a scrappy start and it was an unorthodox move which led to the opening chance of the contest for QPR. A strike from range cannoned off a defender into the path of Ryan Young, who shot straight at Ed Wilczynski from an acute angle.

That aside, there was little to separate the two sides as the quarter-hour mark approached – though Rangers should have led come the 15th minute.

Excellent work from Michael Petrasso saw the winger evade a whole host of challenges before squaring to Skapetis in the box, who could only swipe at an effort from 10 yards.

The chance, however, was far from dead and when the ball eventually found its way to Dylan Carreiro 25 yards from goal, the Canadian saw his curling shot beautifully tipped wide by Wilczynski.

Two minutes later, visitors Huddersfield almost snatched the lead with their first real chance of note. Jake Charles bore down on goal before his low drive from distance flew past the despairing left hand of Joe Lumley and inches past the post.

Opportunities for much of the remainder of the first half were few and far between. Skapetis warmed the hands of Wilczynski from 20 yards but the Terriers ‘keeper pulled off a smart catch.

Wilczynski, however, was forced into a stunning stop nine minutes before the break. A slip in the visitors’ defence saw the ball fall to Darnell Furlong – son of R’s legend Paul – on the edge of the box, before his blast was magnificently tipped over.

But Rangers drew first blood on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot.

Town centre-half Joe Wilkinson was penalised – and subsequently booked – for a pull at the shirt of Harly Wise and when Skapetis stepped up, he coolly slotted home from 12 yards. 

Gallen’s side could have even doubled their lead soon after but Skapetis was just unable to meet Petrasso’s teasing low cross from the left.

Huddersfield fashioned a chance to draw level just minutes after half-time. Cole Kpekawa fluffed a clearance when under pressure in the box, before Paul Mullin drove tamely at Lumley.

The Terriers had the better of the possession in the first 15 minutes of the second half and the impressive Duane Holmes shot agonisingly wide on the hour mark with a swerving effort from 16 yards.

Town continued to probe and Rangers had to put in a workmanlike performance to preserve their lead.

Gallen opted for fresh legs in the 72nd minute when Furlong was replaced by Jake Downs and, four minutes later, Young made way for David Fitzpatrick.

Five minutes of added time followed at the death but the R’s duly held on for title glory.

QPR: Lumley, Furlong (Downs 72), Monthe, Hunt-Laurent, Wise, Kpekawa, Young (Fitzpatrick 76), Mitchell, Skapetis, Carreiro, Petrasso.

Subs not used: Smith, Comley, Beckles.

Goals: Skapetis (pen) 45

Bookings: Wise 42

Huddersfield Town: Wilczynski, Briggs, Carroll, Morton, Wilkinson, Boyle, Goddard (Pyke 63), D. Holmes, Mullin, Conway (B. Holmes 56), Charles.

Subs not used: Horsfall, Guthrie, Cox.

Bookings: Wilkinson 44, Goddard 54

Referee: Mr C Hatzidakis

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