Terrier's bite too viscous for Black Cats

Huddersfield Town story posted by Rachel Jillott on 26/07/2003
After Saturdays shady performance at The Shay I didn?t live in much hope of getting a result against last seasons relegated Premier League side. I felt this game was mainly going to be about the return of the McAlpine hero, Marcus Stewart?But not to be. Stewart was left in the shadow as the mighty blues dominated for 90 minutes against a Sunderland side who had been unbeaten in their pre-season friendlies. A new combination at the back of Mirfin and Scott sounds a little inexperienced, but a newcomer to The McAlpine would have thought that these two had been playing together for years. Although we have signed Hughes and Yates, these two young lads have got to be number one contenders for the starting defence. They were solid throughout the ninety minutes, and also played some good balls upfield.Terrier's bite too viscous for Black Cats

Sunderland were the first to threaten the goals, but only to be disappointed because of a Gray save. Now I know I didn?t give Gray any praise in my review of the Halifax game, and it makes me wonder if he read my article because on Wednesday night he was superb. No wonder Jacko thinks he could be the best keeper in Division 3. He was much more commanding than I remember him being on Saturday and made several fantastic saves and catches. The most memorable save was probably on 39 minutes, when the Sunderland player shot from directly in front of goal, only to see his shot foiled by an amazing point blank save from the towering figure of Gray.

Danny Schofield had a chance to redeem himself from his lack lustre performance against the Shay Men by scoring with a glancing header, but the only trouble was, was that he missed the ball! Once again young Danny boy failed to impress me, and was upstaged all game by the new man in the middle, Tony Carss. He battled for every ball going, ran at defenders and wasn?t frightened to try something different. Just what we need for our fresh start. Unfortunately though, Tyrone Thompson didn?t have the kind of performance which I was expecting. I don?t think he delivered one cross, which is a shame as I think this is the best part of his game, but did manage to do a bit of show boating on 11 minutes, just to show he was there. I think a little patience is needed with Tyrone, but I hope and am sure it will all pay off in the end.

Sunderland?s number 7 had a perfect opportunity to send his side into the break with a 1-0 lead but failed to do so when he shot wide from inside the 6 yard box...and did I mention it was an open goal?! So 45 minutes gone, and only 1 shot on target, which was from the team all in black, but Town fans were enjoying every minute of it, and of course showing their appreciation for the former fans? favourite Sparky Marky Stewart. He received a very well deserved round of applause before the match started and was continuously at the centre of the Town fans? chants. Thankfully and not unexpectedly he received this welcome well and you could tell he was pleased to be back.

Well what can I say about the second half?? How about...It was all Town! We came out fighting and thankfully Jon Stead came out an improved player as he hadn?t an impressive first half, but he certainly upped his game in the second 45. Rob Edwards was the first to have a crack on goal with a lovely volley which went a yard or so over, but it was nice to see him still having a go at goal. Then came the much awaited first goal. Newby slotted home the ball from a Jon Stead pass, which was perfectly timed and perfectly placed?Perfection!! This got the fans roaring and the players fighting. They wanted more and showed it. Straight after, Stead and Newby showed that they linked up well by impressing with a lovely one-two, which was ended rather cruelly by some poor control from Jon Stead. But not to worry, Stead soon made up for it, as on 70 minutes he waited for the ball to land perfectly on his head from a lovely Rob Edwards cross, and the 5144 in the ground saw it loop over Mart Pooms head and land in the bottom corner of the goal. It seems that even if Stead doesn?t have a particularly good game he can still score. But just think how many he could get if he did play out of his socks! Come on Steady.

After watching their beloved Sunderland getting out played and dominated by a Division 3 side, many of the Black Cat?s supporters headed for the exit. But those that didn?t would have seen an excellent shot pushed wide by the outstretched arm, of my man of the match Ian Gray. There were several contenders for man of the match. Mirfin, Carss, Scott or Newby all earning themselves immense credit for their outstanding performances, but I feel that I owe it to Gray to give him man of the match after he totally turned himself around in the space of a few days.

There?s no denying that we played some lovely football against Sunderland, but you can?t help but think that we won?t be able to do the same in many of the fixtures we are going to come across next season. But nevertheless, it?s hugely encouraging to know that they can turn on the talent if they want to. Well done boys!


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