Town progress as group winners, but a poor end to this stage
- West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Huddersfield Town B
- Poor end to Premier League Cup group stages
- Young Terriers still progress as group winners
The B Team’s Premier League Cup group stage campaign ended on a sour note in the Midlands with comprehensive defeat to hosts West Bromwich Albion.
Jon Worthington’s Young Terriers still progress to the knockout stages as winners of Group C, with four wins and a draw from six games against the Baggies, Watford and Middlesbrough, but this saw our unbeaten record go by the wayside.
Town had their share of the ball at a wet Keys Park, the home of Hednesford Town, but Richard Beale’s side were devastating on the counter attack, with wide players Jovan Malcolm and Reyes Clearly causing massive issues.
The Baggies needed to win the game to stand any chance of following Town into the knockouts and started in a positive manner, aided by some very loose play from our players in pink. They took the lead inside seven minutes when left back Shane Maroodza misplayed a pass across his own defensive line, allowing Cleary to run clear of the defenders before lifting the ball over goalkeeper Michael Acquah and into the empty net.
The second came just five minutes later on another transition, with attacking midfielder Rico Richards showing good feet to dance past two before placing the ball past Town’s helpless custodian.
Cleary and former Cardiff City and Fiorentina striker Kenneth Zohore, playing as an overage player, both hit the crossbar with efforts as West Brom threatened to run away with the game.
They did score their third in the 34th minute, with Cleary finding space to bend a free kick around the defensive wall and inside the near post from around 25 yards out.
Acquah also made two good stops to deny Malcolm and Zohore a fourth.
At the other end, our best effort of the opening 45 saw Connor Shanks feed Kian Harratt the ball on his favoured left foot inside the area, but home custodian Ted Cann was out sharply to block the effort.
The second half was improved from Town, albeit in the context of the opposition being three goals to the good. Town went closer to a goal, with Cann making two good saves and Myles Bright hitting the base of the post.
At the other end, Rico Richards should have scored after robbing Krasniqi of the ball and running clear, only to see his elaborate finish drift over the crossbar.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Michael Acquah; Brodie Spencer, Loick Ayina (c), David Adewoju, Shane Maroodza; Tom Iorpenda (Sonny Whittingham, 81’), Ernaldo Krasniqi; Donay O’Brien-Brady (Conor Falls, 71’), Myles Bright, Connor Shanks (Michael Stone, 71’); Kian Harratt
Josh Mazfari; Cian Philpott
Brodie Spencer (3’), Loick Ayina (11’), Shane Maroodza (37’)