As a glance at City’s squad list would tell you, Sky Bet League Two is a breeding ground for up-and-coming young talent to learn their trade before progressing up through the football pyramid. Here we take a look at some of the division’s youngest stars.
Salford City began Saturday’s 3-0 win over Newport County with a remarkably elderly squad, but it was youthful Irishman, Tyreik Wright, who drew first blood. 19-year-old Wright put the Ammies ahead within a minute of kick-off after lone-striker Ian Henderson (17 years his senior) capitalised on sloppy defending to slide a pass through.
Academy graduate Kelly N’Mai was introduced to the Peninsula Stadium as a substitute for the final five minutes, marking his English Football League debut at just 17 years old.
Oldham Athletic had great joy with their young guns too, as 18-year-old Junior Luamba brought the ball down well in the box and slotted home a last-gasp winner after a long journey to Sutton United’s Gander Green Lane base.
Sutton led from the hour mark through a David Ajiboye strike, but were pegged back by an 88th-minute equaliser from Athletic defender Carl Piergianni. This served to set up a grandstand finish for Luamba’s effort in the sixth minute of added time, which lifted Oldham off the foot of the table with their first points of the season.
A short distance across London, Leyton Orient leapt into the playoff spots after recording a 2-0 victory over Bradford City. 21-year-old Ruel Sotiriou opened his account with a superb strike from an acute angle. The Cyprus international saw a long throw-in bounce towards the byline before unleashing a venomous strike which nestled in the netting behind the far post, leaving goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell both hapless and awestruck in equal measures.
18-year-old Tyrese Omotoye donned the red strip of the Orient for the second time in his career, having made his debut just four days prior to the victory.
Hartlepool United midfielder Tyler Burey tied for third in the top scorers table after bagging the opening goal in his side’s 2-1 win over Carlisle United. At just 19 years old, Burey has exploded into life in League Two, chalking up three goals and an assist in the opening four matches. The Englishman joined Hartlepool on loan from Millwall over the summer.
Things are not all well with the youthful members of the division, however. Rochdale defender Max Taylor found the net at the wrong end against Colchester United on Saturday, just a week after scoring his first professional goal against Northampton Town. Fortunately for the 21-year-old, the mishap did not prove to be too costly as teammate Jimmy Keohane rescued a point for the Dale.