Disappointing start to German tournament for the Young Terriers
- Young Terriers defeated in first SPAX Cup game
- Werder Bremen too good for U19s on the afternoon
- Two SPAX Cup games remaining on Sunday
Huddersfield Town’s Under-19 SPAX Cup campaign got off to a disappointing start on Saturday afternoon, with a below-par performance leading to a defeat against Werder Bremen.
Academy Manager Leigh Bromby has taken a young squad out to Germany for the tournament, with several key Under-19 players like Scott High and Ben Jackson given a rest after a busy season. Rarmani Edmonds-Green, the key centre back, is with the squad, but had to sit it out after suffering a dead leg in training.
However, the Young Terriers never hit their stride and were comfortably beaten by the impressive German side in their first game.
Town were second-best in the 25-minute first-half, with goalkeeper Luke Mewitt called upon inside three minutes. He got his angles right to deny the tall Bremen striker as he entered the area on his left foot
Town were constantly on the back foot and when Romoney Crichlow-Noble, who was decent on the afternoon, lost the ball in the 10th minute, Mewitt was needed again to make two quick saves.
Unfortunately, the first goal soon followed. Centre back Oran Thompson seemed to get caught deeper than his defensive colleagues and the forward isolated him, rolling around his left before sliding the ball under Mewitt from a narrow angle
Bremen’s attacks continued, with the winger collecting a superb cross-field ball on the Town left, taking aim and firing into the outside of the netting from 25 yards four minutes later.
The Terriers were then punished with a second concession in the 21st minute after some sloppy play. Mewitt, trying to play out, gave the ball to Taylor Annakin, who had just switched to a deep midfield role. Sadly the 17-year-old mis-controlled and was dispossessed, giving a forward the easy task of beating a stranded Mewitt.
Town’s best period came straight after the interval, with some wing-play putting Werder on the back foot.
Crichlow-Noble almost dribbled the full length of the pitch in impressive fashion with 10 minutes left, but just overran the final touch into the area and conceded a free-kick lunging to make up for it.
Although Town were far from fluid in attack, not testing the Bremen goalkeeper all game, the defending got better. 17-year-old Mustapha Olagunju had a fine game at centre back, looking at home on the ball and off it, and together with Crichlow-Noble most attacks were snuffed out.
However, in a near carbon-copy of the second, Town conceded a third with the last kick of the game. This time Jaheim Headley – who had a better second-half – gave up possession on the edge of his own box and the clinical Bremen player made no mistake.
Bromby’s youngsters still have a chance to qualify for Monday’s finals, playing two more group games on Sunday against Fortuna Düsseldorf (9.30am) and FC Midtjylland (2pm).
Town’s team (3-4-3)
Luke Mewitt; Romoney Crichlow-Noble, Mustapha Olagunju, Oran Thompson (Tom Bamford, 35’); Sam Sharrock-Peplow, Tim Akinola (Tom Bell, 26’), Jaheim Headley, Taylor Annakin (Nassim Kherbouche, 40’); Micah Obiero, Kit Elliott, Will McCamley (Andrew Ijiwole, 39’)
Giosue Bellagambi; Rarmani Edmonds-Green