A goal in each half saw Huddersfield Town run out 2-0 winners in the Yorkshire derby against Rotherham United, handing David Wagner his first home victory in charge of the Club; the perfect response to last Saturday's defeat by Bristol City.
Town's line-up included four changes, two of which were enforced as Martin Cranie (thigh) and Emyr Huws (hamstring) were replaced by Joel Lynch and Duane Holmes respectively; Holmes making his first start in 19 months. Mustapha Carayol came in for Jamie Paterson, whilst Harry Bunn, after his fine strike at the weekend, slotted in for Joe Lolley who dropped to the bench.
With Town setting up in the usual 4-2-3-1 formation, the Terriers came out and made a much better first of the opening exchanges after Saturday’s slow start. Sean Scannell hit the side netting from Holmes' positive drive at the Rotherham back-line before Ben Chilwell had similar luck, whilst at the other end ex-Terrier Danny Ward was denied by an excellent last-ditch tackle from the returning Joel Lynch.
Harry Bunn was the next man in Blue and White to go close, firing just wide from a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Town's patience finally paid off as Mustapha Carayol unleashed a thunderbolt just past the half hour to put ‘The Yorkshire Club’ ahead; a dipping and swerving effort from around 25 yards out that totally deceived Rotherham goalkeeper Lee Camp on its way into the net.
The goal was the only major turning point of the first period; Bunn shooting over being the last action of the first period.
The game ebbed and flowed after the break, but it was the Millers who grew gently into the game as Town’s quality in possession waned. It still wasn't until the hour mark that Rotherham threatened the Town goal with any real intent; Jed Steer crucially saving down low from Grant Ward to keep the slender lead intact.
Although the Millers cranked up the pressure, it was half time substitute Ishmael Miller who was on hand to capitalise on a defensive mistake by Danny Collins. The big man raced clear on halfway and advanced into the area before coolly slotting home to double the advantage, making sure that the Head Coach’s first victory at home was duly delivered in the process.
The South Yorkshire men could've replied shortly, but Jonson Clarke-Harris only hit the post with his rebounded shot after Jed Steer's attempted punch away.
In the end, the Terriers regained their composure after the second goal and stroked the ball around calmly to see out the victory; Wagner’s second in five games. Special mention to Joel Lynch, who marshalled the defence excellently on his return to fitness.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Jed Steer; Ben Chilwell, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson, Tommy Smith; Jonathan Hogg, Duane Holmes (Jamie Paterson, 72); Mustapha Carayol, Harry Bunn, Sean Scannell (Joe Lolley 59); Nahki Wells (Ishmael Miller 46)
Lloyd Allinson, Jason Davidson, Murray Wallace, Kyle Dempsey