EFL Youth Alliance Cup campaign gets under way.
- Huddersfield Town U18s 0-4 Doncaster Rovers
- Defeat for the Young Terriers in opening cup game
- Promising first half display despite the result
A young Town side featuring four trialists will learn valuable lessons from the opening EFL Youth Alliance Cup game of the season at home to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
The Young Terriers were defeated 4-0 on the day in their initial round robin fixture, but it wasn’t a completely negative experience for the players or the staff, who will have learned a lot from the reactions of their young charges in adverse moments.
Despite trailing by two goals at the interval, there was plenty of encouragement from some of the play in the opening 45 minutes as Town moved the ball well through the thirds, making good use of the width and the space between Doncaster’s midfield and defence. Midfield duo Oliver Calland and Temi Okuwa impressed in particular.
However, the concession of two soft goals will have frustrated everyone of a blue and white persuasion.
The first came in the 13th minute, when a long pass over the top of the Town defence was left by centre back Anthony Gregory for goalkeeper Francis Hurl to clean up, Unfortunately, and to his credit, Doncaster striker Kenneth Imariagbe raced onto the ball and came out of the other side of the 50-50 with the ball before steering it calmly into the unguarded net.
Town went really close to a quickfire equaliser when Okuwa did well to drive forward before finding striker Hazeem Bakre. He turned smartly, but his low drive clipped the outside of the far post before going dead.
Instead, it was Doncaster and Imariagbe who doubled their advantage in the 17th minute. The striker got the better of a physical tussle with centre back Freddie Fletcher before steadying himself and finishing very nicely across Hurl and into the far corner from 20 yards out.
Trialist Ashton Houlahan, from partner club Park View Academy, had a huge chance to reduce the arrears right on the half hour mark when a deflected shot fell to him in the area, but he placed his effort too close to goalkeeper Jacob Bryant, who made the save.
There was still time for Town to have a huge penalty claim turned away before the interval when Bakre appeared to be clipped as he span past a defender in the area.
The second half lacked tempo from either side as the hot conditions apparently took their toll, and Doncaster eventually gave the scoreline a heavier look with two great strikes in the 87th and 91st minutes.
As luck would have it, the next game for the Under-19s is an EFL Youth Alliance League clash against the same opposition, Doncaster Rovers! This time it takes place in South Yorkshire, with an 11am kick-off.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Francis Hurl (c); Omari Mrisho, Freddie Fletcher, Anthony Gregory, Tyrese Hughes (Aaron Ojungu, 79’); Ashton Peltier, Oliver Calland; Ashton Houlahan, Temi Okuwa, Donnell Garrick; Hazeem Bakre
Omari Mrisho (89’)
Town’s B Team get their Premier League Cup campaign under way on Wednesday evening with a game against Newcastle United at the John Smith’s Stadium! Click HERE for full admission information.