Two first half goals secured Huddersfield Town reserves a win against The Ammies in our latest Central League outing.
A well-drilled Terriers side took the lead in the 19th minute, and doubled it just before half time.
Salford’s side, most of who would have been involved in Tuesday night’s postponed League Two game, created chances but were unable to find a way past Jacob Chapman.
The opening exchanges were relatively tame on a sanded pitch, but Ash Hunter’s individual skill allowed him to turn and burst forward on the left in the 11th minute. On approaching the area, he dummied a shot before sliding a pass into James Wilson whose shot at the near post was blocked for a corner. That one went short to Robbie Gotts and eventually came to Bruno Andrade to the right of centre and just outside the box to drill a shot wide.
Huddersfield were not too shabby themselves, and a few minutes later some neat Kieran Phillips footwork allowed him to escape through some traffic in the box and cross a ball into the six-yard box that was cleared away.
With the next attack the Terriers took the lead, Sorba Thomas finding himself in acres of space on the right and picking his pass well to find Pat Jones towards the back post, who squeezed a shot past Hayden Evans.
Hunter was looking lively and in the 26th minute cut in from the left before being chopped down by Ilounga Pata just outside the top of the box. The former Fleetwood Town talisman dusted himself off to take the free kick, centrally positioned, but his curling effort was saved by Chapman.
The visiting defence were having to deal with a lot of wide play, with Andrade next to cut in from the left and shoot wide across goal. On the other side Tom James intercepted a pass and drove forward into the area. The angle was narrowing but the Welshman let fly with an effort that Chapman acrobatically tipped over the bar, taking no chances, but the ‘keeper had to remain alert as Hunter’s corner was met by Tom Clarke. The centre-back is a graduate of the Huddersfield youth system and has since accumulated plenty of Football League experience; here he directed a header down to the bottom right-hand corner but Chapman thwarted him by getting down low to save.
In the 39th minute Huddersfield broke forward at pace on the left, only to be disappointed when Di’Shon Bernard headed a cross clear. The ball was worked the other way, and as Gotts’ run took him into the area a challenge brought him down but the referee waved away appeals. Possession came to Andrade but his chipped effort dropped into the arms of Chapman.
Chances without goals feels like it’s becoming a common theme, and in the 42nd minute Huddersfield doubled their lead as Alex Pritchard curled in from the top of the area.
Salford responded briskly with James and Gotts combining on the right before finding Wilson, who danced inside of a couple of players before curling a shot over the bar.
Into the second half and substitute Mo Touray was brought down midway inside the Huddersfield half. Hunter stepped up to take the free kick and lofted in a high ball that Bernard got up to head past Chapman, only to disappointingly glance to the side to see the linesman’s flag up and fluttering for offside.
Chances would be far more sporadic in the second half, with the next coming just before the hour mark. Brandon Thomas-Asante was another of five changes made at the break, and on this occasion curled his shot from the left onto the roof of the net; a decent effort but not quite in range for the 22-year-old. The same could be said for Bernard, who intercepted the goal kick and had space to move into before whacking a shot from 30 yards that missed the target.
His setup attempt a few minutes later was pretty decent though, gliding a lobbed pass into the path of Hunter coming in off the left. The winger brought the ball down with a touch off his chest and took aim, but Chapman was off his line quickly to close the angle and block the initial shot before gathering the re-bound.
Touray had a sight at goal dealt with by Chapman, before Hunter was again played in behind – this time by James – only to blast a cross-come-shot across the area above head height from an angle on the left.
Into the last 10 minutes and Evans, whose afternoon had largely consisted of being a spectator, did well to deny Jones a double before stretching at full length to push away a low, angled drive from Thomas.
A late consolation chance came to Touray at the top of the box, but his placed effort was saved by Chapman as Huddersfield set to return over the M62 with victory.
Starting XI: Hayden Evans, Tom James, Ash Eastham (c), Tom Clarke (Turnbull 46′), Ash Hunter, Bruno Andrade, Di’Shon Bernard, Richie Towell (Lowe 46′), James Wilson (Touray 46′), Robbie Gotts (Threlkeld 46′), Paul Coutts (Thomas-Asante 46′).
Subs: Jason Lowe, Jordan Turnbull, Oscar Threlkeld, Brandon Thomas-Asante, Mo Touray.