Paderborn 3-1 Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 6th Jul 2019 15:17
Jordan Roberts pulled a goal back for the Blues just before the break but Town are 3-1 down to SC Paderborn at half-time in their first pre-season friendly.
New keeper Tomas Holy was among those to start, playing his first game for the Blues since his summer switch from Gillingham, with manager Paul Lambert fielding a different team in the two halves, each a mix of youth and experience.
Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes as Town arrived at around 2.20pm following a three-hour trip from their training base close to the Dutch border.
James Norwood, Alan Judge, Jon Nolan and Gwion Edwards were all in the stands with the injured Freddie Sears with none of them in action in today’s game.
Among the inexperienced players in the XI before the break was attacking midfielder Armando Dobra. The 18-year-old Albanian U19 international was getting his first taste of international football.
Roberts, starting as the lone striker with Teddy Bishop behind him with Dobra on the left and Jack Lankester on the right, won an early freekick but Andre Dozzell’s ball looped beyond the far post.
Paderborn, also fielding a mix and match side rather than a full-strength line-up, had their first opporunity on three, a loose ball falling to Felix Drinkuth, but his shot flew well over Holy’s goal.
The game began in a more competitive manner than most early season friendlies with the Blues winning two more freekicks with a German defender blocking a low Dobra strike from one. A corner followed the second with a Jack Lankester shot looping into the arms of home keeper Michael Ratajczak.
From Ratajczak Paderborn broke very quickly, passing the ball slickly and Kai Pröger eventually smashed a shot to Holy’s right from the edge of the box and into the net before the Czech keeper could move.
Despite going behind the Blues continued to find openings, Dozzell and Bishop feeding in left-back Myles Kenlock, who scuffed well wide, then Dobra, who rounded the keeper before being dispossessed by a retreating defender.
On 16 after good work from Dozzell, playing in a deeper midfield role alongside skipper Cole Skuse, Bishop played in Roberts but the former Crawley man dallied when he should have taken the chance early and the opportunity was cut out.
Two minutes later, Paderborn doubled their lead. The Blues played themselves into trouble midway inside their half, Babacar Gueye profited and fed Tobias Schwede to his left, from where he shot across Holy.
Christian Strohdiek was booked for a foul on Roberts on 20 and picked up the game’s first yellow card. Dozzell’s shot from the freekick was headed out by a defender.
Myles Kenlock picked up Town’s first booking for a foul on lightning striker Streli Mamba as Paderborn threatened to score again but Schwede on this occasion scraped wide from an angle on the left.
Just after the half hour, Holy made his first save for Town, blocking from Mamba after Toto Nsiala had given the ball away on the edge of his own box.
The home side made it 3-0 in controversial circumstances in the 34th minute when Gueye escaped beyond the Blues’ backline - according to the linesman at least, however, he looked well offside - and slipped the ball past the advancing Holy. Town boss Lambert and assistant Stuart Taylor complained bitterly to the referee.
Two minutes later, Town pulled a goal back. Paderborn skipper and ex-Brighton man Uwe Hünemeier played a pass back to Ratajczak, who delayed his clearance from inside his six-yard box allowing Roberts to block it over the line to make the scoreline 3-1.
Klaus Gjasula shot well over for Paderborn, who having established such a commanding lead were well in control, although with the Blues battling away gamely and seeking to carve out openings when in the final third.
A minute before the scheduled end of the half the Blues again played themselves into trouble but Holy saved Sebastian Vasiliadis’s low shot. Just before the break Dobra was shown a yellow card for a high boot.
Town had started the game brightly, making the early running and might well have scored, until the home side netted their first goal on the break.
The second followed soon afterwards with the Bundesliga team capitalising on the Blues trying to play football in their own half and giving the ball away, something they did on more than one occasion.
When in the final third Town look capable of creating chances but not taking them, with new frontman Norwood in the stands. Roberts’s goal was down to the striker’s persistence and the keeper’s complacency.
The Blues’ second half XI, which includes Emy Huws, warmed up on the pitch at the break.
SC Paderborn first half: Ratajczak, Hünemeier, Drinkuth, Strohdiek, Gjasula, Pröger, Schwede, Gueye, Mamba, Holtmann, Vasiliadis.
Town first half: Holy, Emmanuel, Nsiala, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Skuse (c), Dobra, Bishop, Lankester, Dozzell, Roberts.
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