All square in a remarkable game in Germany!
- Huddersfield Town Under-19s draw with Hertha BSC II
- Great performance against fourth tier German side
- Striker Micah Obiero nets a hat-trick in the game
Huddersfield Town’s Under-19 side put in the latest notable performance in mainland Europe on Wednesday afternoon, drawing with Hertha Berlin’s second team.
The hosts were arguably the strongest opponent that Dean Whitehead’s youngsters had faced all season, plying their trade in the German fourth division on a weekly basis. Indeed, Hertha II finished fourth in the Regionalliga Nordost this season as an Under-23 team playing against senior sides.
In a remarkably open match that swung one way and another, Town came from two goals down to lead – only to be pegged back by an equaliser deep into second half added time.
Whitehead’s side was strong, with the likes of Demeaco Duhaney and Aaron Rowe starting alongside regular Under-19 starts such as Jaden Brown, Rarmani Edmonds-Green and captain Scott High.
The game started well for the Terriers, who took the lead as early as the eighth minute through the first notable attack of the game. Winger Rowe picked up possession and threaded a through ball into the path of striker Obiero, who rounded the goalkeeper before slotting home.
The challenges were flying in from both sides as winger Dom Tear fired a shot straight at the goalkeeper soon after, but Berlin responded and equalised in the 14th minute. Rowe lost possession in the Town half and the hosts capitalised impressively, moving up the pitch with three incisive passes before firing home.
Things got even more heated as the tackles got heavier and heavier in a competitive game, with clear-cut chances few and far between at this stage.
Left back Jaden Brown went closest to a second for Town in the opening 45 minutes, volleying straight at the goalkeeper after some sloppy play from the Germans.
Unfortunately for Town, the hosts took the lead on the cusp of half-time through a 25-yard free-kick that flicked the bottom of the defensive wall and found the bottom corner.
It took until the stroke of the hour for the action-packed second half to warm up, when Town started to apply territorial pressure to the home side.
Midfielder Isaac Marriott started the first attacking move, driving past two defenders and finding substitute Jaheim Headley with a great delivery to the back post. The 17-year-old was unmarked but could only direct his diving header straight at the ‘keeper with the goal gaping.
Berlin soon hit a shot straight at Town stopper Jacob Chapman, but the Town attack continued as Ben Jackson drove forward. Picking up a loose ball, he drove forward and went past two before firing a shot that forced the goalkeeper into another top save. Scott High reached the rebound, but couldn’t muster enough power on his effort to equalise.
High turned provider in the 65th minute, finding Headley out wide. It was increasingly clear that he had the beating of his man and he drove forward before delivering a world-class cross that a defender did very well to turn behind.
Then, against the run of play, Hertha looked to have put the game to bed with a third goal in the 74th minute. Chapman made two excellent saves to deny the Germans originally, but the subsequent clearance was poor, giving the hosts the chance to fire home.
Rather than sulk, Town responded to reduce the arrears within 60 seconds! Rowe picked up the ball on the left and, in turn, passed the ball infield to Obiero. He didn’t connect cleanly with his shot but got enough on the ball to bounce it over the goalkeeper and into the net.
Chapman was alert to deal with a dangerous ball that looked likely to produce a fourth for Berlin as the game entered its final stages, with Headley responding again soon after; beating a defender and striking a shot that needed to be turned behind.
The equaliser finally came with nine minutes left, with 18-year-old forward Obiero completing an impressive hat-trick. Tear played a big role, finding his teammate with the through ball, but Micah made no mistake in smashing home to pull Town level.
Things got even better for Town in the 84th minute when the youngsters took an improbable lead. The move that led to the goal was excellent, starting right at the back with goalkeeper Chapman. He found Headley, who in turn played the ball forward to Rowe. He rode a challenge with the referee playing advantage and squared to Tear, who turned the ball home to much delight.
Whitehead’s men tried to manage out the final minutes of the game, generally doing a good job, but were still hit with a sucker-punch in the 95th minute when a Hertha player turned a cross home.
Although there was obvious disappointment after the game, the Young Terriers could be proud of their efforts. They emptied the tank against a top opponent and did the Club proud, signing off the short tour of Germany with pride.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Jacob Chapman; Jaden Brown, Romoney Crichlow-Noble, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Demeaco Duhaney (Jaheim Headley, 33’); Isaac Marriott, Scott High (c); Ben Jackson, Aaron Rowe, Dom Tear; Micah Obiero
Luke Mewitt; Oran Thompson, Mustapha Olagunju, Harry Spratt, Taylor Annakin, Sam Sharrock-Peplow, Josh Austerfield
Scott High (37’); Jaheim Headley (90’); Jacob Chapman (90+3’)
Micah Obiero (8’, 74’, 81’); Dom Tear (84’)