Town’s run of three straight draws was broken by Queens Park Rangers at the John Smith’s Stadium this afternoon as a late goal from Tjaronn Chery broke home hearts.
Chris Powell’s side made the running for much of the game, particularly in the second 45, but the visitors restricted the number of clear cut chances for the home side and a momentary defensive lapse cost Town dearly in somewhat unfortunate circumstances.
The Terriers started the game with Ishmael Miller restored to the side in place of Harry Bunn, playing the same style of 4-4-2 that was deployed in the last home game against Brighton. On this occasion, Jonathan Hogg played narrow on the left side with Sean Scannell providing the width on the right.
It was a combative side, with both sides contesting it in good spirit. With the match officials happy to let the game flow despite lots of calls for fouls from both sides, the game moved at a frenetic pace up and down the pitch.
Chris Powell’s side looked to get their danger men on the ball as soon as possible, with Jacob Butterfield showing typically good feet and left footed striking to test former England ‘keeper Robert Green low to his left early on.
At the other end Charlie Austin was a good outlet, with his sweeping first time lay-offs looking for the runs of powerful right winger Matt Phillips at every opportunity. That kept Joel Lynch busy, but the powerful defender was performing admirably in the face of some pressure.
A similar battle was developing at the other end, with Scannell isolating another former England man, Paul Konchesky. Although the defender’s positioning showcased his experience, Scannell had the physical edge and that created the best chance of the first half. He outmuscled his marker upon entering the box midway through the half, but then could only drag a shot well wide of target under pressure.
Tommy Smith went closest to beating Joe Murphy at the other end – inadvertently turning a low Phillips cross mere inches wide of the ‘keeper’s left hand post.
The Terriers made all the running in the second half, but didn’t test Green as much as they should have. Butterfield was pulling the strings, with Scannell troubling Konchesky enough to get the defender booked.
Miller hit a presentable volley wide of target, whilst Chris Powell introduced Joe Lolley and new loan recruit Mustapha Carayol in an attempt to break the deadlock.
Instead, it was Tjarron Chery who broke Town hearts with a smash and grab goal in the 84th minute. When Davidson and Lynch went for the same aerial ball forward, the Australian left back’s header fell in behind to his international team mate Massimo Luongo. The former Swindon man dragged a shot hugely wide of target, but his Dutch colleague was alert enough to pounce on it at the back post to slot past Joe Murphy.
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Joe Murphy; Jason Davidson, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson (c) (Martin Cranie, 46), Tommy Smith; Jonathan Hogg, Jacob Butterfield, Dean Whitehead, Sean Scannell (Joe Lolley, 72); Ishmael Miller, Nahki Wells (Mustapha Carayol, 80)
Lloyd Allinson, Harry Bunn, Kyle Dempsey, Flo Bojaj
Jonathan Hogg (63)