TOWN 2 MILLWALL 1
Huddersfield Town recorded its first win under Chris Powell with a battling 2-1 victory over Millwall at the John Smiths Stadium.
Bermudian striker Nahki Wells bagged a brace either side of a Millwall equaliser to give the Terriers their first home win since March.
The first-half took a while to get going as both teams looked to try and work each other out. Harry Bunn was a candidate for ‘Man of the Match’ and it was Bunn who played a big part in giving Huddersfield the lead. A neat lay-off to Wells was fired in to the top corner past Millwall’s David Forde. Town failed to hold on to the first-half lead and on 41 minutes, Ed Upson levelled the game at 1-1 just before half-time.
The second-half was much like the first, with little to choose between the two sides. Wells bagged the winner in the 57th minute from the penalty spot after the lively Bunn was bundled over by Nicky Bailey.
The side were lining up in a new 3-5-2 system, with Lee Peltier, Mark Hudson and Joel Lynch operating as the three centre-backs, with Tommy Smith and Jack Robinson operating as wing-backs.
The visitors made the first venture forward and it led to Ed Upson hitting a shot over the bar. Just moment later, in the 20th minute another promising move from the Lions came to nothing as Upson fired a shot which was blocked by Hudson.
Just two minutes later, Wells was shown a yellow card by referee Carl Boyeson after he kicked the ball away following an offside decision. The Bermudian striker then had a chance after a searching through ball from Hudson, but he failed to bring the ball under control.
The best chance of the game then came to Upson. A deep cross following a Millwall corner fell to the former Yeovil man at the back post who hit a curling shot which rattled back off of Alex Smithies crossbar.
Town wouldn’t have to wait much longer to open the scoring and in the 37th minute Bunn controlled a measured ball forward, and then fed his strike partner Wells who rifled a stunning left footed half volley in to the top right corner to score his fifth goal of the season in all competitions.
Unfortunately Town were unable to hold the lead for long, as just four minutes later a Scott McDonald cross caused hesitation in the Town defence and Upson capitalised to rifle home an equaliser for Millwall.
There was nearly an instant response from Town. Just before half-time Wells fashioned an opportunity for himself and fired a fierce shot that stung the fingertips of Millwall goalkeeper Forde.
The second-half took a while to get going, but then sparked in to life in the 57th minute when a fantastic run and cross from Wells fell to Bunn who weaved round his marker to earn Town a penalty. Wells made no mistake in dispatching the spot-kick to get his second goal and give Town a 2-1 lead.
Bunn was causing all sorts of problems for the Millwall defence and more great play from the 21-year-old lead to a corner which resulted in him dragging a shot just past the near post.
Grant Holt then came on in the 65th minute to a rapturous applause for his Town debut after joining the Club on loan from Wigan on the morning of the game. He replaced skipper Lee Peltier, which lead to a switch in formation and Mark Hudson took the armband.
Town still needed to be on their toes, and it took a great block from Hudson to deny Ricardo Fuller. The resulting corner lead to Alex Smithies making a fine stop down to his right after Beevers had wriggled free from Hudson.
Moments later there was a triple substitution from the away side as they tried to match the 4-4-2 formation that Town had switched to. Yet the changes seemed to do little in changing the momentum of the game.
Minutes later Holt was tormenting the Millwall defenders and won a free kick in a dangerous position. Butterfield’s delivery was well cleared by Beevers. Jonathan Hogg then left the field to a standing ovation – being replaced by Sean Scannell for the closing stages.
As the game came to an end Millwall continually played long balls in to Town’s boss, but with the help of late substitute Murray Wallace, Town were able to stand firm and claim a vital three