Poor first half costs young Terriers
Town’s Under-21s may have lost their final pre-season game ahead of the new season tonight at Bradford Park Avenue, but the game was still useful for a number of reasons.
Jonathan Stead played another 45 minutes as he continues his comeback from his pre-season groin injury, whereas Spaniard Cristian Lopez played 80 minutes as he builds up his fitness.
Meanwhile, Town’s Under-21s players continued their build-up ahead of the new Professional Development League 2, which starts at Nottingham Forest in just over a week’s time.
Unfortunately Town started poorly in the first-half and hosts Bradford Park Avenue, of the newly named Skrill North division, took full advantage – netting two goals. Tom Corner put the hosts ahead in the 22nd minute, with veteran goalkeeper Ian Bennett claiming offside, and they soon went close again 12 minutes later when Richard Marshall headed against the crossbar.
However, the hosts didn’t waste much time in them doubling the advantage; good wing play from former Bradford City man Chib Chilaka ended in his cross being turned home by Lee Elam.
The second-half was much better from Town, who put the hosts under a lot of pressure.
Stead was replaced at half time by Daniel Carr and the former Dulwich man made an instant impact, taking on players down the right and testing the home ‘keeper with a left footed shot in the 50th minute
The 56th minute brought a big chance for Town as Duane Holmes picked out Max Leonard in acres of space inside the area, but he shot straight at ‘keeper Lamb with the goal at his mercy
By this point Cristian had moved into attack and he had several chances to score his second goal in Town colours, but he was denied in the 57th minute by an outstanding save as his shot looked destined for the top corner.
He should have done better with his header from Holmes’ flick a minute later, but he sent the ball flying over.
Town stopper Bennett remained vigilant at the other end and denied goalscorer Corner just after the hour mark, but normal service was resumed when Town Captain Matt Crooks saw his volley cleared off the line.
Carr shot wide with ten minutes left after making himself space with his quick feet before right back Tom Smith spurned a very good opportunity after being put through by Jimmy Spencer
Town’s failure to find a breakthrough was typified with four minutes left when Crooks cracked a shot off the post.
Town’s U21 team:
Ian Bennett; Liam Ridehalgh, Murray Wallace, Tommy Smith, Dale Hopson (James Burke 54); Max Leonard (Robbie McIntyre 61), Duane Holmes, Matt Crooks (c), Cristian Lopez (Max Leonard 79); Jimmy Spencer, Jonathan Stead (Daniel Carr 46)