Harrogate Town victory against Huddersfield Town

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A stunning first-half strike from Lewis Richards was enough to secure victory for Town this afternoon against Championship side Huddersfield Town.

It was an encouraging display from Town and capped by Richards’s goal that was deserved of settling any game of football.

Heading into the game, Simon Weaver was looking for Town’s first win of the pre-season campaign having suffered home defeats to Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday over the past week.

Town made an early charge on goal though when Alex Pattison’s threaded through-ball found Trialist, who cut back to the danger area but the visitors were alert to the threat.

Given the warm temperatures it was no surprise that there was a slow pace to the game but Town enjoyed the early territorial advantage, penning Huddersfield deep in their own half.

On 15 minutes Town’s defence was penalised for a trip on Jordan Rhodes handing the visitors a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area. The resulting strike from Connor Mahoney was close enough to worry Pete Jameson and he was grateful to see the ball not quite have an enough dip to land under the bar.

Half-way through the first-half Town were rewarded for a spell of patient build-up play when a measured move resulted in George Thomson teeing up Richards, who unleashed a low, fizzing effort that evaded Jacob Chapman to hand Town the lead.

Town went close soon after from Thomson’s corner but Kyle Ferguson couldn’t find the direction on his header to hit the target.

Goalscorer Richards then made a timely intervention at the back to clear the danger from a Huddersfield move down the right-hand side.

Huddersfield made three changes at the break, introducing Nicholas Bilokapic, Scott High and Rolando Aarons for Jacob Chapman, Connor Mahoney and David Kasumu.

Town kept the same line-up for the start of the second-half and went close in the opening minutes when a Thomson free-kick was delivered to the far post. The delivery narrowly evaded the Town attack though and fell to safety.

Aarons’s afternoon was cut short through injury after 10 minutes and he was replaced by former Town loanee Brahima Diarra who received a warm reception from the home crowd.

Huddersfield won a corner when Lewis was forced to divert a dangerous cross behind. The resulting set piece was well claimed by an authoritative Jameson for his first action for some time.

Town then caught the visitors napping with a quick breakaway that saw Matty Daly bear down on goal but the new boy’s low, left-footed effort struck the side netting.

The first changes of the game for Town came on the hour mark when Stephen Dooley replaced Josh Austerfield and Trialist was replaced by Trialist. Minutes later Richards was replaced by Miles Welch-Hayes and Pattison made way for Jack Muldoon.

The visitors made a raft of changes that saw Edmonds-Green, Boyle, Rhodes, Ruffels and Rowe replaced by Adewoju, Ayina, Eccleston, Maroodza and Bright.

Muldoon then found himself in a strong position on the edge of the visitors area, opting to set up Thomson for a shot from distance that was blocked by the Huddersfield defence.

As the final ten minutes approached Town made their final two changes of the afternoon when Academy pair Emmanuel Ilesanmi and George Horbury replaced Armstrong and Thomson.

Diarra had a good opportunity to level matters with five minutes remaining but failed to test Jameson from just inside the box, with Town then seeing out the final moments with little danger.

TOWN: Jameson, Burrell, Ferguson, Richards (Welch-Hayes, 62), Trialist (Trialist, 61), Headley, Austerfield (Dooley, 61), Thomson (Horbury, 79), Pattison (Muldoon, 62), Daly, Armstrong (Ilesanmi, 79).

Subs not used: Oxley, Williams.

Goals: Richards (25)

Huddersfield Town: Chapman (Bilokapic, 45), Rhodes (Eccleston, 65), Mahoney (High, 45), Boyle (Ayina, 65), Ruffels (Marrodza, 65), Phillips, Kasumu (Aarons, 45, (Diarra, 55)), Rowe (Bright, 65), Edmonds-Green (Adewoju, 65), Camara, Spencer.

Subs: Mazfari, Jackson, Krasniqi, Midgley.

Referee: Bobby Madley.

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