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29 July 2014

Hammill nets a late goal

Just hours after signing on the dotted line to join Town on a season-long loan, new boy Radoslaw Majewski made a late cameo and played a big role in Adam Hammill’s goal to give the Terriers a much-deserved win at League1 Sheffield United in the Club’s latest pre-season friendly.

The winning margin probably should have been more for the Terriers after what was much-improved performance from Saturday’s defeat at Scunthorpe in terms of passing and chance creation, but in the end Hammill’s goal 11 minutes from time was enough – with Town’s new loanee playing an integral part.

The Blades started the game brightly, with full-backs Bob Harris and Craig Alcock posing a few problems with overlapping runs to support their wingers against Town’s 3-5-2 formation. Too many crosses will have been entering the penalty area for Mark Robins’ liking, but – led by Lee Peltier – Town managed to clear on almost every occasion.

Town started to get a foothold in the game when they pressed with vigour high up the field. There are unlikely to be many centre back partnerships stronger and better in the air than United’s Andy Butler – the former Town man – and Neill Collins, but Nahki Wells and Sean Scannell were pressing the defenders and forcing them to turn over possession to the Terriers.

With Adam Clayton pulling the strings from an advanced position in midfield, Wells and Scannell – who was playing as a striker – were found with incisive passes into the area, only for United’s defenders to get vital blocks to several shots. 

The first big chance of the game came through the high tempo pressing at the 20 minute stage when Wells chased a through ball and forced goalkeeper Mark Howard to hurry a clearance. The ball fell to the perfect man in Oliver Norwood, but from just inside the half he volleyed just a foot wide of the vacant goal with Howard struggling to recover.

United hit back with a very presentable chance – predictably coming from a cross. Right winger Ben Davies delivered the ball onto the head of midfielder Chris Basham, but he planted his header straight into the arms of ‘keeper Joe Murphy from the penalty spot. A good chance wasted for the Blades.

Town turned the screw a little towards the end of the half, with Hammill coming to life down the right, and enjoyed two very good chances. First Scannell’s exceptional first touch brought Clayton’s reverse pass under control inside the area, but his snapshot powered over the crossbar,

Next came the best chance of the half as Adam Hammill’s delicate cross evaded the centre half perfectly and landed on Wells’ head 10 yards out, but on the stretch he couldn’t divert the ball far enough away from Howard and the home custodian pulled off the reaction save. 

Town continued their domination of possession into the second period, with Hammill hitting a first time volley inches wide of the post with the ‘keeper beaten after a patient period of passing in and around the United area just before the hour mark.

That was closely followed by a long range effort from Paul Dixon that was deflected just past the far post – even closer than his teammate had gone minutes earlier. 

With 17 minutes to go, the moment the travelling supporters were waiting for happened; Radoslaw Majewski made his Town debut. 

It was almost written in the stars that he would have a big hand in the goal with 11 minutes left. From his advanced midfield position he played a series of smart passes with Adam Hammill to break into the area, but it looked like the play had broken down as the ball bounced towards the goalkeeper. However, Adam reacted and prodded the ball into the net from very close range as everyone around him dithered.

The diminutive substitute should have probably scored a goal in his impressive cameo, dragging a shot wide of the far post after picking up a pass from Clayton in space and cutting infield.

Town’s team (3-5-2):
Joe Murphy; Joel Lynch, Lee Peltier (c) (Murray Wallace, 73), Matt Crooks; Paul Dixon, Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton, Jonathan Hogg (Radoslaw Majewski, 73), Adam Hammill (Tommy Smith, 80); Sean Scannell (Joe Lolley, 80), Nahki Wells

Unused subs:
Alex Smithies, Jon Stead, Duane Holmes, Jordan Sinnott, Martin Paterson, Jake Carroll, Philip Billing, Harry Bunn, Jake Charles

Sheff Utd booking:
Chris Basham (35)


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