An eight minute spell heralding three second half goals gave Town a first derby win against Leeds United in five games in spectacular style at Elland Road this afternoon.
After Nahki Wells missed a first half penalty and Leeds went ahead, a first away goal for skipper Mark Hudson in one year and four months sent the teams in level at the interval.
At that point, David Wagner’s side showed a superb clinical edge – with Bermudian Wells at the heart of it. Substitute Harry Bunn volleyed the side ahead before Wells laid a first goal in England on a plate for Karim Matmour, with Wells smashing home a 16th of the season to seal a memorable afternoon.
Town started well, keeping possession for long spells, and won a deserved penalty inside the 11th minute.
Lolley’s pass down the right touchline found Jamie Paterson’s run and he held the ball up before returning it to Joe. He jinked past one defender into the box and shaped to shoot before cutting back onto his left, with Leeds Captain Sol Bamba’s desperate lunge felling the Town attacker.
Referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot and up stepped Wells, only to be denied by a superb save from goalkeeper Marco Silvestri. The Italian got down superbly low to his right side to send the ball up into the sky before spring to his feet and collecting the rebound ahead of the Bermudian striker.
That goal seemed to inspire Leeds and they improved before eventually taking the lead. Big centre back Bamba got above Mark Hudson to head a wide free kick over the crossbar from relatively close range in the 19th minute and it was another high ball into the box that saw Town fall behind minutes later.
After Joel Lynch had robbed a Leeds player of possession, he nudged it left to Dean Whitehead – but the experienced midfielder was unaware that Liam Bridcutt was closing him down. He nicked the ball back around 30 yards out on the right side and lifted an early, deep cross into the box. Leeds had men over at the back post and it was the final player – winger Stuart Dallas – who got up to head the ball over Jed Steer from around 10 yards out.
Leeds was the better team for some time after going ahead, with Town struggling to get a sustained period of possession, but Wagner’s men eventually worked their way back into the game. Set pieces were a sudden outlet, with Lynch turning a Paterson delivery into the box over at the near post.
Restored to the team after suspension and illness, Philip Billing had a decent effort saved in the 38th minute. After some patient passing, the 19 year-old Dane found space to take aim just over 20 yards out and forced Silvestri to turn his daisy-cutter around the far post.
Town did eventually equalise in the 41st minute, with Hudson the scorer. James Husband won his side a corner on the left after winning a determined battle with right back Berardi, allowing Paterson to deliver. His cross evaded a crowd of players at the near post, with Billing among them, but Hudson looped around the back and stooped to head the ball into the top corner before celebrating with the Town fans to his right.
Another corner caused a scramble in the Leeds box minutes later, but Billing eventually looped a header onto the roof of the net.
Hudson had to stay alert at the other end in the three added minutes at the end of the first half to bravely block a fierce 20 yard drive from goalscorer Dallas.
The Terriers came out firing in the second half, pressing the hosts back into their own half for long spells. However, Wagner wasn’t happy with the way Leeds were getting past the front men and soon brought on Karim Matmour to add to Harry Bunn’s half time introduction.
After the problems Town had faced with Burnley’s corners seven days ago, it was another corner that gave them the lead. A deep delivery was headed into the air by Bamba and Harry Bunn watched the ball onto his foot perfectly to powerfully volley into the corner from 16 yards out, via the inside of the far post.
Town wasted no time in making it 3-1, with Wells at the centre of it. Bellusci stepped out of defence and misplaced a pass to Tommy Smith, who returned the ball into the gap the centre back had vacated. Wells sprang clear, but unselfishly checked back before rolling the ball across the face of goal for the Algerian international’s first in English football.
In the 77th minute it was four. Town launched a speedy counter-attack down the right before lifting a ball into Wells’ path in the area, who didn’t hesitate in smashing the ball between Silvestri and his near post.
It could have been more, with Silvestri denying Bunn and James Husband late on as Leeds looked crushed.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Jed Steer; James Husband, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson (c), Tommy Smith; Philip Billing (Emyr Huws, 66), Dean Whitehead; Rajiv van La Parra (Harry Bunn, 46), Jamie Paterson (Karim Matmour, 63), Joe Lolley; Nahki Wells
Joe Murphy, Jason Davidson, Sean Scannell, Martin Cranie