Terriers kick-off the season with a heavy defeat
Huddersfield Town will have to improve rapidly if they are to make progressions in the Championship this season following a 4-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.
Goals from Marc Pugh, Yann Kermorgant and a brace from Cherries’ new boy Callum Wilson condemned Town to one of their worst opening game defeats in recent memory.
Oliver Norwood had Town’s best effort when he struck the crossbar from 25 yards, with other chances falling to defenders Lee Peltier and Matt Crooks.
As first halves go in football, the one that Town opened the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship season with couldn’t have gone much worse.
Behind after less than a minute then two after half an hour, the Terriers were overrun by a well drilled Bournemouth outfit.
With the North Stand Loyals in full voice, Captain Lee Peltier led Mark Robins’ side out on to the John Smith’s Stadium pitch, which featured two debutants in Radoslaw Majewski and Crooks.
However, just 24 seconds of the game had passed and Town were behind. Marc Pugh – who scored in this fixture last season – drifted in behind Adam Hammill, collected a diagonal pass and had the simplest of side foot finishes past Alex Smithies.
Town looked shell-shocked and for 15 minutes couldn’t string a pass together.
Cherries’ winger Matt Ritchie flashed an effort wide of Smithies’ goal as the visitors looked to capitalise. Town’s first effort came from the boot of Hammill when he cut inside on to his left and fired low at Lee Camp, who had recovered from injury in time for the clash.
The Terriers settled after Hammill’s effort as Majewski began to have an effect on the game.
Bournemouth were resolute though, and they doubled their advantage just after the half hour mark when Callum Wilson shrugged off the attentions of Joel Lynch before racing onto Tommy Elphick’s long ball and finishing confidently past Smithies. Lynch and Town believed that Wilson had fouled the defender in the build-up, but referee Duncan was having none of it.
Oliver Norwood smashed Camp’s crossbar with a dipping 25 yard effort five minutes from the interval, but in truth the ‘keeper had enjoyed a very comfortable half as Town failed to find their cutting edge.
Sadly, the start of the second half didn’t bring any joy for the Terriers.
A deep cross from the right was headed powerfully at goal by Pugh and Yann Kermorgant was first to react to Smithies’ save and tap home.
Town’s best chances in the half were coming from Norwood corners. Peltier forced Camp into a comfortable save before Crooks’ drew a better one, forcing the stopper to tip over from eight yards.
The attacking invention was at the over end though, and in the 64th minute Bournemouth made it four. Ritchie controlled a 40 yard diagonal ball beautifully on the run with his thigh before whipping in an almost un-defendable ball, which Wilson poked home. It wasn’t the greatest of connections by the striker and Smithies possibly should have done better with his attempted save.
Town were saved the embarrassment of five 15 minutes from time, when Smithies saved Wilson’s poor penalty. The ‘keeper had fouled the striker after Lynch’s misguided header had put the striker in, but the former Coventry hit man weakly side footed at Town’s stopper from 12 yards.
Town’s team (3-5-2):
Alex Smithies; Joel Lynch, Lee Peltier (c), Matt Crooks; Paul Dixon, Jonathan Hogg (Conor Coady, 69), Radoslaw Majewski (Joe Lolley, 57), Oliver Norwood, Adam Hammill (Sean Scannell, 46); Danny Ward, Nahki Wells
Joe Murphy, Murray Wallace, Tommy Smith, Jon Stead
Bookings Town: Alex Smithies 76, Oliver Norwood 78
Bookings Bournemouth: Steve Cook 39