Huddersfield Town newcomers enjoy a sound start as Terriers thwart high-flying Brentford in a 0-0 draw

IT was, in fairness, not the most straightforward game to be handed your debut in.

Brentford, arguably the most accomplished footballing side in the Championship, a side whose offensive gifts must be respected, were the opponents who greeted new boys Richard Stearman, Harry Toffolo and Emile Smith Rowe. Over to you, lads.

Clearly aware of the visitors' threats, Danny Cowley put a premium on organisation and discipline to counter their abilities in the first half, with Smith Rowe given little licence to show why the Huddersfield chief has labelled him as 'the most exciting young player in the country'.

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Refreshingly, the Arsenal loanee arrived on the stage on the resumption, laying on a golden chance for Karlan Grant just should have been buried from close in on 51 minutes.

New Huddersfield Town signing Richard Stearman (right) and captain Chris Schindler (left). PICTURE: TONY JOHNSON.New Huddersfield Town signing Richard Stearman (right) and captain Chris Schindler (left). PICTURE: TONY JOHNSON.
New Huddersfield Town signing Richard Stearman (right) and captain Chris Schindler (left). PICTURE: TONY JOHNSON.

On an occasion when you suspected opportunities would be at a premium for the struggling hosts, it looked a big moment.

With his confidence growing, Smith Rowe then chanced his arm with a low shot, which was grasped by David Raya as Town found their mojo.

It was a different story in the first period.

Against a side renowned for their quality of passing football, the smart money was on Town adopting a pragmatic approach and to mix up play rather than take on Brentford at their own game.

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The graft and attitude could not be faulted by those in home jerseys, with their urgency and competitiveness much involved on their meek first-half serving at Barnsley seven days earlier - even if they failed to overly trouble a Bees defence without the services of former Leeds United player Pontus Jansson.

After a methodical start, Brentford showed elements of the possession football that is so pleasing on the eye, without being at their fluid, vibrant best in a half in which they enjoyed 61.5 per cent of possession.

Eighteen-goal forward Ollie Watkins was largely kept in check, although Lewis O'Brien did well to get in the way of a drive from the prolific Bees' marksmen, which was otherwise destined for goal midway through the half.

Benrahma's best contribution came with a low shot straight at Kamil Grabara when well placed, with Josh Dasilva wasted a free-kick from an excellent position when he tamely fired over.

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Winger Bryan Mbeumo showed more aplomb just after the half-hour mark after a fine arching run before producing a low shot which drifted harmlessly wide.

Brentford conjured another dangerous moment on the counter ahead of the break, with a controlled move ending in Benrahma shooting straight at Grabara before the gifted Algerian fired just off target following more nice play.

Town's sole moment of danger arrived when a header from Trevoh Chalobah sailed onto the roof of the net following Karlan Grant's corner.

Huddersfield's attacking intent was more noticeable on the restart and should have yielded an opener for Town when Brentford's defence dozed from Smith Rowe's centre, only for Grant to balloon his close-range effort over.

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Smith Rowe's low drive, grasped by Raya, provided further succour and encouragement with the winger soon coming to the party again when seeing his deflected shot drift just wide.

Brentford recomposed themselves in time, but the Town defence - with Stearman enjoying a solid debut - remained in good order, while Toffolo also showing a competitive spirit and signs of being a more than handy acquisition.

The one genuine scare in the second half for the hosts arrived three minutes from time, with Dasilva's strike hitting the post as home supporters heaved a sigh of relief.

Huddersfield Town: Grabara; Simpson, Stearman, Schindler, Toffolo; O'Brien, Chalobah; Kachunga (Hadergjonaj 70), Smith-Rowe (King 80), Grant; Campbell (Bacuna 71). Substitutes unused: Coleman, Mounie, Stankovic, J Brown.

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Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jeanvier, Pinnock, Henry; Norgaard, Mokotjo (Marcondes 75); Mbeumo (Valencia 70), Da Silva, Benrahma; Watkins. Substitutes unused: Daniels, Thompson, Dervisoglu, Zamburek, Rasmussen.

Referee: O Langford (West Midlands).