Another hour in the legs ahead of the season!
- Huddersfield Town play second pre-season friendly on Saturday 16 July
- Many senior players get an hour against Doncaster Rovers
- Second half penalty conceded with B Team on the pitch settles the game
Many of Town’s senior players got another hour under their belts in the second friendly of the day at Sky Bet League Two side Doncaster Rovers in the glorious July sun!
The Terriers, led by Danny Schofield, enjoyed plenty of possession as they continued their build up for the new Sky Bet Championship season, and should have been ahead when they finished their afternoon on the hour mark.
In the end, it was a penalty conceded by B Team centre back Loick Ayina and converted by a Doncaster trialist that was the difference in the scoreline on the afternoon.
Town’s starting side included Sorba Thomas for the first time in pre-season, with the Wales international returning later than his colleagues after his season was extended by World Cup qualifying and Nations League duty.
He was among a strong looking side that dominated possession in South Yorkshire for the majority of the first hour, and could have taken the lead inside three minutes. An early corner was half-cleared to Duane Holmes, and it took a defender to head his resulting cross off the line at the far post!
Ollie Turton headed another corner over soon after, but the big chance of the half came in the 21st minute. Duane Holmes – impressive in the centre of the pitch – found Danny Ward with a pass into the area and he span neatly to beat the last man, only to send a powerful drive too close to goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell. Town kept the rebound alive, only for Josh Koroma to head over a cross from Thomas at the back post.
Koroma and Jon Russell had further efforts at goal as the half progressed, whilst the closest Doncaster came were two shots inside the area that were blocked at source by centre backs Matty Pearson and Tom Lees.
Koroma tested the goalkeeper again early in the second 45 before Doncaster’s Tommy Rowe hit a shot wide after a swift counter-attack.
Then came the raft of changes, with B Team Coach Jon Worthington stepping into the technical area to manage the side.
The Young Terriers started brightly, with Danny Grant seeing a deflected shot fly just over before centre back David Adewoju tested the ‘keeper with a firm header.
Unfortunately striker George Miller then beat Ayina to a bouncing ball before going down, with trialist C sending Town ‘keeper Giosue Bellagambi the wrong way from the spot.
There was still time for French youngster Brahima Diarra to impress the travelling fans, which included new signing Yuta Nakayama! First he set off on a mazy run that saw him beat four defenders on his way to the penalty area before laying off to Grant, whose shot was saved, and then he went alone, shooting wide after more positive play.
The game may have ended in defeat, but there was plenty to take for the Terriers with a week’s training camp at St. George’s Park ahead.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Lee Nicholls; Ollie Turton, Matty Pearson, Tom Lees, Ben Jackson; Jonathan Hogg, Jon Russell; Sorba Thomas (Danny Grant, 46’), Duane Holmes, Josh Koroma; Danny Ward
Town’s B team from 62 minutes (4-2-3-1)
Giosue Bellagambi; Neo Eccleston, Loick Ayina, David Adewoju, Shane Maroodza; Ben Midgley, Ernaldo Krasniqi; Danny Grant, Myles Bright, Ben Jackson; Brahima Diarra
Michael Roxburgh; Charles Ondo, Conor Falls