David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town side set a series of firsts to record a superb 1-0 victory at Ipswich Town to go into the second international break of the season on a high.
Christopher Schindler’s first goal in English football – a first Town goal of the season from a set piece – secured a first win at Portman Road in 20 years against a tough opponent in the Tractor Boys.
Wagner took the first opportunity to bring Mark Hudson and Chris Löwe back into the starting line-up after suspension, with Jonathan Hogg also returning to the team. On his 100th Town appearance, Hoggy formed a ‘double 6’ with Dean Whitehead in front of the back four to combat Ipswich’s famed use of second balls, with Aaron Mooy pushing forward into the ‘number 10’ slot.
The game started scrappily, but the Terrier soon had the first real chance inside six minutes. Löwe’s deep corner from the right side found the unlikely head of Hogg at the back post, but he directed his effort straight at goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski with the goal gaping.
Ipswich stuck to Mick McCarthy’s plan of getting the ball forward early, with the ball moved wide before being sent forwards towards lone striker Leon Best. Hudson coped well with this in the most, doing enough to ensure the ball ran through to Danny Ward by stopping Best from connecting with his headers.
Ipswich’s first chance came through a free-kick, given 20 yards out in the middle of the pitch after Scannell barged into Josh Emmanuel. Leicester City loanee Tom Lawrence stepped up and sent an effort mere inches wide of Ward’s left hand post.
The big chance of the half came Town’s way in the 28th minute, with top scorer Elias Kachunga hitting the post. Wells and Mooy launched a quick break and although the Australian’s final pass for the striker was intercepted, the rebound fell to Kache on the edge of the box.
His low right footed effort looked like it would arrow inside the far post, but the ball ricocheted off the woodwork and clear. Wells picked it up and took a touch before firing goalwards on his left from a narrow angle, but the ‘keeper recovered well to save the follow-up.
Town were enjoying the possession at this stage, calmly moving the ball left and right to find an opening, but Ipswich’s directness still posed a threat. Winger Grant Ward popped up centrally to latch onto a Best flick in the 42nd minute before volleying wide, with Town’s defenders believing the former Spurs youngster had strayed offside.
Wagner made a change at the interval, introducing van La Parra in place of Whitehead to inject more pace for the Terriers on the transition.
Smith soon had a powerful shot deflected just over the bar after collecting a deep Löwe cross, before the eventual winner came in the 58th minute.
Ipswich skipper Chambers needlessly gave away the corner, misplacing a back-pass intended for his goalkeeper wide. That resulted in a Town corner, where Mooy found Schindler’s unmarked near post run; the German making no mistake in diverting a neat downward header past the bodies in the mouth of goal.
Scannell and Wells forced Bialkowski into routine work as the Terriers kept a modicum of control on the game, but Wagner was dealt a blow in the 66th minute when Schindler was forced off with a cut near his eye; Michael Hefele taking his place at centre back.
The Terriers switched to a deep defensive block late on as Ipswich went long in search of an equaliser, with Martin Cranie coming on to clean up in front of the back four. The Terriers – in particular Elias Kachunga – did a great job of keeping the ball high up the pitch during the seven minutes of added time, with Ipswich’s best effort a speculative long ranger from sub Luke Varney that went high into the stands.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Danny Ward; Chris Löwe, Christopher Schindler (Michael Hefele, 68’), Mark Hudson (c), Tommy Smith; Jonathan Hogg, Dean Whitehead (Rajiv van La Parra, 46’); Elias Kachunga, Aaron Mooy, Sean Scannell (Martin Cranie, 87’); Nahki Wells
Joel Coleman, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Jack Payne, Kasey Palmer