By Cameron McAlpin
It was smiles all round once again for Vill Powell and his men, as Brighouse continued their winning ways with a 3-0 victory over a Huddersfield Town XI.
From the opening kick off both teams played with more intensity and desire than Brighouses opening preseason fixture against Sheffield FC, in which Brighouse would go on to win 5-0.
During the first 10 minutes of this fixture, both teams looked up for the occasion, with Eli Hey leading the line for Brighouse and causing some problems for the Huddersfield defence with his constant pressing.
Early on Huddersfield’s game plan was to play the ball from the back and gather momentum for an attack via quick passing while trying to feed the ball down both the left and right-wing.
While no real chances occurring early on, Huddersfield did look to dominate the ball and get it into the feet of central midfielder Brahim Diarra. Diarra, when given space looked to push forward through the centre of the pitch, which he did well and often.
The Huddersfield squad, made up of a combination of u19’s and u17’s players looked comfortable for the most part, but it was the front line of Jack Boyle, Alhassane Keita and Hey who would look press in unison and cause problems for the Huddersfield defence, which in turn opened up the game more.
Even though the standard of play was better than a week before, both teams could only trade half chances with no real threat to either goalkeeper. The first half looked destined to be goalless.
This all changed however when Brighouse worked the ball down the left-wing. Eddie Church had found himself in a promising position by the corner flag. Even with two Huddersfield defenders around him, Church managed to get in a wonderful cross that found a wide-open Keita at the back post.
With time and space, Keita calmly headed the ball from around six yards out and found the back of the net. It was a standard but professional finish from the number 11, who had Church to thank for putting it on a plate for him.
Church also got the ‘Man of the First Half’ from David Foy (one half of your Brighouse Town radio team). As David stated on the commentary, Church looked very lively and often found himself in dangerous positions down the left-hand side, eventually finding that killer ball which resulted in a goal.
As was the case last week both teams made big changes at half time, with both managers trying to get a look at as many players as possible during the preseason.
The start of the 2nd half was once again met with intensity and desire, but it was Brighouse who looked to control the game.
Often in the 2nd half, the ball found its way down to the left-wing and at the feet of skilful winger Javelle Clarke. Clarke looked to attack early and often, running at the defenders with pace and purpose.
The first real chance of the half, however, fell to Huddersfield. After a miscommunication between two Brighouse trialists at the back, a Huddersfield player capitalised and whipped in a cross, an almost replica of Brighouses opening goal. However, the Huddersfield forward could only find the near post with his headed attempt.
After this near chance, the game was on a knife-edge and the next goal would be vital. Thankfully for the boys in orange, the next goal would be theirs.
An in-swinging corner via Josh Grant was met by the head of James Hurtley, who thundered the ball past Huddersfield keeper Giouse Bellagambi to put the Orange Army up 2-0 in the 67th minute.
While Brighouse looked to push forward and put the game to bed it was Huddersfield who almost scored the next goal, but not in the correct net. After a heavy back pass, Bellagambi had to scramble and made it back just in time to stop an embarrassing own goal.
Moments later however the same situation occurred. This time however it was Bellagambi who took his eye off the ball as it rolled under his foot. Once again Bellagambi scrambled and only just cleared the ball, as the linesman deemed it had not fully crossed the line.
Brighouse, however, could sense that Huddersfield was ripe for the picking and in the 78th minute, Brighouse got their 3rd. It was a lovely little lay off by Joe Jagger, which a trialist ran onto and found the bottom corner from around 20 yards out. It was a fine finish and a deserved end to this game for Brighouse.
Heavy legs set in during the final 10 minutes, with no real action to note. The final whistle came with Brighouse town winning by three goals to nil.
It was a deserved victory for Brighouse who kept their 2nd clean sheet in a row and kept their preseason momentum going.
Javelle Clarke got the distinguished honour of ‘Man of the Second Half’ for his lively performance and dazzling footwork down the left-wing.
You can find the managers thoughts on the game here
Brighouse XI First Half: Matthew Smith (GK), T’nique Fishley, Trialist, Tom Haigh, Kurt Harris (C), Harrison Beeden, Eddie Church, Josh Grant, Eli Hey, Jack Boyle, Alhassane Keita.
Brighouse XI Second Half: George Clarke (GK), Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, James Hurtley, Laurence Sorhaindo, Sam Reed, Josh Grant, Joe Jagger, Leighton Sawyer, Javelle Clarke.