Share of the spoils in the West Yorkshire derby on Saturday.
- Huddersfield Town Under-19s 2-2 Bradford City
- Share of the spoils in the EFL Youth Alliance League
- Hazeem Bakre and Temi Okuwa scorers for Town
Town’s Under-19 side drew their latest EFL Youth Alliance League game of the season on Saturday, sharing a 2-2 draw with West Yorkshire neighbours Bradford City at the Millers Oils High Performance Complex.
The Young Terriers started the game excellently and took a two-goal lead through striker Hazeem Bakre and midfielder Temi Okuwa, but Bradford fought back strongly after their first and secured a point with a second-half equaliser.
The boys in blue and white, led by coaches Michael Tonge and Oran Thompson, began the 11am kick-off in fine fashion, playing through the lines as they are taught every day in training. Full backs Omari Mrisho and trialist Stephan Padrao played high and gave the team real width, whilst the passing out from the back was accurate.
Okuwa and Bakre had already gone close – Bakre on two occasions – before our top scorer broke the deadlock in the 14th minute. It was a great move that started with centre back Freddie Fletcher, who found Mrisho’s forward run down the right with a great pass clipped over the top. Omari ran clear of the defender before squaring the ball, with Bakre volleying home from close range.
The advantage was doubled on the 20-minute mark with another move that started with goalkeeper Francis Hurl and transitioned up the pitch quickly. This time midfielder Dylan Helliwell released Padrao into space, who squared the ball to fellow trialist Donnell Garrick; the winger advanced to the dead ball line before pulling the ball back to Okuwa, who cleverly reversed a powerful shot past the ‘keeper’s right side from around 15 yards.
To their credit, the visitors responded well. Hurl had already saved two shots from range before being unlucky with Bradford’s first in the 28th minute; having made an outstanding save to deny a striker at close range, another visiting player followed in to nod the rebound into his unguarded net.
After that, Bradford finished the half far stronger and Hurl had to make two further saves, whilst a Bantams player skied a golden chance from a corner just before the interval.
Hurl was back in action early in the second half, denying a Bradford player one-on-one with his feet after a mistake from Fletcher led to a visiting player running clear.
However, the second half lacked the number of chances created by either side in the opening 45 and turned into a real midfield battle.
Hurl made another outstanding save in the 77th minute, getting down low to his right to get a strong hand to a fierce drive, but he was powerless to prevent the equaliser two minutes’ later when Town didn’t properly clear a cross, and a Bradford man drilled the ball into the top corner from 12 yards.
As the game neared its conclusion, it was Town who had the best two chances to net a winner. Both fell to Bakre, but he was denied by opponents on both occasions.
First Padrao’s pass put him into the penalty area on his favoured left foot, but his low drive was saved well by the visiting custodian.
Moments later he showed good strength on halfway to outmuscle the final defender and run clear, but a recovering Bantams defender did just enough to deflect the ball back to his goalkeeper before Hazeem could pull the trigger.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Francis Hurl; Omari Mrisho, Freddie Fletcher, Anthony Gregory, Stephan Padrao; Oliver Calland, Dylan Helliwell (c); Aaron Ojungu (Archie Sheppard, 90+3’), Temi Okuwa (Sonny Bennett, 80’), Donnell Garrick (Murthad Al-Jahadhmy, 60’); Hazeem Bakre
Hazeem Bakre (20’), Temi Okuwa (28’)
Hazeem Bakre (42’)