Right, let’s keep this short and sweet so we can forget about our brief spell in this year’s FA Cup competition. Here’s how each player got on;
Mark Howard - 4
A performance which reminded us of why Alnwick is now firmly number one. Despite a confident start, Howard’s relaxed approach to the game was a clanger waiting to happen, and so it proved. Out of the two pathetically soft goals which we conceded, the first seemed to happen in slow motion, a situation which Howard should've done better in.
Even though he couldn't have done anything about the second, his overall distribution and inability to complete a short or long pass to an outfield player’s feet made me feel on edge throughout the game. Not a huge concern as Alnwick will inevitably be back in between the sticks next week.
Mark Little - 5
A relativey typical performance from Little, however, Huddersfield’s attacking quality highlighted the difference in quality between the two leagues and how Little’s defensive capabilities only stretch as far as Championship level. Mark didnt necessarily have a bad game but given that we were outclassed all over the park generally which was reflected in the scoreline, I can only warrant him a 5.
Mark Beevers - 5
Similar to Little, didn’t really have a bad game but equally, he was unsurprisingly unable to contain a mid-table Premier League side’s forward line. Again, not a true reflection of his usual composed and solid self, which was expected and he therefore can't be blamed. Same situation with only being able to warrant such a rating due to each defensive player being equally responsible for the scoreline, it’s another 5.
David Wheater - 4
Unsuprisingly unable to cope with the speed at which Huddersfield attacked and despite his best efforts, was beaten to most 50/50’s and generally wasn’t able to match what Huddersfield offered. Not his finest performance, but it’s another that we’ll gloss over for obvious reasons, 4.
Antonee Robinson - 5
Arguably the best player on the pitch in a white shirt. His stamina and pace were a real asset, however, they couldn't be utilised as effectively as we would've liked due to him having to remain in a defensive role for much of the game. Put in a few decent challenges and despite being outmuscled a couple of times, he did his best but, again, was struggled to cope with Huddersfield’s wing-play, 5.
Sammy Ameobi - 4
Was marked out of the game at all times and was unable to be his usual influential self, even his tricky footwork was read on many an occasion by Huddersfield’s experienced full-backs. He also wasn’t allowed to cut in on to his favoured left foot at any stage meaning Sammy’s influence on the game was extremely limited and often void. Another unsurprisngly weak performance, and another false reflection of his usual self. 4.
Derik - 5
In the words of our own Tom Jenkins, “Derik unfortunately looked like a bloke who hasn't played in three months”. That quote alone for me summarised his performance. It was clear that Derik hadn't played for a long while or together with anyone else on the pitch on Saturday.
On several occasions, there was miscommunication with the forward line in need of support which was non-existent and with the back line’s need for additional cover which was similarly absent. Despite grabbing the consolation goal, Derik needs more time to bed into the team again, let’s just hope he’s given that opportunity rather than being shipped on in the next few weeks.
Josh Vela - 4
Didn’t look up for the game whatsoever and seemingly disappeared out of the game on several occasions which has alarmingly become a habit of his in recent weeks. Let’s hope this is just a blip following a really strong previous season and an encouraging first half of this one. Perhaps if anything, the game signalled that he isn’t prepared for the step up to the Premier League just yet.
Despite his poor performance meaning he is unlikely to have impressed any scouts at the weekend and probably allows us to keep hold of him a little longer, I want the best for the lad. He desperately needs to regain his confidence and then eventually be given the opportunity to play amongst a better team in the top flight, just perhaps not until next season. Head up Josh, 4.
Filipe Morais - 5
Despite his inclusion most likely being down to squad rotation, Morais is gradually working his way back into the side having been out of favour for much of the first half of this season. Many have said that he is a League One standard player which I don't think is necessarily the case, but he needs more time to adapt to the Championship and to do this by bringing him in for a cup game against Huddersfield may not have been the best move.
Regardless of his usual perfectly weighted deliveries from set pieces, his general impact on the wing wasn't the best. Again, could do with more time in the League which this loss will hopefully now allow for. He’s getting there, just all in good time, 5.
Adam Le Fondre - 5
Bless him he tries. He’ll work his arse off for this club and he knows the fans adore him for it and his performance on Saturday reflected that. The willingness is there, but a major lack of service and support from the other attacking options and those coming forward from midfield was few and far between.
Another frustrating afternoon then for Alfie, let’s just hope that the Huddersfield game showed Parky that he is capable and he is up to the challenge, he just needs to be played regularly and off another striker which isn't Wilbraham. Madine and Alfie is the ideal combination for us going forward and I just hope Parkinson has the patience and tactical vision to see that. Keep going Alfie.
Aaron Wilbraham - 2
Purely brought in and given the chance to act as a target man and someone for Alfie to play off and by god did he make a mess of it. In fairness, Howard’s wayward kicking meant that the hoofball tactic was more evident and even more useless than usual. Even so though, he was bullied in the air, he was lazy, and did nothing to help Alfie whatsoever. His one golden chance which was harder to miss that went begging just summarised everything about his performance.
I know he’s old and obviously wont be as effective as the likes of Gary Madine in a similar role, but even Heskey made more of an impact in an identical position. Given that Wilbraham couldn't even perform the simplest of his duties and that his age restricted him in competing whatsoever for the ball should say a lot to both Parky and Wilbraham himself about his future. Nothing personal but he’s just not good enough, even by our standards.
The two youngsters - N/A
Not given enough time to make any real impact on the game but Connor Hall looked like a real lively attacking threat and I’d like to see him link up with Alfie and/or Madine again at some point.
King should've started for me as to bring him on with five to go and losing, in a central holding role seemed baffling but I’m glad he was given his chance regardless. I’d like to see both of these lads making regular appearances off the bench and could definitely boost us in the latter stages of games or perhaps even from the start in King’s case, especially in the absence of Henry and Pratley. Well done boys, a good first impression.
Craig Noone - 6
Why wasn't he playing from the off? Noone came on with a real purpose about him and looked up for it, big time. Unafraid of putting a foot in, chasing down loose balls and the time-wasting defenders and generally just looked eager to keep us in for the next round of the draw at least.
It’s a shame he hadn't been introduced earlier and should really be given a chance ahead of Buckley in the league who’s contributions have been very average lately even in our recent victories. I’m a big fan of Noone, his experience and his attitude and really deserves more of a chance that he's currently being given. In those ten minutes that he was brought on for, he still did enough to earn my vote for man of the match.
Anyway, we wont dwell on this and many of the performances in out there on Saturday as I mentioned weren't true reflections of how they've been playing recently and I hope we can still take positives from the game regardless of the result and use it as inittiative for the second half of the season.
The game was a massive learning curve for us and we could similarly learn a lot from Huddersfield as despite their bang average performance, they were still by far the better team on the day.
On to Saturday where we make another trip to the Capital to take on Brentford, COYWM.