Fleetwood Town 0 Huddersfield Town 3
Fleetwood were overpowered by a strong Huddersfield Town team at Highbury last night.
The League One club dominated the game, moving forward constantly and denying their hosts opportunities to end their three-match wait for a first pre-season goal at Highbury.
Included in Micky Mellon’s starting side was full-back Alan Goodall, signed just an hour before kick-off after completing a full 90 minutes against a Manchester United XI 48 hours previously.
The former Rochdale full-back will provide additional cover during Junior Brown’s three-month absence.
Also selected was Anthony Barry, making his first appearance of the season following a groin injury.
A crowd of 945 saw last season’s beaten League One play-off finalists start well in bright sunshine, eager to impress manager Lee Clark in their seventh pre-season game.
Danny Ward was too quick for Goodall in the second minute, moving forward after dispossessing Town’s new signing, but his left-foot shot from distance was weak.
Just two minutes later, Ward was given a second chance and Scott Davies had to be alert to turn a stronger strike wide for a corner.
The Terriers showed the greater bite in the early stages as Town’s defence were guilty of losing possession too often.
Gary Roberts was moving forward with purpose but his appeals for a penalty in the sixth minute failed to impress referee Swarbrick, who deemed that the former Ipswich winger had dived.
On the quarter hour, Donal McDermott struck a firm left-foot shot narrowly wide.
Fleetwood struggled to make an impact in the final third of the pitch, Huddersfield keeper, Alex Smithies having little to do other than deal with the odd back-pass or over-hit through ball.
The deadlock was broken after 22 minutes. Huddersfield full-back Callum Woods made ground down the right and crossed low for Roberts to turn the ball in for a deserved lead.
Fleetwood came back immediately, Magno Vieira making ground down the left and testing Smithies with a teasing cross which put the goalkeeper under pressure.
Richard Brodie got a head to the attempted clearance only to see the ball pass the post and out for a goal-kick. Danny Rowe replaced Peter Till after 27 minutes.
Ward showed his prowess with his right foot, turning on the edge of the area after 35 minutes and firing narrowly wide of Davies’ right post.
Play was interrupted soon after as Oscar Gobern received attention following a challenge by Keith Briggs on the halfway line.
Five minutes before the break, Fleetwood had a rare opportunity when Rowe set up Brodie, whose shot was deflected for a corner.
Play moved from end to end as both Ward and Vieira attempted right-foot shots, both too high.
The Yorkshire team fully deserved their half-time lead after a convincing display of attacking football played at pace.
Fleetwood forced another corner in the 51st minute after Shaun Beeley had tested the Terriers defence with a low cross from the right.
Two minutes later, Davies got his body behind a low drive from McDermott at the near post and Beeley was soon forced to defend, conceding a corner.
In a good spell for the visitors, Davies was kept busy. After coming quickly off his line to deny Tommy Miller, he did well to stop a drive which took a hint of a deflection.
However, he could do nothing about McDermott’s drive which went in at his far post in the 64th minute.
Just three minutes later, the ex-Morecambe stopper pulled off an acrobatic save from a close range Jordan Rhodes header.
Huddersfield stretched their leader after 73 minutes, when Lee Novak scored a fortuitous headed goal and the Division One outfit completed the game in some comfort in front.
The nearest Fleetwood came to opening their account was a deflected Vieira shot which went narrowly wide with two minutes left.
Town’s next friendly is at home to FK Jelgava from Latvia on Tuesday.