Tie For Young Owls Against Terriers (Full Report)
Storthes Hall Park
Saturday 18th October, 11 AM Kick Off.
With neither of these teams coming into this fixture in the best of form, it was always going to be a tight encounter. Huddersfield were missing six academy regulars and were forced to field many 1st years, as well as fourteen year-old Hatib Cham, on the bench. Wednesday were making do without the experience of Aaron Jameson and Sam Liversidge. Max Wragg also found himself in an unfamiliar centre back role.
Huddersfield lined up with a 5-4-1 formation, whereas the Owls, fielded an exotic 4-1-2-1-2 formation with Liam Palmer, providing the attacking force in midfield.
The game began at a relentless high tempo but it soon turned into a scrappy affair. Wednesday`s first attack of real intent came from a hopeful long ball from Wragg which almost allowed Tunnard to race clear. It was Huddersfield who came closest from the opening blows though, a tricky, mazy run from forward Dave Heagney, followed by a low drive from 20 yards, was held onto well, by Wednesday Keeper Herring.
Wednesday`s forwards seemed to be causing different problems for the inexperienced Huddersfield backline. Modest was using both his strength and pace whilst Tunnard provided an altogether different threat, with his hustle and bustle style. But it was the largely unnoticed forward Tom Hall, who got his name on the score sheet, in the 13th minute. The ball was won by Harrison in midfield and Palmer slipped Hall through on goal, where he delivered a diagonal, low drive with his left foot, just beyond the Keepers reach.
Wednesday took confidence from the goal and started to pass the ball around well, but were unable to create any real chances. Huddersfield were looking far too narrow and the uncompromising figure of Hadfield was dealing with any long balls. Elsewhere, Palmer was showing real signs of class on the ball and he almost slipped in Modest on a few occasions. Wragg was also looking assured at the back as the game petered out into half time, with Wednesday comfortably ahead.
Huddersfield came out for the Second Half with a more attacking line up. The ineffective Brook was replaced by Josh Mclean on the right wing. Huddersfield did start the half better too. A long range effort from Luke Durham came close to putting the home side back on level terms. At the other end, another long ball, almost allowed the livewire Modest in to stretch Wednesday`s advantage. He flicked the ball past on rushing Keeper Eastham but the ball rolled narrowly wide.
The game ebbed and flowed with Barnett coming close for Wednesday and Durham again testing Herring for Huddersfield, but Wednesday looked quite comfortable, restricting Huddersfield to long range efforts. The Owls looked all set for their first win of the campaign, so it must have come as a real hammer blow, for them, when Huddersfield equalised late on. Fourteen year-old Hatib Cham had looked lively since he came on in the 65th minute and it was his skill and persistence that put through Chris Atkinson, whose low shot beat Herring.
Wednesday could have re took the lead from two set pieces late on, Wragg`s goal bound header was cleared acrobatically and Hadfield nodded over from a Barnett corner.
The old cliché of taking positives out of the game is applicable here for Wednesday. Liam Palmer looks like a real prospect; he played in a playmaker type role and looked a constant threat.
Max Wragg looked really assured at centre back despite him being a full back by trade. Callum Harrison is energetic and likes to get the ball down and pass. Leon Lekaj likes to get forward from right back and isn`t afraid of getting stuck in. I think there could well be bright futures for a few of these boys and I suggest that if you have the chance, go watch them on a Saturday morning. Their next game at home is against Newcastle on the 15th November. Up next for the young Owls is a trip to Barnsley in two weeks time, where they will be hoping to pick up three points from last years whipping boys.