More time on the pitch in weekend friendly
- Huddersfield Town Under-19s defeated 2-1 by Salford City XI
- Fope Deru the scorer for the Young Terriers
- Donay O’Brien-Brady makes a successful return from injury
With no EFL Youth Alliance game scheduled this weekend, many Huddersfield Town Under-19 players got more time on the pitch in a friendly against a Salford City XI at the Millers Oils High Performance Complex on Saturday morning.
George Danaher’s side featured players of a myriad of ages and allowed midfielder Donay O’Brien-Brady to make a successful return from injury in the first half.
A slow start cost them in the end, with the Young Terriers unable to make up a two goal deficit despite Fope Deru’s second-half strike and more than the lion’s share of possession as the game wore on.
Town could have been behind inside the first few minutes when midfielder Sonny Whittingham gave up possession in a dangerous position, only for goalkeeper Michael Acquah to make a good initial save before a Salford man blazed the rebound over the crossbar.
At the other end, left back Michael Parker was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after receiving a late challenge – his determination to stay on his feet seemingly costing him.
It was, however, a below par start from Town’s youngsters, compounded by the 32nd minute opener for Salford. Acquah played a short pass to otherwise impressive centre back Charles Ondo, but neither player saw the opposition striker lurking and he nipped in to slide the ball into the empty net.
Salford doubled their advantage 10 minutes later when a forward guided a great header just inside the far post from a cross from Town’s left side.
The visitors hit the crossbar in the opening moments of the second half, but Town did improve thereafter – with a change to a back three paying dividends in terms of possession.
Northern Ireland Under-19 striker Conor Falls (pictured above) had already seen a low shot saved before playing a massive role in Town’s 53rd minute goal. After receiving a pass on the left edge of the Salford penalty area, the forward did well to ride a challenge before running down the dead ball line and patiently waiting for support to arrive. When it did, he timed his square ball perfectly for 17-year-old Fope Deru to stride onto and slam home at the far post.
Town dominated play after reducing the deficit and showed plenty of Terrier Spirit in their hard work and never-say-die attitude, but couldn’t find a way back into the game in blustery conditions. The closest that Danaher’s men came to an equaliser was from a corner, but skipper Tom Iorpenda hit a low shot inches wide from a narrow angle.
Regardless, it was more important minutes under the belt of Town’s young players as they become more and more accustomed to the Club’s style of play.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Michael Acquah; Fope Deru, Freddie Fletcher (Aaron Ojungu, 78’), Charles Ondo, Michael Parker; Sonny Whittingham Tom Iorpenda (c); Michael Stone (Joseph Johnson, 57’), Donay O’Brien-Brady (Temi Okuwa, 46’), Cian Philpott; Conor Falls
Fope Deru (53’)