Young Terriers draw 2-2 at home against Doncaster
- Young Terriers fielded a mix of Under-19s and Under-17s
- Michael Stone scores from another dead ball
- Loick Ayina plays first half after recovering from injury
In an eventful game at Canalside on Saturday 18 September, a Young Terriers side drew 2-2 against a strong Doncaster side.
Fielding a strong Under-19s side in the first half, the Young Terriers played themselves in a deserved 1-0 lead at half-time courtesy of yet another Michael Stone direct free-kick. His third goal from a dead ball already this season, Stone is beginning to get a reputation for himself at set pieces.
Once ahead 2-0 in the second half after Donay O’Brien-Brady finished ofF a smart move from a quickly taken short corner, Huddersfield opted to give some minutes to members of our Under-17s side as full-time drew nearer.
Struggling to regain their control of the game once Doncaster had pulled one back, the away side capitalised on their late pressure and scored a deserved equaliser, which the Young Terriers will learn from going forward.
Speaking to goalscorer Michael Stone, the Under-19 midfielder shared how much extra work he’s been putting in on his free-kicks.
“I’ve been working on my free-kicks a lot, either before or after training. I always watch people who are dead-ball specialists away from the club when I’m watching football too, because I think it’s a big thing to add to my game because it can create so many goals and assists. Hopefully I can keep getting better and better at them.”
Summarising the game, Stone was pleased with how his side started the match, but highlighted how they must learn from their mistakes as the match got tighter toward the end.
“As a team we played good football, and we had some good spells. As usual, we were good playing out from the back and our reactions in winning the ball back were also good. Our second goal came from some good build up play and quick thinking to take a short corner and score.
It was frustrating towards the end, in the last 15 minutes. Once they’d got one back, we should’ve handled that pressure better. We’ll hope to do better if that situation happens again in the future, but ideally we won’t let things get that far again.”
Impressed with both the younger players that made the step up, Stone said that playing alongside the Under-17s gives our Under-19s the opportunity to work on their leadership skills.
“The Under-17s that have made the step up are all very good on the ball, so that really helps. They can get out of tight situations when needed, and of course we can all work together too and help each other out. I look to show some leadership when they’re on the pitch, and guide them through the game. And then on the ball if I can play them the ball quickly and provide assists, the team runs a little bit more naturally.”
The game also saw B Team regular Loick Ayina make a welcome return from injury. Playing the first half to regain some match fitness, Michael Stone highlighted how much his presence was felt.
“Loick is very assured on the ball and very aggressive without it, so it definitely helped as he’s a quality player. He helped us control the first half before getting subbed off, and he made a big difference to our team.”
Having captained the Under-19s at various stages this season, Stone discussed how wearing the armband has made him feel, as well as giving some insight in to his ambitions for the season ahead.
“It gives you confidence knowing that the manager trusts you to be the captain, and trusts you to work hard for the team. All I look to do is continue showing that I can be trusted and be ready if I’m made captain again. My aim is to keep playing well for the Under-19s each week, and hopefully make some appearances for the B Team before the end of the season.”
With a home game against Salford City at 11am on Saturday 25 September in the Youth Alliance Cup, the Under-19s have an immediate opportunity to build on this performance.