FROM glory at Wembley to defeat at Guiseley – but as the build-up to the Championship begins in earnest, few will read too much into this result.
A Saturday afternoon in the sunshine at Nethermoor, exactly eight weeks after Town clinched promotion, was far from a stroll, but certainly a pipe-opener.
With his players looking a little leggy after a week of double training sessions, boss Simon Grayson varied both personnel and systems.
Town played different sides, and different formations, in each half, with 4-3-3 giving way to 4-4-2 in an opening friendly which was feisty enough to hold the interest throughout.
Guiseley, hoping for big things after reaching the Blue Square North play-offs last season, won it through Danny Forrest’s 15th-minute shot.
A neat goal it was too, with the former Bradford City man latching onto Gavin Rothery’s pass to arrow the ball past the diving Alex Smithies.
The home side could have had more, with both Smithies and Ian Bennett pulling off great saves to thwart James Walshaw, the former blocking a first-half header and the latter a shot early in the second period.
But Town had plenty of possession, and with more composure, would have given the travelling fans who made up more than half of a 1,154 crowd at least one goal to cheer.
It was good to see five of Grayson’s six new arrivals – ex-Nottingham Forest centre-back Joel Lynch watched from the stand after picking up a strained stomach muscle during training.
And the man who really caught the eye was former Leeds midfielder Adam Clayton, who looked as though he’d never heard the term pre-season friendly.
His combination of aggression and energy created a buzz and several opportunities for the frontmen.
Clayton featured in the second half after defenders Paul Dixon and Murray Wallace, midfielder Oliver Norwood and forward Sean Scannell had all appeared at kick-off.
Left-back Dixon, signed from Dundee United, was quietly composed while fellow Scot and ex-Falkirk teenager Wallace, playing alongside skipper Peter Clarke, won virtually all his challenges and played some sweet passes, one of them setting up striker Jimmy Spencer for a meaty volley which flew just too high.
The 19-year-old also produced a vital challenge to prevent Josh Wilson putting Guiseley two ahead just before the break.
See page two for link to gallery showing new Huddersfield Town signings in action