Philip Billing made his first-team debut as his Huddersfield Town academy teammates sealed a place in the Professional Under 18 Development League II play-off final by beating QPR 2-1.
The 17-year-old Danish midfielder was on the bench for the second time, and replaced Jonathan Hogg for the final quarter of an hour against Leicester at the John Smith’s.
Manager Mark Robins explained: “I was pleased to be able to get him on the pitch.
“He becomes a full professional next season and I wanted him to have a taste.
“He’s had 15 minutes against the champions, and didn’t look out of place, and that’s great experience.
“He is only 17, so he’s not going to be in the team every week.
“But I believe in him and I think he is a good talent.”
Ben Holmes and Jake Charles were the scorers against QPR at PPG Canalside, and Town will again have home advantage for the Under 18 play-off final against Crewe, who beat Charlton 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in South-East London.
Town’s win avenged a 1-0 defeat by QPR in last year’s play-off final at Loftus Road and also a 3-2 defeat by the Hoops in Wednesday’s Under 21 play-off semi at the John Smith’s.
Like the 21s, the 18s won the PDL II North section title, and also reached the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals.
Town had the better of the first half, and after Flo Bojaj went close, took the lead when Holmes’ inswinging corner deceived the Rangers keeper and ended up in the back of the net.
Rangers had a goal disallowed for offside before Brandon Comley, who also played in the 21s game, jinked through and shot home from distance after 62 minutes.
Darnell Furlong shot wide for the visitors before Charles swerved a shot through a pack of bodies and into the roof of the net.
Sphat Ismjali was just wide for the Londoners before fellow substitute Tyrell Mitford’s volley was palmed over by keeper Sam Guthrie.
Now Town, coached by Frankie Bunn and Tony Carss aim to go one better than last season by winning the final (date to be confirmed).
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