Young Terriers narrowly defeated in action-packed friendly
- Sunderland 2-1 Huddersfield Town B
- Myles Bright scores the Young Terriers’ goal
- Valuable time on the pitch for Pat Jones
The Town B Team came out as the losing side from an action-packed friendly against hosts Sunderland on Wednesday afternoon.
The match at the Academy of Light was fiercely contested and could have gone either way, whilst providing important minutes on the pitch for the likes of Pat Jones as he continues his recovery from injury.
Officially a friendly, it could have been quite different if it were in league action after the Sunderland goalkeeper received a red card just three minutes in for absolutely clattering striker Kyle Hudlin as he ran clear. However, with coach Jon Worthington wanting a stern test for his side both in and out of possession, Town allowed the Black Cats to bring on their substitute goalie and keep the game at 11 vs 11.
Jones was a constant threat for Town during his hour on the pitch, constantly beating the right back on the outside down our left. After Etienne Camara’s cross was just too long for Brahima Diarra in the 19th minute, the Welsh winger did find Brahima with his effort a middle later, with the Frenchman forcing the sub stopper to tip his effort over the bar.
Sunderland had a threat at the other end too, but it took until the 35th minute for goalkeeper Nick Bilokapic to be forced into genuine action. Skipper Ben Midgley conceded a free kick right on the edge of the Town area, and the Australian had to tip the resulting effort onto his crossbar before the ball bounced to safety.
There was still lots to happen before the half time whistle. First Bilokapic came off his line and slipped, with a Sunderland player clipping the bar with an attempted chip into the vacated net.
Soon after Jones was given offside when running clear onto Midgley’s through ball, with replays showing he was well inside.
The hosts fought back, with Bilokapic forced to tip over a drive before saving a volley from the resulting corner as the half ended goalless.
Hudlin forced a good save from the goalkeeper early in the second half, receiving a pull-back from David Adewoju before hitting a powerful, swerving effort that was arrowing into the top corner.
However, Sunderland took the lead in the 55th minute through a swift break, with a forward skinning Tom Iorpenda before crossing for a colleague to tap home.
Jones was on the attack again just before being withdrawn on the hour mark, driving past the defender once again before cutting infield and shooting low, with the goalkeeper’s foot deflecting his effort onto the woodwork.
There was a massive chance for Myles Bright moments later. The midfielder had moved infield after a substitution and he received a good pass from left back Donay O’Brien-Brady before spinning goalwards as he entered the penalty area, but he placed his right-footed effort inches wide of the far post with the goalkeeper beaten.
Despite that, Town kept the momentum going and equalised in the 68th minute. Captain Midgley won a corner with a powerful long-range strike that the goalkeeper pushed wide; he made his way over to our right to take the resulting corner, from which Bright made an unmarked run to the near post to head home from close range!
Substitute Conor Falls spurned an excellent opportunity to put the men in black ahead straight from kick-off. Sonny Whittingham forced an errant pass from a Sunderland man, allowing Hudlin to advance and put a superb low ball across the face of goal – but Falls completely missed his kick when 12 yards out at the back post.
Sunderland grew into the game, and soon enjoyed their best period of the match, during which Bilokapic had to make three good saves to keep his side level.
Town still carried a threat and Midgley should have put his side ahead with five minutes left after latching onto Hudlin’s flick-on to race clear, but the goalkeeper made a good low save when the shot came in.
Instead, Sunderland made their pressure pay as the clock struck 90, with an attack down our right and subsequent cross allowing for another close-range finish.
Town had another huge chance with the final kick of the game, having been awarded a free kick to the left of the Sunderland area. Midgley’s superb delivery found Falls’ head, with the goalkeeper’s low save falling straight to Bright. Somehow the custodian recovered and managed to push Bright’s point-blank follow-up over the crossbar, much to the disbelief of the Town players.
Our Under-19 side is back in action on Friday, making the journey to Scunthorpe United’s Glanford Park in a 1.30pm kick-off.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Nicholas Bilokapic; Brodie Spencer, Tom Iorpenda, David Adewoju, Donay O’Brien-Brady; Etienne Camara (Maliq Cadogan, 62’), Ben Midgley (c); Myles Bright, Brahima Diarra (Sonny Whittingham, 46’), Pat Jones (Conor Falls, 66’); Kyle Hudlin
Josh Mazfari; Cian Philpott, Ernaldo Krasniqi, Michael Stone
Myles Bright (68’)
Sonny Whittingham (73’)