Madden goal settles pre-season tie
Town’s First Team fell to its first defeat of the 2014/15 pre-season period at newly promoted League 1 side Scunthorpe United, with a second-half goal from Paddy Madden settling the tie.
On a compact pitch, the Terriers – who had netted 10 goals in three pre-season fixtures beforehand – failed to properly break through an organised opponent and were made to pay at the other end.
With a fortnight still to go until the season begins against AFC Bournemouth on 9 August, the game highlighted a few bright sparks as well as areas to work on for Manager Mark Robins and his players.
Town once again started the game in a 3-5-2 formation, with summer recruit Lee Peltier playing at centre back; he skippered the side on a boiling hot afternoon at Glanford Park.
Elsewhere, Joe Lolley continued to be deployed in an advanced role in the centre of midfield. He had a mixed afternoon – bursts of lightening quick acceleration and direct dribbling alongside occasions where he perhaps made the incorrect decision with his final ball – but it him that came closest to opening the scoring in the first-half when a sixth minute cross turned into a useful effort that hit the crossbar.
The first-half was an even affair, with Scunthorpe trying to get the ball wide and provide quality delivery into the penalty area to little effect. They came closest to scoring when winger Jennison Myrie-Williams cut infield from the right and fired powerfully towards the near post, drawing a smart save from Alex Smithies.
With James Vaughan left out of the squad as a precautionary measure having felt tightness in his calf, it was left to former Iron player Martin Paterson and Nahki Wells to lead the line and the latter looked lively. He acrobatically volleyed an effort from Tommy Smith’s cross over the bar at the midpoint of the first-half, doing well to connect with the ball that made him check his forward momentum.
However, the Terriers’ attacks stalled a little when the ball reached the final third as their newly promoted League 1 opponents got good numbers behind the ball, with the likes of Adam Clayton, Lolley and Jonathan Hogg struggling to pick the final pass.
Clayton gave everyone a scare in the final minutes of the half when he went down under no challenge, having seemingly fallen on his right elbow. However, he walked off the pitch under his own steam after treatment and reappeared for the second half.
With no changes in personnel, it was the Iron who took the initiative in the second half and they opened the scoring just before the hour mark through former Yeovil Town forward Paddy Madden. Working an overlap to good effect down their right side, Murray Wallace got a toe to the cross but couldn’t stop it – giving the sliding striker the chance to plant the ball past Smithies at the back post.
Town had more than the lion’s share of possession after the goal, but couldn’t create any clear-cut chances despite this. The introduction of Adam Hammill and Sean Scannell gave Town a direct running threat in the final third and Wells in particular almost made contact with a Scannell cross that surely would have resulted in a goal, but it wasn’t to be.
Town’s team (3-5-2):
Alex Smithies; Joe Lynch, Murray Wallace, Lee Peltier (c); Paul Dixon, Adam Clayton (Harry Bunn, 77), Joe Lolley (Adam Hammill, 65), Jonathan Hogg (Jordan Sinnott, 87), Tommy Smith (Sean Scannell, 61); Martin Paterson (Oliver Norwood, 65), Nahki Wells
Joe Murphy, Duane Holmes, Matt Crooks, Jake Carroll, Philip Billing, Jake Charles