Smith scores in defeat at Blundell Park
- First defeat of 2015/16 pre-season for Town
- Tommy Smith scores consolation for the Terriers
- 45 minutes apiece for the First Team squad
Town’s First Team suffered its first defeat of the 2015/16 pre-season campaign at the hands of National League side Grimsby Town on Tuesday evening at Blundell Park.
Tommy Smith’s second-half goal was nothing more than a consolation for Chris Powell’s side, which was already three goals down at that stage thanks to errors being clinically punished by the impressive Mariners.
On the plus side, most of the squad got another 45 minutes under their belts as preparations continue for the new Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Summer recruit Jason Davidson was granted leave ton return to Australia in preparation for the birth of his first child, whilst Powell was without the services of Jonathan Hogg, James Vaughan, Ishmael Miller and Philip Billing as they continue to return from injury.
The Terriers lined up 4-2-3-1 in the first-half, with Joe Lolley playing more centrally than usual behind striker Nahki Wells.
Town had plenty of the ball in the early stages, with new boys Dean Whitehead and Kyle Dempsey looking composed in the centre in particular, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock in the 14th minute – capitalising on a big defensive error.
19 year-old Joe Wilkinson, playing at right back, badly under-hit a back pass to Lloyd Allinson and striker Omar Bogle sprang to life. Despite the best efforts of skipper Mark Hudson to shepherd the forward away from the ball, Bogle half-blocked Allinson’s attempted clearance into the path of strike partner Nathan Arnold, who expertly steered the ball between the covering defenders and into the vacant net from the edge of the box,
At the other end, Wells had two half-chances saved from a narrow angle by former Doncaster goalkeeper Andy Warrington after build-up play down the Town left.
Lolley came to life in the 23rd minute and should have scored after creating a chance through wonderful individual play. Picking up a pass from Whitehead on the halfway line, the attacker drifted past three defenders on his way into the box before sitting down the goalkeeper with a dummy – only to hit the post with his attempted chip home.
Grimsby then doubled their advantage with a free-kick two minutes before the half-time whistle, correctly awarded when Joel Lynch clattered into the back of Bogle. Left back Daniel East stepped forward 25 yards out and his effort clipped the top of the wall, deceiving the diving Allinson and dropping into the net.
As planned before the game, Chris Powell fielded an entirely outfield side in the second-half, with Allinson continuing in goal. The stopper was needed in the first three minutes to tip a vicious strike from striker Nathan Arnold over his crossbar.
Playing 3-5-2 with Charles and Smith as wing backs and Bunn up top with Hiwula, the Terriers looked for a way back into the game; Bunn twice making inroads towards the area before being denied at the final hurdle by a defender or errant shooting.
The lively Bogle made it three to Grimsby with 25 minutes to go, latching onto a pass played inside left-sided centre back William Boyle before firing between Allinson and the near post from 15 yards in impressive fashion.
Town immediately reduced the arrears through the unlikely source of Tommy Smith, who barely a minute after the restart managed to bundle the ball inside Warrington’s near post from close range.
Unfortunately, that was the sum of the Terriers’ attacking efforts on the night. Bunn continued to look Town’s most promising outlet, but a touch of quality was missing in the passing.
Town’s first-half team (4-2-3-1):
Lloyd Allinson; Jack Senior, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson (c), Joe Wilkinson; Dean Whitehead, Kyle Dempsey; Adam Hammill, Joe Lolley, Sean Scannell; Nahki Wells
Town’s second-half team (3-5-2):
Lloyd Allinson; William Boyle, Murray Wallace, Martin Cranie; Jake Charles, Sondre Tronstad, Jacob Butterfield, Duane Holmes, Tommy Smith; Harry Bunn, Jordy Hiwula
Town fans: 122