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29 July 2016

Hefele’s first Town goal seals a win

- Terriers beat Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt 04
- Michael Hefele scores the game's only goal
- Town's pre-season sponsored by Hirsche Automotive

Town’s 2016/17 pre-season campaign – and the week-long stay in Austria – ended on a high note in Schwaz as David Wagner’s Terriers defeated Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt 04.

A new-found defensive robustness – the product of hard work on the training field and recruitment at the back – meant that Ingolstadt didn’t seriously threaten the Town goal.

At the other end, Wagner’s team created two big chances for Jack Payne and Jonathan Hogg before the late winning goal, scored by emerging cult hero Michael Hefele.

As has been the case all pre-season, the Terriers had a great defensive shape to them for the entire game. Jonathan Hogg and Aaron Mooy protected the back four well whilst the attacking quartet pressed the opponent and on the odd occasion that the Bundesliga side did find a gap, centre backs Hudson and Schindler shut the door.

At the other end, the big chance of the first-half fell Jack Payne’s way. Goalkeeper Danny Ward – an assured figure between the sticks once again – found van La Parra on the left with a good pass. Rajiv had looked lively all half, showcasing some exceptional skills at times, and he raced past the full back before crossing dangerously into the area. The diminutive number 10 reached the cross, but could only turn it wide of the far post at full stretch.

Ingolstadt’s best period came around the half hour mark, but Town stood firm. Schindler expertly blocked a snapshot from defender Marvin Matip when a deep corner fell his way, whilst Ward was called upon to kick a deflected cross to safety.

For the first time in pre-season, the starting XI went past the first 45 minutes and looked as strong as ever. Within five minutes they had hit the post through the unlikely source of Hogg, who got forward to meet Tommy Smith’s excellent early cross on a counter-attack but only found the outside of the post with his back post header.

Chelsea loanee Kasey Palmer showed off some of his ability in the last 20 minutes on debut, taking advantage of the fact that Ingolstadt dropped to 10 players through a second yellow for Alfredo Morales with a quarter of an hour to go and picking up pockets of space to drive at the defence.

He played a part in the goal when it finally came. As Ingolstadt tried to attack on the break, Dean Whitehead read the game perfectly to intercept a forward pass and immediately found Palmer. The England Under-21 international turned and slid in Joe Lolley on the right and his low ball across the face of goal was just right for Hefele – who had stayed forward from a set piece – to tap home to his glee.

Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Danny Ward (Joel Coleman, 46); Chris Loewe (Jason Davidson, 84), Christopher Schindler (Michael Hefele, 84), Mark Hudson (c) (Jon Gorenc Stankovic, 84), Tommy Smith (Martin Cranie, 84); Jonathan Hogg (Ivan Paurevic, 76), Aaron Mooy (Dean Whitehead, 84); Rajiv van La Parra, Jack Payne (Kasey Palmer, 71), Joe Lolley; Elias Kachunga (Rekeil Pyke, 84)

Unused sub:
Jordan Williams

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