Guiseley 1, Huddersfield Town 4
THE difference between Championship full-timers and Conference North part-timers was exposed when Guiseley hosted Huddersfield Town on Monday night in their latest pre-season friendly.
Town rattled in three second-half goals to make it a trio of defeats against their Football League neighbours following losses to
Bradford City and Leeds United.
However, the opening half-hour against what was a first-team squad supplemented by a smattering of Academy players was tight with few chances.
But the visitors broke the deadlock soon after, with Duane Holmes on target in the 38th minute after getting behind the home defence and slotting past Steve Drench.
The nearest the home side came was when Gavin Rothery put his free-kick over the bar from 20 yards just before the break.
Guiseley boss Mark Bower made the first of his substitutions during the break, Drench making way for Conor Crossley due to a groin tweak.
The young shot-stopper was beaten nine minutes into the second half as the lively Holmes turned provider with a through ball for Harry Bunn, who finished in style.
The home side pegged the Terriers back when Adam Boyes rifled home from 18 yards to make it 2-1 but Oli Norwood and Jake Charles were then both on target for Huddersfield.
It was a tough run-out for Guiseley and, coming just two days after Leeds United won 2-0 with two late goals, Bower felt his troops were jaded.
He said: “You could definitely see Saturday’s game in the players’ legs.
“We were off the pace and obviously very tired, but its pre-season and the lads have worked hard and Huddersfield played well.
“We had good spells of play ourselves and passed the ball well but we couldn’t get any penetration as some of our forward line were carrying injuries.
"But we were up against a very good Huddersfield side with a lot of first-teamers – top-quality Championship players such as Oliver Norwood.
“Nevertheless, it was a good work-out, we did well for 30 to 40 minutes and the lads have certainly got some game-time in their legs, and that’s what it's all about.
"The squad got 45 minutes each against Albion Sports and Bradford City, and now some of them have got 90 minutes in in one match or at least 70 to 80 minutes.
"It was a disappointing result for us but I will take defeats in every pre-season game if it means that we get three points in our opening league game."
Bower added: "But we can take positives from the Huddersfield match. We scored a good goal and kept our shape well for 35 to 40 minutes.
“We have had a punishing schedule (five games in 12 days) but it is all about fitness and we are gradually building the lads up for Leamington on August 9.”
Lions keeper Drench, who came off at half-time because he "felt a pop in his groin", said: "Huddersfield is a tough test at any time and it was a game too far for many of us but it is all about getting back into good habits and getting people back on the pitch.
"They were a good, fit young team and pushed us physically and mentally but 4-1 is a bit hard on us because we had chances and a lot of possession."
As for his injury, Drench said: "It feels a bit better now that I have had some ice on it and stretched it off. "
On his replacement Crossley, Drench said: "He has been training with the Academy and did well. The gaffer trusts him enough with a big crowd against better opposition and it should bring him on."