A tale of two halves for the Young Terriers!
- Huddersfield Town Under-19s take on Hannover 96
- Young Terriers below par in the first half
- Much-improved second 45 minutes makes result harsh
It was a real tale of two halves for the Town Under-19 side in the first of two games on tour in Germany on Monday.
Finding themselves a goal down after a poor opening 45 minutes against hosts Hannover 96, Dean Whitehead’s side responded well and was unlucky not to find the equaliser, only to concede a second at the death whilst chasing a goal.
With a game against Hertha Berlin’s Under-23 side beckoning on Wednesday, Whitehead picked a young side against the Under-19s of the impressive Hannover Academy.
Town had the first real chance of the game in the second minute after winger Dom Tear forced a corner. Captain Scott High drilled the ball into the area and centre back Oran Thompson met it with his head, with his glancing effort forcing a good save. Aaron Rowe picked up the rebound but fired it over from an acute angle.
That was as good as it got in an uncharacteristically sloppy first-half from Town as the hosts took control. Goalkeeper Luke Mewitt had to be alert to keep the Germans at bay, stopping a close-range effort inside the opening 10 minutes before making amends for his own errant pass with another good stop moments later.
Rowe carried Town’s best threat on the wing but could only force the goalkeeper into a routine diving save as the first half continued with Hannover in the ascendancy. The goal was coming and was duly delivered in the 25th minute; Thompson’s error in possession being punished to the full by an attacker.
It should have been two soon after as a striker went through – Town looking for the offside flag that never came – but he dragged his shot wide when very well positioned.
Whitehead got into his team at half-time, making a change to bring on 16-year-old Sam Sharrock-Peplow on the wing and moving Rowe into a central position. The change had the desired effect, with the Young Terriers growing into a dominant position in the game.
Hannover should still have doubled the advantage around the hour mark, with a player putting a free header from a corner wide.
The chances then started to flow for Town, with midfielder Isaac Marriott doing excellently to create the first in the 70th minute. He won an interception and played a smart one-two to get up the pitch before squaring to striker Micah Obiero, who saw his shot deflected wide for a corner.
Obiero went closer barely 60 seconds later as Rowe caught Hannover trying to play out of defence. He gave the ball got his colleague and this time the forward hit the target, forcing a fantastic save from the goalkeeper.
Tear scuffed a shot at the goalkeeper and Obiero curled over as Town continued to press, with the best chance coming in the 78th minute. High found Tear with a smart pass and the winger fired towards goal, only to hit the post.
Full back Ben Jackson then delivered an outstanding corner into the box to find Thompson’s head again, but he couldn’t get enough purchase on the ball to beat the custodian.
The chances continued to flow, with High picking out Jaheim Headley at the back post from a free kick. Unfortunately, the full back could only hit the side-netting when unmarked.
The centre backs continued to cause problems as the game ended. First Harry Spratt headed the ball at the goalkeeper and then Thompson went as close as anyone, volleying towards goal only to see his effort cleared off the line!
Headley did have the ball in the net in the closing moments from a Jackson pass, but the referee signalled for a foul in Hannover’s favour.
At the death, the hosts broke clear and netted a late second, leaving Mewitt with no chance in a 2-on-1 situation; a cruel blow for the Terriers.
Town’s team (4-3-3)
Luke Mewitt; Jaheim Headley, Harry Spratt, Oran Thompson, Ben Jackson; Scott High (c), Isaac Marriott, Josh Austerfield (Sam Sharrock-Peplow, 38’); Aaron Rowe, Micah Obiero, Dom Tear
Jacob Chapman; Mustapha Olagunju, Taylor Annakin