Town recorded the first home win in four home games with a convincing victory over Reading this evening in the Sky Bet Championship.
Goals from Harry Bunn, Nahki Wells and Ishmael Miller ensured Town completed the double over Reading in the League this season.
Manager Chris Powell made three changes to the starting line-up with David Edgar, Miller and Bunn coming in to the side to replace James Vaughan, Conor Coady (illness) and Sean Scannell (hamstring) respectively.
Jack Robinson had the first shot in anger, stinging the palms of Adam Federici in the Reading goal with a fierce strike from distance as Town began to find a rhythm.
Town then opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Bunn netted his eighth goal of the campaign. Butterfield whipped in a delightful cross after Wells had a won a free-kick following a foul from Jordan Obita, and Bunn was unmarked to thump a header in to the back of Federici’s net.
The Reading defence were looking rattled at this stage, with the diminutive Bunn causing all sorts problems. Stephen Kelly hacked the former Manchester City youth product down to receive the first caution of the evening.
Town then went close again when Murray Wallace flashed a header just past the post. Another classy delivery from Butterfield was met well by the young Scot who was unfortunate to miss the target with his glancing effort.
The Royals came to life midway through the half, and Town had Alex Smithies to thank as he preserved the Terriers one-goal cushion. Former Town midfielder Oliver Norwood sent in a teasing free-kick that was met by Hope Akpan, and Smithies had to be at his best to beat away the goal-bound header.
Smithies then had to be alert again to thwart an ambitious effort from Norwood. The Northern Ireland international attempted to lob the Town stopper from the half-way line, but Smithies was on hand to tip the ball over the bar.
Town began push on again and felt they should have had a penalty shortly before half-time. Butterfield looked for Wells with a neat clip through the centre, but Federici came out to punch - taking Wells out in
the process, however the calls were waved away by the referee.
Wells was in the thick of it again as he nearly doubled Town’s advantage on the stroke of half-time. Bunn chased down Federici and blocked the keeper’s clearance; he then squared the ball to Wells whose curling effort rebounded back off the post.
Wells was at it again at the start of the second-half and managed to put Town two goals to the good with his 12th goal of the season. Butterfield was given time and space to shoot from 30 yards, and after Federici failed to hold the effort, Wells mopped up the rebound. It would be the striker’s final contribution as he was substituted moments later still feeling the aftereffects of his first half collision; being replaced by James Vaughan.
Town’s team was really in the ascendency at this point and Bunn produced a good stop from Federici as he looked to curl a right-footed effort in to the bottom corner. The rebound fell to Miller who intelligently tried to square the ball to strike partner Vaughan but Hector did well to clear the ball to safety.
Out of nothing, substitute Nick Blackman then went close for the visitors. The forward robbed Butterfield of possession and then sent an effort narrowly wide of Smithies left-hand post with the Town ‘keeper scrambling.
Huddersfield was soon on the front foot again though. Jack Robinson made a crunching tackle on Jamie Mackie, which set a swift counter-attack. Butterfield picked out Tommy Smith on the right-hand side, who then clipped a ball in to Vaughan; unfortunately his half-volley went straight in to the arms of Federici.
Miller then made it 3-0 to cap off an outstanding move and grab a goal that his play had deserved. The forward started the move with a delightful back-heel to Jonathan Hogg who then picked out Vaughan with a diagonal ball; Vaughan then sent a lofted through ball to Miller who lobbed the advancing Federici to score his first goal in a Town shirt.
The third goal ended the game as a contest and Town was able to see the game out with relative ease. Joe Lolley was brought on to replace Miller in the 81st minute and looked lively as the game drew to a close.
Under-21 Captain William Boyle was then handed his professional debut in the closing stages – replacing ‘Man of the Match’ Bunn.
All in all it was a job well done for Town, and the win sees the Terriers move in to the top half of the table ahead of the weekend clash with Charlton, which will see Powell return to his former employers.
Town’s team (3-4-1-2):
Alex Smithies; Murray Wallace, Mark Hudson (c), David Edgar; Jack Robinson, Jacob Butterfield, Jonathan Hogg, Tommy Smith; Harry Bunn (William Boyle, 90); Nahki Wells (James Vaughan, 57), Ishmael Miller (Joe Lolley, 80)
Joe Murphy, Oscar Gobern, Joe Wright, Radoslaw Majewski