By Daniel Wood
Huddersfield Town kicked-off their 2020/21 pre-season with a 2-1 win over West Yorkshire rivals Bradford City at the John Smith’s Stadium on Thursday 27 August.
The game was available to watch for free via livestream on YouTube. Highlights are available via Huddersfield Town’s channel.
Bradford City’s Dylan Mottley-Henry gave the visitors an early lead in the game, but a Karlan Grant strike and a deflection off a Matty Daly shot gave the Terriers a comeback victory in Carlos Corberan’s first game in charge.
The second half saw a lot of youngsters take to the field for Town and they outplayed the Bradford side for much of the half.
It’s been 35 days since the last time Huddersfield Town played a game of football and a victory against one of their local rivals is a good way for them to kick start their 2020/21 campaign.
A strong starting line up was named by Carlos Corberan. The side was captained by Alex Pritchard and new signing Danny Ward started.
Unfortunately, the Bantams scored within the first 60 seconds of the game, as Dylan Mottley-Henry guided the ball into the net with a first-time effort.
The Terriers needed to show some character if they were to turn the game around.
It almost became 2-0 not so long after, as former Town player Lee Novak headed the ball just wide of the goal.
The Terriers grabbed their first goal of the game in the 11th minute of play and the comeback was on. Danny Ward assisted as Karlan Grant squared the game after planting the ball in the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Returning goalkeeper Ben Hamer had a busy time in the Town goal, as the Bantams first half pressure continued despite the equaliser.
At the other end, Juninho Bacuna had a goal-bound free-kick blocked by the Bradford City’s wall.
Karlan Grant was close to making it 2-1 in the first half as his close-range effort ricocheted off the bar. It would not have counted anyway as play was brought back due to an infringement in the build-up by Ward.
Ward only featured for the first half-hour of the game as he was substituted off after 30 minutes and replaced by Steve Mounie who almost scored instantly but was denied by Bradford’s Richard Stearman.
The Benin international had some more good chances in the first half but he could not find the back of the net.
As expected in a pre-season game, Carlos Corberan made wholesale changes at the break. Several members of Town’s newly formed B Team and some players from the under-19s squad took to the field for the second half.
Only Mounie and young midfielder Josh Austerfield stayed in the XI from the first half. The youngster had a very impressive first half in a defensive midfield role.
Matty Daly featured for the first time since signing his new contract with the club. Austerfield and Daly combined well as Town took the lead midway through the second half.
Austerfield fed Daly who linked up well with Mounie before seeing a strong low hit from the left side of the box sent into the Bantams goal by one of their own defenders.
Young Town goalkeeper Jacob Chapman replaced Hamer at half time and produced a good double save to preserve the Terriers lead.
Town has some more chances in the half with the best of the bunch coming through Brahima Diarra, but his effort was denied by the City goalkeeper.
Mustapha Olagunja, the 18-year-old centre-back, denied the Bantams from equalising late on as he threw himself in front of a goal-bound effort.
It turned out to be the last chance of the game as the Terriers kicked off their pre-season with a West Yorkshire derby victory on their home turf.
Next up for Town is the visit of Manchester United’s Under 23s side for another pre-season friendly as the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday 29 August 2020; 3 pm kick-off.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN LINE UP (4-3-3)
First half XI: Ben Hamer; Jaden Brown, Harry Toffolo, Richard Stearman, Demeaco Duhaney; Josh Austerfield, Alex Pritchard (c), Juninho Bacuna; Karlan Grant, Danny Ward (Steve Mounié, 31’), Josh Koroma
Second half XI: Jacob Chapman; Jaheim Headley, Romoney Crichlow, Mustapha Olagunju, Aaron Rowe; Josh Austerfield, Brahima Diarra, Ben Jackson; Matty Daly, Steve Mounié (Kian Harratt, 77’), Micah Obiero
Unused subs: Giosue Bellagambi; Patrick Jones