Teenage keeper Francis Hurl could be a player to watch after he pulled off a series of second half saves to preserve Golcar United’s 10-match unbeaten run.

The 17-year-old stopper, in the first year of a scholarship at Huddersfield Town, joined Golcar on loan to get some experience of men’s football.

Londoner Hurl, who was previously with the Crystal Palace Academy, was brought in for just Saturday’s game against Knaresborough Town but may extend his stay if Terriers goalkeeping coach Paul Clements agrees.

Hurl, who is 6ft 5in tall, had little to do in a first half dominated by the home side. The Weavers were 2-0 up at half-time thanks to goals from Kayle Price and Dan Naidole but Knaresborough fought back in the second half to earn a point from a 2-2 draw.

Hurl kept out an effort from Ewan Gregson before making a flying save to beat away a free-kick from George Thewlis.

With Golcar under pressure in the dying seconds Hurl stood strong saving with his legs from Cameron Bedford who was through one-on-one before he pulled off another save with what proved to be the last action of the game.

Back of the net – Francis Hurl

Asked about his heroics afterwards, Hurl said: “That’s what I am in goal for and I’m glad I could help.

I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t win but it was a good experience. All the lads were great and didn’t put too much pressure on me.

“It was tough in the first half because I didn’t have much to do and I started to over-think it a bit. I told myself I had to get over myself! After the first 10 or 15 minutes I started to enjoy it and found my feet.

“I was very busy in the second half and they started attacking more and put pressure on us.”

Hurl explained how the move came about and said: “I was told last week there was a chance to play for a men’s team at Golcar so I came here on loan. It was supposed to be one game but I’ll have to speak to my goalkeeper coach. I’d like to stay.”


Kayle Price salutes his 26th goal of the season – straight down the lens of Huddersfield Hub photographer Sean Doyle


Price gave Golcar the lead in the 11th minute when he found himself free with time to lash home into the top corner for his 26th goal of a productive campaign.

Kai Phillips blasted a shot against the woodwork and Buddy Cox fired straight at the keeper before Naidole finished off a deep cross at the back post three minutes before the break.

Golcar thought they’d sealed victory early in the second half but the ‘goal’ was ruled out for off-side.

Hurl then made his first save from Gregson but there was no stopping Gregson’s effort shortly after when he bent a beauty in off the post to make it 2-1 in the 58th minute.

Knaresborough levelled just six minutes later when Joe Navier slotted home low down giving Hurl no chance. That sparked an angry melee in the centre of the field.

Golcar rallied briefly and Slater Barnes twice went close but it was left to Hurl’s 90th minute saves to extend Golcar’s unbeaten run.

It’s just one defeat in 16 league games now for resurgent Golcar and joint boss Ash Connor said: “We’re slightly disappointed because I thought we’d done enough in the first half. We’ve been on a great run so we can’t beat ourselves up too much.”

Regular keeper Harry Stead was away at a family wedding and joint boss Gav Connor used his contacts at Town to bring in Hurl.

Ash added: “Francis made three or four good saves and did really well. He’s a big lad who trains with pros every day and he certainly doesn’t look out of place.

“It’s done us a favour and it will be good for his development too.”

It remains to be seen whether Hurl is back in goal for Golcar’s next game against bottom club Yorkshire Amateur at the Skye Direct Stadium on Tuesday March 28 (7.45).

Gallery of images by Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE