Young Terriers win their first Premier League Cup game
- Huddersfield Town B win 3-0 at Middlesbrough
- Connor Mahoney nets hat-trick at Bishop Auckland
- Excellent start to the Premier League Cup campaign
The Huddersfield Town B Team made an excellent start to the 2022/23 Premier League Cup campaign with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday morning.
First Team winger Connor Mahoney (pictured) led the way by scoring a hat-trick against the hosts, involving one superb finish and two expertly taken corners that beat the goalkeeper at the near and far posts.
However, the win came courtesy of a great team performance, with several players performing very well throughout the 90 minutes.
Myles Bright was one such player, operating in a slightly deeper midfield role on the afternoon alongside Northern Ireland international Brodie Spencer. The 19-year-old had a pivotal role in Town’s eighth minute opener, winning the ball on halfway before driving at the heart of the Boro defence and sliding striker Charles Ondo a pass inside the area. The forward saw his low deflected cross half cleared to the edge of the box, where Mahoney seized on the loose ball, went on the outside of two defenders and fired a superb low drive across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.
Spencer and Bright’s tenacious midfield play led to another chance two minutes later. This time they found Mahoney, whose pass into the path of midfielder Donay O’Brien-Brady was perfectly in his stride as he entered the box. This time Boro ‘keeper Swan did well, saving the effort well.
Boro’s first effort in the 19th minute was easy pickings for goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic, and the Aussie immediately set Town away on another attack with a booming kick down the pitch that was flicked on by the impressive Ondo into Mahoney’s path. He held the ball until Aaron Rowe overlapped before giving him the pass, but Swan turned the winger’s effort around the near post.
18-year-old Ondo, a defender-turned-striker, was fantastic on the afternoon, causing the home defenders all sorts of problems with his strength, pace, and link-up play. He won his side countless free kicks on the day and ran the channels gallantly.
His work led to another effort in the 26th minute when he held the ball up before releasing Mahoney into space. Connor cut inside from the left and made room for a shot on the edge of the box, only for the ball to bobble as he took aim – resulting in the final effort flying way over.
Boro ended the half well, seeing a goal ruled out early for a foul on O’Brien-Brady and forcing Town to defend their box, which they did admirably thanks to the efforts of centre backs Loick Ayina and the particularly impressive David Adewoju.
However, Town doubled the advantage just three minutes into the second half when Mahoney took a corner from the right with his left foot and sent the ball towards the packed six-yard box. The bodies caused distraction enough for the ball to bounce before the goalkeeper and find its way in at the near post.
Mahoney’s hat-trick was complete in the 56th minute with another goal direct from a corner on the same side. This time his delivery was deeper, but once again it deceived the goalie – dropping underneath the bar and nestling in the back of the net.
Boro’s best chance of the second half came 15 minutes from time when a header flashed over the crossbar, but it was Town who finished the stronger of the two sides. More superb work from Ondo led to Rowe driving a fierce effort over the crossbar before tireless work from skipper Ben Jackson saw the defender win the ball in the Boro area, only for his square ball to evade Town’s striker.
Bilokapic ensured Town’s clean sheet late in the game, making a low save with his feet, as Town secured their first three points of the new Premier League Cup campaign.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Nicholas Bilokapic; Ben Jackson (c), Loick Ayina, David Adewoju, Luke Daley (Neo Eccleston, 65’); Brodie Spencer, Myles Bright (Sonny Whittingham, 84’); Aaron Rowe, Donay O’Brien-Brady (Brahima Diarra, 57’), Connor Mahoney; Charles Ondo
Josh Mazfari; Aaron Ojungu
Connor Mahoney (8’, 48’, 56’)
Brodie Spencer (36’)