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5 August 2014

Majewski and Stead net in entertaining encounter

Goals from Radoslaw Majewski and Jon Stead ensured that Huddersfield Town ended its 2014/15 pre-season campaign with an entertaining draw at home to Newcastle United. 

Academy product Stead benefitted from Duane Holmes’ incisive play to slot neatly past Dutch international Tim Krul and put Town into the lead, however Remy Cabella netted two minutes from time to secure a draw for the Magpies.

Newcastle had earlier gone ahead through summer signing Emmanuel Riviere netted from close range, but Town responded through a summer signing of their own when Radoslaw Majewski curled home superbly.

Mark Robins named arguably his strongest available eleven for the first half of Town’s final pre-season friendly against Newcastle United.

Tommy Smith, Jonathan Hogg and Danny Ward all started following substitute display against Oldham, whilst Sean Scannell moved from striker to right-wing back.

Northern Ireland international Oliver Norwood began the game forcefully as Robins’ men looked in confident mood ahead of Saturday’s clash with AFC Bournemouth.

The midfielder flashed an effort past Tim Krul’s upright in the fifth minute as the Terriers passed the ball well on a slick John Smith’s Stadium surface.

However, it didn’t take long for Newcastle United to show their Premier League clash and after Yoan Gouffran had dragged a shot wide, the Frenchman turned provider to present Emmanuel Riviere with a tap in from six yards.

Town continued to play their football though, with Ward, Radoslaw Majewski and Nahki Wells beginning to show signs of a blossoming relationship. 

And it was the Nottingham Forest loanee who levelled matters in the 36th minute. The attacker had been disposed on the edge of the area, but after receiving Paul Dixon’s low cross, he spun sharply and curled home past a stationary Krul.

Robins’ second half sided featured mainly Development Squad players; however there was one interesting name on the team sheet. Republic of Ireland international Sean St Ledger was part of a back three as Town continued to take a look at the out of contract defender.

Despite Town’s eleven half-time changes, the Terriers’ intensity and quality on the ball didn’t drop – if anything it improved!

Holmes had the first chance when he drove low at Krul from twenty yards; the midfielder’s stinging effort required the Dutch international to gather at the second attempt. On the hour mark Joe Lolley spun and shot handsomely wide before Cabella had the Magpies’ first effort of the half, which failed to trouble Joe Murphy.

Playing in the position vacated by Majewski at half-time, Holmes was enjoying himself and it was his persistence in the 66th minute which helped send the Terriers into the lead. He intercepted, fed Jon Stead whose left footed effort was too good for Krul.

The best of Newcastle’s chances in the second 45 had come from range and specifically from the boot of left-back Paul Dummett. He twice shot wide from range with his first effort collected cleanly by Murphy and his second flashing just wide.

A victory wasn’t to be for the Terriers though, but it did take a wonderful effort from Cabella to level the match. Following Murray Wallace’s foul, Newcastle’s quick thinking caught Town out and put Cabella into the clear and he finished in style, chipping over the onrushing Murphy.
Town’s 1st half team (3-5-2):

Alex Smithies; Joel Lynch, Lee Peltier (c), Tommy Smith; Sean Scannell, Jonathan Hogg, Oliver Norwood, Radoslaw Majewski, Paul Dixon; Nahki Wells, Danny Ward

Town’s 2nd half team (3-5-2):

Joe Murphy; Murray Wallace, Matt Crooks, Sean St Ledger; Jake Carroll, Duane Holmes, Jordan Sinnott, Phil Billing, Adam Hammill; Jon Stead, Joe Lolley

Attendance: 5,896
Away: 1,473

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