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Match Reports

REPORT: TOWN 1-1 MONTPELLIER HSC

27 July 2019

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Jan Siewert’s side faced French Ligue 1 side Montpellier HSC in their final test of pre-season before next Monday’s Sky Bet Championship opener against Derby County.

After a spell in possession, Jan Siewert’s side had the opening chance. In true Jonathan Hogg style, he won the ball back high up the pitch and played it into the path of an advancing Juninho Bacuna. Town’s Dutch midfielder looked up and fed Adama Diakhaby; who had peeled off the defence, in behind seeing his initial shot saved and the follow-up cleared by the French side.

The French side bounced back and took the lead through Gaetan Laborde; their leading scorer last season. Montpellier worked a neat opening that culminated with a neat ball through the defence, allowing Laborde to slot past Ryan Schofield to open the scoring.

Montpellier were showing some good quality in the final-third and so nearly doubled their lead. Ferri burst down the right-hand side for the visitors and dinked a neat cross to the lively Florent Mollet to volley against the Town crossbar.

The game quietened down in terms of goalmouth action up until the half-hour mark. First Juninho Bacuna fired a free kick that was collected by Dimitry Bertaud in the Montpellier goal, before Karlan Grant produced a powerful effort of his own to force the Montpellier goalkeeper into an impressive diving save to deny Town’s number 16.

Adama Diakhaby was proving a threat down the right-hand side and his direct running won a corner that contributed towards Town’s next chance. Florent Hadergjonaj floated in a cross that found Terence Kongolo who narrowly headed wide at the far post.

Jan Siewert made one change at the break introducing Aaron Mooy in place of Jonathan Hogg in the centre of midfield.

The equaliser for Town came just ten minutes into the second half as Juninho Bacuna played an exquisite through-ball from deep that Karlan Grant latched onto, calmly rounding the Montpellier ‘keeper to draw the game level.

With the game seeing a lot less in terms of chances, Jan Siewert shuffled the pack with the introduction of attackers Elias Kachunga and Collin Quaner.

Isaac Mbenza had been introduced earlier in the game; pitting him up against his former team, and it was he who was to create some dangerous openings for Town.

Playing off the left, the first came after a burst of pace down the left and an inswing cross that couldn’t quite find Collin Quaner in the box. Soon after Mbenza cut inside and fired a powerful effort from range that was deflected behind for a corner.

Town worked a great chance right at the death. Isaac Mbenza showed a neat piece of skill to turn his man before playing a neat ball into the channel to find Herbert Bockhorn. Town’s summer signing from Dortmund cut the ball back missing everyone in the box and landing at the feet of Florent Hadergjonaj who couldn’t convert.

Town’s Starting Line-Up:
Ryan Schofield; Herbert Bockhorn, Terence Kongolo, Tommy Elphick, Florent Hadergjonaj; Lewis O’Brien, Jonathan Hogg (c) (Aaron Mooy, 45’), Juninho Bacuna; Josh Koroma (64’ Isaac Mbenza), Karlan Grant (Collin Quaner, 70’), Adama Diakhaby (Elias Kachunga, 70’)

Unused Subs:
Joel Coleman, Rajiv van La Parra, Reece Brown, Jaden Brown, Rarmani Edmonds-Green

Attendance:
5,383


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