Bojaj scores again, but Town defeated
- Brighouse Town defeats Huddersfield Town's Development Squad
- Flo Bojaj nets another pre-season goal
- First defeat of pre-season for the Under-21s
There were lessons to be learned for the members of Town’s Development Squad from tonight’s pre-season friendly defeat at local non-league club Brighouse Town.
Although it was two goals from set pieces that proved Town’s undoing on the evening, the young Terriers were not at their fluent best throughout the evening – often struggling to retain the ball and play the right pass in the attacking third despite a good amount of possession in general play.
Only at two goals behind did Frankie Bunn’s side pose a consistent threat to the home goal, with one positive being another pre-season goal for striker Flo Bojaj on the back of his recent hat-trick at AFC Emley.
The first 20 minutes saw Town on the ball in the middle of the pitch on many occasions, with the notable frame of Dane Philip Billing a welcome sight for the first time in pre-season following his injury.
The best early chance came from a move down the right and cross from overlapping right back Jacob Hanson that looked perfect for Jake Charles to head towards goal, only for the forward to miss the ball completely.
Instead, the hosts won a 22nd minute penalty when left back Jack Senior was caught unaware of the man on his shoulder. Trying to clear the ball, the defender instead kicked the winger as he nicked the ball away. Up stepped the impressive Ernest Boafo to smash the ball past Town ‘keeper Sam Guthrie from 12 yards.
Bojaj forced a routine near post save from one-time Town junior Paul Hagreen on the half-hour mark, but with Town still lacking general fluency Bunn soon switched the shape, pushing Coughlan up front and moving Charles to the left.
The hosts were able to stretch Town in behind thanks to powerful forward Danny Facey and he went close to a second just three minutes into the second-half, beating Guthrie to a near post corner only to head over.
At the other end, Charles’ cross was headed up in the air by Coughlan and volleyed hopefully wide by Sondre Tronstad from range.
Town defender Joe Wilkinson should have done better with a chance from a corner with 20 minutes left, but shanked a shot wide after a short routine made space for substitute Jamie Spencer to cross low.
The game then sprang to life in the 73rd minute. At one end it took a last-ditch clearance from Senior to deny the hosts a second, then Town broke through Charles down the left and his cross was headed wide by Tronstad with the whole goal to aim at.
Brighouse doubled the lead in the 76th minute through a corner, which fell to Facey at the back post. He blasted neatly across Guthrie from close range to grab a goal that his endeavour and hold-up play probably deserved.
Bojaj got his goal with four minutes left, with Jack Senior swinging a good, deep corner onto his head. Although substitute goalkeeper Harry Stead showed sharp reflexes to keep out the initial effort, Flo showed true striker’s instincts to react and prod the rebound in at full stretch.
However, the strike proved to be nothing more than a consolation and Bunn will be looking for improvement when the Under-21s travel to Stalybridge Celtic on Monday night.
Town’s team (4-4-2 diamond):
Sam Guthrie; Jack Senior, William Boyle (c) (Danny Kane, 46), Joe Wilkinson, Jacob Hanson; Philip Billing (Fraser Horsfall, 64), Duane Holmes (Jamie Spencer, 53), Sondre Tronstad, Ronan Coughlan (Dylan Cogill, 73); Jake Charles, Flo Bojaj
Ed Wilczynski, Adam Edgar