Focus on performance rewarded with result on Saturday
- Under -18s off to a winning start with four goals in Youth Alliance Cup
- New team attacking skills acquired in training rewarded in match
- Impressive character shown to battle back from two equalisers
Jon Worthington’s Young Terriers overcame two setbacks to beat Accrington Stanley 4-2 in the first EFL Youth Alliance Cup match at PPG Canalside on Saturday.
A mix of under 17s and eligible under 19s took to the field with greater emphasis on the result than the usual focus on development and were ultimately successful in their endeavours.
Having taken the lead through captain Josh Austerfield, Town then conceded an equaliser on the half hour mark against the run of play. This didn’t faze the Young Terriers however as just two minutes later Jaheim Headley reclaimed the lead for the home side.
Accrington equalised again after the break, and once again the Young Terriers showed great mentality to retake the lead with Austerfield’s second of the match. Shortly afterwards they secured the win as substitute Robson Shipley increased the home side’s advantage to two, much to Worthy’s delight.
“There’s loads of positives to take from this. We said before the game we wanted to focus on performance, so it’s pleasing when you do get that result,” he said.
The boss was impressed with the way his players showed their nerve to retake the lead within minutes of conceding each goal, as well as how they built their attacks from the back; something that has been covered in the player’s current block of training sessions.
“We worked on the emotion in pre-season - the mentality that players need to have. They’ve got to have that individual drive and work ethic as a team, and to be pegged back and then come back and win 4-2, that was a box ticked today.
“We’ve worked on the build [of an attack] too. We had a game a couple of weeks ago within the Academy, which was really good fun, focusing on the build and playing out from the goalkeeper, then we’ve moved onto creating in the middle third of the pitch.
“I think today there were some really pleasing signs of that ‘create’ phase, and players taking on board the information.
“This is a group that’s not played together before, so it was nice to see some good football. I think that’s why this competition is good for it; it’s a league format in the cup, so it will allow us to get three or four games with this group and allow them to understand each other, how they play, and get some good understanding out on the pitch.
The Young Terriers have a quick turnaround before their next fixture.
On Tuesday, the Under-17 side returns to EFL Youth Alliance League action against Burton Albion at Storthes Hall Park in Shelley, aiming to continue their development.
“We’ll be in on Monday preparing, going about it as we normally do,” said Worthy. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Town’s U18s vs Accrington Stanley (4-3-3)
Michael Roxburgh; Luke Daley, Mustapha Olagunju, Nassim Kherbouche, Taylor Annakin; Josh Austerfield ©, Ben Midgley; Myles Bright; Jaheim Headley, Andre Edionhon, Sam Sharrock-Peplow
Giosue Bellagambi, Josh Okpolokpo, Darnel Baxter-Alleyne, Luke Billam, Robson Shipley
Huddersfield Town U18s 4-2 Accrington Stanley
Josh Austerfield 17’, 66’; Jaheim Headley 33’; Robson Shipley 69’