Young Terriers rise to the challenge against older Bantams side
- Young Terriers defeat more experienced Bradford City side
- Dean Whitehead’s team comes from behind to take the win
- Winger Aaron Rowe grabs a quality brace
A young Huddersfield Town Under-19 side, featuring several Under-17 players, provided a good performance against a Bradford City XI on Tuesday afternoon, claiming a well-earned 2-1 win.
Dean Whitehead’s side responded well to going 1-0 down early on to eventually come back and claim victory, with winger Aaron Rowe (pictured above) netting an impressive brace.
Town’s young side had no senior experience, whilst the opponents included several more experienced campaigners including 29-year-old midfielder Josh Wright, 26-year-old goalkeeper Ben Wilson, former Peterborough United man Jermaine Anderson, Barnsley loanee George Miller and Leeds United loanee Paudie O’Connor.
The Young Terriers started brilliantly, with left back Jaheim Headley overlapping Rowe and utilising space behind Bradford’s right back. The best opening came just three minutes in as he whipped a ball towards striker Kit Elliott, but the ref blew his whistle for offside.
Headley soon built on his fantastic combination play with Rowe. He worked his way past his man on the 12th minute, utilising his pace and progressing towards the goal from a sharp angle on the left-hand side. However, just as he wound up to leather a shot towards goal, the defender recovered to make an excellent block, deflecting the strike into the side netting.
The home side broke on the counter inside the 18th minute, progressing down the left-hand side at speed. As the players swarmed towards the Town box, the ball was whipped powerfully across the danger area, where Miller met the ball and poked it into the bottom right hand corner, leaving goalkeeper Jacob Chapman with no chance.
It took just six minutes for the Young Terriers to find a response to the opener from the Bantams. Elliott showed brilliant perseverance to chase a ball that looked to be a lost cause, heading towards the Bradford touchline. Bursting past the defence, he stopped the ball almost on the line before looking up to find Rowe screaming for the pass into the box. He obliged, and Rowe stroked the ball into the top left from close range.
It took an excellent save from Chapman to keep the scores level at the break as midfielder McDonald pushed the ball through to Miller, who drove towards goal on the 40th minute. As the goal opened up for the Bradford striker, the Australian shot-stopper rushed out to make himself big and managed to block the strike from Miller before the defence could recover and clear.
The teams went in level at half time, with a goal each to their name.
Bradford began the second half the most brightly, as they managed two efforts from distance in quick succession shortly after it begun. The first came on the 48th minute, as the ball was cleverly worked into the centre of the park to Wright, who took a touch before striking the ball on goal, but it was straight at Chapman, who stood strong and caught it easily.
Four minutes after the restart, former Town Academy winger Luca Colville had another speculative effort for the Bantams, which was once again saved by Chapman.
Town’s first chance of the second-half came courtesy of winger Micah Obiero, who jinked his way through the line of Bradford midfielders before attempting to bend the ball round the defender from the edge of the area. However, the strike lacked the curve necessary to test the Bradford ‘keeper as it went sailing wide.
Just after the hour mark, the Young Terriers won a free kick in a dangerous position on the apex of the box on the left-hand side. The ball was rolled out from under foot towards Rowe, who hit a first- time strike on goal; the hit took a heavy deflection and found its way into the bottom left corner to make it 2-1 to Town.
That goal was the 18-year-old winger’s ninth of the season for the Under-19 side on his 30th start, making him the team’s top scorer.
Shortly after the goal, Whitehead elected to make changes, introducing 16-year-old duo Sam Sharrock-Peplow and Kian Harratt.
The youngsters defended brilliantly throughout against the Bradford side, looking to hit the Bantams on the break as the game ended and showing fantastic discipline to neutralise any attacks.
The Young Terriers would get another chance to add to the score before the game’s conclusion as they intercepted a Bradford pass before breaking at them with speed via Sharrock-Peplow on the left-hand side. He picked out Elliott in the box and looked to roll a pass into him. However, as the ball progressed towards the Town striker, it took a bobble and evaded his boot, allowing the Bradford defence to clear.
City almost snatched a late equalizer, but the strike just inside the Town area was lashed wide.
Highlights from the Bradford game will follow on #HTTV later this week!
At the same time, Academy Manager Leigh Bromby led a mixed Academy side in a friendly against Catalyst Football Academy at PPG Canalside, with Under-17 players George Alfieri and Remi Thompson scoring in a 2-2 draw.
Town’s U19 team vs Bradford City XI (4-3-3)
Jacob Chapman; Jaheim Headley, Jake Barrett (Mustapha Olagunju, 33’), Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Ben Jackson; Scott High (c), Hamza Kaid (Kian Harratt, 64’), Josh Austerfield (Taylor Annakin, 81’); Micah Obiero (Sam Sharrock-Peplow, 64’), Kit Elliott, Aaron Rowe
Bradford City XI 1-2 Huddersfield Town Under-19s
Aaron Rowe 24’, 64’
Updated at (UK)
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