Lopez and Paterson net in defeat
Mark Robins’ First Team ended their pre-season campaign with an entertaining 3-2 defeat at Oldham Athletic.
Spanish trialist Cristian Lopez levelled for Town in the second half after Jose Baxter had opened the scoring for Oldham and when Martin Paterson put the Terriers ahead, they looked as if they would press on and dominate.
However, a quick-fire double from the impressive Cristian Montano earned his side the victory.
With just a week to go until the start of the Sky Bet Championship season, Town’s final first team friendly at Oldham provided Mark Robins’ men with one final chance to impress in a match situation.
Adam Hammill and Oscar Gobern were both given starts at Boundary Park and it was the former who helped create Town’s first chance. His interplay with Adam Clayton tempted Connor Brown into a reckless foul and from it the former Manchester City midfielder fired low at Mark Oxley.
At the other end, a poor pass from Oliver Norwood allowed Cristian Montano to get around Jack Hunt to the by-line; his square ball beat Joel Lynch and found Charlie MacDonald three yards out but he scuffed his effort, allowing Town to clear.
Martin Paterson shot wide for Town on 15 minutes before James Vaughan landed awkwardly on his back after heading a Clayton cross wide, which resulted in the striker being substituted for trialist Cristian Lopez.
Former Swindon striker Adam Rooney was causing Town’s back four problems with his physical presence and it was his persistence in the 25th minute which helped earn the Latics the opening goal. Paul Dixon dallied on the ball for a moment too long in the box, allowing Rooney to steal in and as he tried to correct his error, he brought down the striker. From the spot, Jose Baxter sent Alex Smithies the wrong way.
Town should have equalised before the half time whistle with Paterson forcing Oxley into a near post save; Oscar Gobern missed a header well placed inside the Oldham box and Lopez went within a whisker after David Mellor had sold Oxley short with a back pass.
Oldham started the second 45 on the front foot and nearly doubled their lead with five minutes played when giant centre-half James Tarkowski headed just wide.
It took Town 15 minutes to click into gear, but when they did Oldham simply couldn’t contain them. Lopez spurned another good opportunity in the 62nd minute, but he made amends in superb style a minute later when he headed home Clayton’s chipped cross.
The Terriers were passing the ball with slick precision during this period of the game and deservedly went ahead courtesy of their best move of the match. Substitute Sean Scannell found Jack Hunt whose deep back post cross was met by the sliding Paterson, who gave Oxley no chance from six yards.
Oldham didn’t allow their heads to drop, though, and were quickly back level on the scoreboard when Montano volleyed neatly over Smithies, after Baxter’s free-kick had been blocked.
Danny Ward almost restored Town’s lead after good work from Murray Wallace and Paterson, but it was the home side that went ahead on 75 minutes when Montano grabbed his second with a low finish.
Ward and Lopez both went close for the Terriers during the final ten minutes, as Town pressed for an equaliser but one just wasn’t forthcoming.
Town’s team: (4-2-3-1):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon (Jake Carroll, 54), Joel Lynch (Murray Wallace, 68), Peter Clarke (c), Jack Hunt (Tommy Smith, 81); Oscar Gobern (Danny Ward, 54), Oliver Norwood (Jordan Sinnott, 46); Adam Hammill (Sean Scannell, 46), Martin Paterson (Matt Crooks, 81), Adam Clayton; James Vaughan (Cristian Lopez, 19)