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Match Reports


8 October 2023

Match Reports


8 October 2023

Ondo goal secures a point in the Premier League Cup.

- Nottingham Forest 1-1 Huddersfield Town
- Charles Ondo’s equaliser secures a point
- Two points in two Premier League Cup games

The Town B Team came from behind to draw against hosts Nottingham Forest in their second Premier League Cup group stage game on Friday evening.

A cagey first half, during which Town had to do more of the defending – doing so well – gave way to a much more open second 45 minutes that could have seen either side take all three points.

The first chance of note in the game came in the eighth minute when Town centre back Mustapha Olagunju, who performed excellently on the night, slipped at an unfortunate moment, allowing Forest to work the ball to Gardner, who forced our goalkeeper Giosue Bellagambi into action with a powerful shot from around 20 yards out.

Town’s first significant attack followed in the 21st minute when Olagunju and Josh Austerfield combined to win the ball on halfway, with the midfielder then setting forward Pat Jones away down the left. The Wales Under-21 international showed his electric pace to break away and into the area before pulling the ball back to the penalty spot, where Charles Ondo arrived at full pace and powered a first time shot over the crossbar.

The biggest chance of the first half fell to Forest just after the half hour mark, but Bellagambi was on hand to deny them. A ball in behind our defence allowed Ben Perry to square the ball to Jack Perkins, who tried to sweep the ball home with a first-time effort from just six yards; however, the Uganda international was in the right place to block the shot with his feet. The ball bounced back into the area, where Olagunju was on hand to block the follow-up before David Adewoju cleared.

There was still time for a chance apiece as the opening half ended. First Perkins tried his luck from range again, with Bellagambi making the save. Then, having intercepted a pass, Olagunju clipped a good pass into Jones, who turned infield before sliding a through pass to Ondo. He did well to make the room beyond defender Kyle McAdam to shoot, but his effort was easy pickings for goalkeeper Will Brook.

Jon Worthington, who introduced Michael Stone at the interval for his first game this season following an injury, had to watch his side fall behind barely three minutes into the second half. Captain Ben Midgley committed a foul that earned him a yellow and from the resulting Perkins free kick, a ball headed back across the face of our goal was turned home inside the six yard box by Gardner.

Town tried to fight back immediately through a similarly positioned free kick taken by Stone, but Forest managed to clear it behind after an almighty scramble.

Under-19 striker Hazeem Bakre came on for the final half-hour and was straight into the action, unable to turn home a fantastic Luke Daley cross at the back post despite being at full stretch. That move was made possible by superb hold-up work from Ondo.

Worthington switched things up tactically to try and find a way back into the game for the final 20 minutes, with Northern Ireland youth international Conor Falls returning from his own injury to play up front, flanked by Bakre and Ondo, as Town moved to a 3-4-3 formation. Creative midfielder Cian Philpott soon followed him into the action, with Ondo then moving to left wing back.

The Young Terriers made the momentum pay with eight minutes left when they netted the equaliser. A pass from Neo Eccleston was blocked by a defender right into the path of midfielder Tom Iorpenda, who advanced into the left side of Forest’s penalty area. He checked past a defender along the dead ball line before pushing the ball across the face of goal, where Ondo (pictured above) got the better of the defender to turn home!

Town continued to look for a second, with Bakre shooting over, but Olagunju had to be alert to bravely block a fierce late shot from Justin Hanks at close range.

The point – Town’s second in as many games after an opening draw at home to Newcastle United – leaves us third in the four team group, with four games still left to play.

Town’s team (3-5-2)
Giosue Bellagambi; Neo Eccleston, Mustapha Olagunju, David Adewoju; Omari Mrisho (Michael Stone, 46’ (Conor Falls, 71’)), Josh Austerfield, Tom Iorpenda, Ben Midgley (c), Luke Daley (Cian Philpott, 75’); Pat Jones (Hazeem Bakre, 61’), Charles Ondo

Unused substitute
Michael Acquah

Town goal
Charles Ondo (82’)

Town bookings
Luke Daley (41’), Ben Midgley (48’), Josh Austerfield (54’), David Adewoju (85’)

Town face Queens Park Rangers at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday 21 October 2023 after the upcoming international break. CLICK HERE to secure your seat and get behind the team!

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