Lucky Terriers steal win against Shay Men

Huddersfield Town story posted by Rachel Jillott on 21/07/2003
After reading the report from the friendly against Emley, I was full of anticipation before making the short journey to the Shay. A new look team was what I was going to see, and hopefully the start of a new era for Town, but just minutes into the game I was experiencing that same old feeling! After just 3 minutes, our ?solid? defence had been caught out by a lovely piece of football, which produced Halifax?s first goal. Although our stocky centre backs of Steve Yates and Ian Hughes were caught out, the footballing skills of The Shay Men had many of the Town fans applauding. I kept a close eye on our new boys at the back and unfortunately I wasn?t all that impressed. They were beaten by balls played over the top on several occasions and I sometimes felt like they were being caught napping when they should have cleared easy balls. I know the team needs time to gel, but we haven?t got much time and a bit of communication between them wouldn?t go amiss.Lucky Terriers steal win against Shay Men

Captain Rob Edwards produced a semi-solid performance, but was beaten for pace on a few occasions, but there?s no denying that good old Robbie still has the hunger and eagerness for the ball, which he had before. Also he produced two goal-line clearances in as many minutes, when the Town defence faced a goal mouth scramble.

The last new defender to be mentioned is Martyn Booty. This smallish yet built right back turned in a comfortable show, but still with a lot to prove. His deep cross however handed Stead the opportunity to equalise for the Terriers, and that he did. Steady brought the ball down with his chest and coolly slotted home. Just what the Town fans needed, and Stead himself for that matter. Stead?s equaliser came mid way through the first half, but Town couldn?t hold onto the draw, with Halifax going ahead once again just 5 minutes before the break. Town?s defence more or less invited Halifax?s Hudson to have a shot, and he did, resulting in their 2nd goal. It was frustrating to see, but hopefully they learnt from their mistakes, as in the second half Town seemed to close down the Shay Men much better. Both of Halifax?s goals were well taken and much deserved, but if Town had been on full alert then there?s no denying they could have been prevented.

New Keeper Ian Gray wasn?t as commanding behind his defence as he should have been. A new keeper always needs to assert himself as the leader of the pack, and this is what he didn?t do. I rarely heard him shout when coming out to catch crosses, which always unsettles me, and his kicking under pressure was a bit breath gasping, as you watched them go astray, although from a dead ball, it was much better. Personally I feel that if he is going to threaten Senior for the No.1 shirt then he needs to step up a gear or he?ll find himself lagging behind.

The second half however started much more optimistically, with Town putting the home team under instant pressure with a lovely one-two from Schofield and Newby. Schofield had the final shot and it went agonisingly wide, as if he had found the back of the net, it would have been a perfect finish from Town?s best move of the game. John Newby hadn?t had much service from the midfield in the first half but you couldn?t help but think that when he did receive the ball he was more than capable of putting any defence under threat. And about 10 minutes from time he gave Town a lifeline and slotted the ball home from a Booth dummy. Booth had come on for previous goal scorer Jon Stead, and Booth himself should have netted earlier but failed to do so. Chris Holland had also been taken off after a fairly jaded and shabby performance, which surprised me after it took him an eternity to sign his contract.

The other midfield battler, Lee Fowler, didn?t impress me as much as I had hoped. Don?t get me wrong he played some nice through balls and got stuck in, in the midfield scrambles, but some of his passing was inaccurate and his crossing wasn?t top notch. A bit of fine tweeking though and we could have a rather good midfield ball winner. He did however score the winning goal, after finishing the move he initially started. He calmly knocked the ball under the Halifax, who himself had turned in a solid performance.

Now for Tyrone Thompson.........What a player! No doubt he was my Man of the Match. He looked so fresh and new, it truly invigorated me. His crossing was superb and refreshing for every Town fan as we?d forgotten what a decent cross looked like. He chased several stray balls and was constantly involved in the action. He tried his luck himself with a shot from just outside the box, but was unlucky. He deserved a goal after all the hard work he put in. I don?t really have anything negative to say about him, which is a first for me! I can?t wait to see him against Sunderland as I think he could cause The Black Cats a lot of problems. I do however have my worries for the defence when they come up against the talent of Town old boy Marcus Stewart, as if they don?t step up their game, they will be caught out big time.

In all honesty though, we can?t really be expecting to see classy, flowing football whilst playing in Division 3, just good all battles and many wins, which I think we will get, as long as everyone pulls their finger out and we work as a team. All I have to say is...Let the season begin!


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