Having enjoyed a good start to the second-half at Colchester United, the sending-off of skipper Peter Clarke immediately preceded a goal for the hosts and condemned Town to their third consecutive defeat on the road.
After a goalless first-half, the Terriers were pressing their hosts hard in the second 45 minutes but after the centre-back was dismissed for a second bookable offence the Terriers conceded an immediate goal thanks to giant striker Kayode Odejayi and could not find a way back into the game.
Lee Clark deployed his side in a new formation for the game, with Nathan Clarke and James Berrett brought in for their first League appearances of the season as part of a new-look trio at centre-half alongside skipper Peter Clarke. Skarz and Peltier moved to more advanced wing-back positions, leaving Kay and Goodwin sitting just behind Drinkwater in central midfield. Up front, Robbie Simpson joined Robinson.
You couldn't fault Clark's logic - in Kayode Odejayi and Clive Platt, Colchester must have the biggest strike force in the division and reports suggested that the pairing had simply overpowered Charlton during their midweek home victory. By including Berrett as a third centre-half the Clarkes could man-mark their large opponents and leave the talented ball-player to mop up the extras, as he did so effectively at Leeds United under Gerry Murphy last season. Just moments before kick-off, First Team Coach Derek Fazackerley was still drilling the new-look trio with final instructions.
In their change strip of red with a navy pinstripe, the Terriers kicked-off in blustery conditions but it was the home side that created the first half chance in just the third minute. Striker Platt showed immense strength on the edge of Town's box to lean into Peter Clarke and chest a long ball back to strike partner Odejayi, but he scuffed his right-foot shot badly wide of goal.
Town soon got the ball down and a great move involving Peltier, Goodwin, Drinkwater and Simpson set Robinson free but unfortunately the speedy striker was in an offside position. Still, Lee Clark was applauding his team following the passage of play.
Simpson was a busy figure for Town in the early stages, with Smithies looking for the tall forward with every long clearance. Robbie was having some aerial success when pulling out wide towards full-back Tierney to receive the kicks.
Colchester midfielder Izzet's scuffed shot from 24 yards out was more danger to the corner flag that the Town goal on the stroke of 15 minutes.
The home side were wasting no time in knocking the ball forward towards their giant strikers, but ironically created their best chance of the game to date in the 19th minute through a neat passage of passing play. Left-back Tierney's overlapping run was not properly tracked by Drinkwater but after he received the ball on the edge of the box, he hit an ambitious effort over the crossbar with the outside of his preferred left foot.
Robinson almost latched onto a long throw from Nathan at the back post in the 24th minute, but with the swirling wind taking control of the ball he totally missed his kick.
Izzet looped another terrible long-range effort into the Town fans behind the goal in the 27th minute before right winger Lisbie seized upon a poor pass infield from Skarz and volleyed over Smithies' crossbar.
Wordsworth boomed a shot over the stand behind Smithies' goal in the 39th minute after the referee obstructed his run up to the ball. For all the long range shots the U's had tried, they were yet to force Smithies into a save.
Kay then picked out Peltier with a superb cross-field pass in the 43rd minute and the wing-back took the ball superbly in his stride; his low ball across the box found the feet of Simpson, but as he turned his shot was blocked well by defender Okuonghae.
Soon after referee Ward blew his whistle and the sides went into the tunnel on level terms. Neither goalkeeper had been called upon to make a save during the entire 45 minutes and despite a five minute spell after the half-hour mark, Town had nullified their high-flying hosts well.
HALF-TIME: COLCHESTER UNITED 0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0
Town started in bright fashion in the early stages of the second-half, with Drinkwater having a dangerous free-kick into the box well cleared by the head of Odejayi before Robinson having a shot blocked and Kay sending a powerful long-range effort well wide of the right hand post - all in the first six minutes.
Skarz then latched onto a deep cross from Robinson from the right side and powered the ball across the face of goal, but although his delivery was clearly deflected behind the officials got it badly wrong and awarded a goal kick.
In the 54th minute Simpson did well to get past defender Batth, but from his pull-back to the edge of the box Goodwin's volley was deflected wide of goal by a defender.
Simpson and Robinson had switched sides during the interval and all of a sudden, the Terriers were making headway going forward.
BOOKING - Colchester centre-back Danny Batth picked up a yellow card in the 59th minute after a cynical pull-back on the shirt of Theo Robinson.
BOOKING - He was soon followed into the book by Jim Goodwin, who picked up a yellow for a trip on a Colchester player in the centre-circle.
SUB - Lee Novak replaced Theo Robinson in Town's first substitution after 64 minutes.
BOOKING - Peter Clarke was then shown a yellow card following a foul on Odejayi, but the caution was for an accumulation of offences.
Town sub Novak then did brilliantly to twist away from Okuonghae in the right channel of the penalty area before chipping the ball towards the back post, but as Skarz arrived Batth did brilliantly to stretch and turn the ball behind.
SUB - Colchester then swapped Clive Platt with striker Steven Gillespie in the 73rd minute.
The United substitute wasted no time in trying his luck, but his 28-yard volley was still rising as the ball passed way over the crossbar.
SENDING-OFF - Peter Clarke was then shown a second yellow card in the 77th minute and received his first ever red card for Town. Having already been booked, the Town skipper raised his arm when trying to climb above right-back John White to head a ball and caught the Colchester man in the back of the head. The referee had no hesitation in showing Peter a second yellow, but the offence had no malice in it.
SUB - Lee Clark immediately made his second substitution, bringing on Andy Butler to plug the gap vacated by Clarke's dismissal at the expense of Danny Drinkwater.
GOAL - Town conceded the first goal of the game in the 80th minute, with Kayode Odejayi getting a simple finish. Right winger Lisbie outmuscled Joe Skarz down the right flank before driving into the penalty area and his excellent cross into the heart of Town's defence was tapped home by the giant striker at close range.
Lee Clark switched his team's formation in the aftermath of the opening goal, with Berrett moving into a three man midfield with Kay and Goodwin and Town reverting to a flat back four.
SUB - Colchester replaced Kevin Lisbie with Medy Elito in the 83rd minute.
SUB - A minute later Anthony Pilkington replaced Jim Goodwin as Town searched for an equaliser.
The outside of Novak's boot then diverted the ball luckily towards goal a minute later as the Terriers started pounding the home goal with aerial balls, but 'keeper Williams did well to tip the ball over the bar.
Wordsworth blasted a volley inches wide of goal as Colchester counter-attacked with a minute left but then Town attacked and were only denied by 'keeper Ben Williams' great save. Kay's header into the area from a Smithies clearance fell to Robbie Simpson and as the ball dropped, he diverted the ball towards goal with an outstretched boot; however, the custodian spread himself excellently and diverted the ball to safety.
Andy Butler became a makeshift striker in the four minutes of added time as Town pushed hard for a goal, but it wasn't to be.
FULL-TIME: COLCHESTER UNITED 1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0
Town's Team (5-3-2):
Alex Smithies; Joe Skarz, Peter Clarke (c), James Berrett, Nathan Clarke, Lee Peltier; Antony Kay, Jim Goodwin (Anthony Pilkington 84), Danny Drinkwater (Andy Butler 78); Theo Robinson (Lee Novak 64), Robbie Simpson
Unused Substitutes: Matt Glennon, Michael Collins, Gary Roberts, Jordan Rhodes
Town Bookings: Jim Goodwin (61), Peter Clarke (66), Anthony Pilkington (90)
Town Red Card: Peter Clarke (77)
Colchester Booking: Danny Batth (59)