Tough test for Huddersfield Town’s Under-19 team against Middlesbrough
- Huddersfield Town’s U19 side plays at Middlesbrough’s Training Ground
- Dean Whitehead’s side beaten after three first half goals
- Positives to be taken from a much improved second-half performance.
Huddersfield Town’s Under-19 side faced a gruelling encounter away at Middlesbrough’s Rockliffe Hall Training Ground on Monday afternoon.
Dean Whitehead’s side slipped to a 3-0 defeat with all the goals coming in the first-half courtesy of Tyrone O’Neill, however there were some good performances by his young side in the second-half.
Town’s squad was once again very young with 17-year-old’s Josh Austerfield, Mustapha Olagunju and Jaheim Headley all playing a part in the game. Only, Abdelhamid Sabiri and Joel Coleman were involved from the First Team. Rudy Gestede featured for the hosts.
Middlesbrough dominated the opening exchanges and found itself two goals to the good after just 17 minutes.
Boro took the lead in the 12th minute after a cross from the right wing was allowed to bounce in the six-yard area before being bundled in by O’Neill.
Boro’s number eight weaved his way down the right wing for the second time and produced a perfect cross to find the striker who rose highest and headed the ball home. Boro was now dominating proceedings.
The home side continued to create a plethora of chances as the Town defence came under increasing pressure.
Balls in to the box from both wingers continued to cause problems for Town, in the 23rd minute a floated cross almost found a Boro head and three minutes later Rudy Gestede should have scored but his header went inches over the bar.
Not long after it was 3-0 to Boro. The prolific O’Neill grabbed another goal with a cool finish after 38 minutes. The Boro striker was allowed too much time in the box and despite Town goalkeeper Joel Coleman getting a hand on the shot, it hit the post and trickled in.
That brought the first-half to an end with not much to shout about for Town, however the Young Terriers came out in the second 45 wanting to showcase their talent.
First Team player, Abdelhamid Sabiri, forced Boro’s goalkeeper to make a good save two minutes in to the second-half as he curled a right-footed effort from the edge of the box.
Town’s Under-19 Coach, Dean Whitehead, decided it was time for change and made a triple substitution in the 51st minute which saw 16-year-old Kian Harratt introduced alongside Headley and Olagunju.
The Young Terriers then produced two chances in quick succession. First, Captain Scott High had a 25-yard free-kick well saved by the Boro goalkeeper and then fast-paced winger Micah Obiero forced another block from close range just before the hour mark.
Whitehead was forced in to making another change with 20 minutes to go as Tom Bell replaced the injured Romoney Crichlow-Noble.
With 15 minutes to go, Town appealed for a penalty after Kit Elliott was taken down in the area, but the referee turned down the protests.
Boro saw out the rest of the game without too much trouble but the Young Terriers made a good account of themselves with a strong second-half performance.
Town’s team (4-3-3):
Joel Coleman, Sam Gibson, Ben Jackson, Oran Thompson (Mustapha Olagunju, 51’), Romoney Crichlow-Noble (Tom Bell, 72’), Abdelhamid Sabiri (Jaheim Headley, 51’), Aaron Rowe, Scott High (C), Kit Elliott, Josh Austerfield (Kian Harratt, 51’), Micah Obiero.