BURNLEY 2 TOWN 1
Despite late pressure, Huddersfield Town were defeated 2-1 in a hard fought Sky Bet Championship game on the road at Burnley.
Town Manager Chris Powell made two changes ahead of their trip to Burnley which saw Sean Scannell drop out the squad through injury and Nahki Wells drop to the bench. Jamie Paterson and Mustapha Carayol came into the starting eleven with Town also naming four Under-21 players on the bench in Duane Holmes, Philip Billing, William Boyle and Flo Bojaj.
Burnley named an unchanged side from the team that secured a 1-0 victory at Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers last weekend.
The opening chance of the game fell to Town in the 4th minute with Emyr Huws playing an excellent cross field ball to find an overlapping Jason Davidson in space on the left wing; he cushioned the ball down and laid it back to Harry Bunn who saw his left footed shot deflected over the crossbar for a Town corner.
The game then settled down until the 11th minute where Andre Gray found himself in space on the edge of the area, he dropped his shoulder and drove into the penalty area. Joel Lynch slide in to block the shot but caught the forward who went over and won the penalty.
Gray got up and put the penalty to the left of Jed Steer to give the home team the one goal advantage.
The next chance fell to Town in the 17th minute where Jason Davidson played an infield pass to the feet of Jamie Paterson who in return found Ishmael Miller on the edge of the area. Miller moved the ball onto his left foot and blasted the ball over the crossbar.
The game then fell into a quiet period with neither side creating any notable chances. Former Town winger Scott Arfield then found himself in a foot race for a loose ball with Mustapha Carayol. Arfield managed to roll him inside the area and baring down on goal at a tight angle he fired straight at Steer who deflected the ball wide for a corner.
Burnley then had a strong spell of dominance with the key chance saved by Jed Steer from George Boyd who received the ball after some good play by Andre Gray latching onto an excellent through ball from Joey Barton.
Burnley then doubled their lead in the 43rd minute after an excellent first time flick by Sam Vokes through two Town defenders which Andre Gray latched onto and fired hard inside Jed Steer at the near post to give Burnley the two goal advantage.
Burnley went into half time with the two goal lead with Chris Powell looking for a response from his team in the second half.
The second half started slowly with the first half chance falling to Miller in the 52nd minute who held the ball up well and swivelled on the edge of the area, but his tame effort didn't cause the Burnley goalkeeper any problems.
Andre Gray was causing all sorts of problems as he burst past several Town defenders with sheer pace only to be brought down by Dean Whitehead 25 yards from goal. The resulting free kick was taken by Joey Barton; but it was weak and caught comfortably by Jed Steer in the Town goal.
The booking Whitehead took for the team will rule him out of Tuesday night’s game at Burnley.
There was little for the Huddersfield fans to shout about up until the 70th minute where Jason Davidson got forward well and after a pass inside from Harry Bunn with his shot being deflected out for a corner. The resulting corner was whipped in by Huws which dropped to Harry Bunn from an awkward angle but he hooked his shot over the bar.
Jamie Paterson then played an excellent lobbed pass which landed in behind the Burnley defence dropping kindly to an on-rushing Nahki Wells but he failed to keep his volley under control and put it over the crossbar.
Nahki Wells then had another good chance in the 77th minute after a nice run and lay off from Kyle Dempsey he turned and fired his shot from 20 yards with Tom Heaton getting down well to make the save.
Town were piling on the pressure as Emyr Huws drilled a shot from outside the area stinging the palms of Tom Heaton but still not enough to get Town back into the game.
Another big chance fell to Martin Cranie as he rose highest from a Jamie Paterson floated free kick but his header was straight at Tom Heaton which he saved.
Town managed to get a goal as Martin Cranie played the ball behind the Burnley backline to an onrushing Kyle Dempsey who cut the ball back across goal towards Nahki Wells but the ball hit Michael Duff on the way across to give Town a lifeline.
The equaliser nearly came as the game entered the closing stages after some neat link up play between Dempsey and Paterson the ball was hit across the goal which found Harry Bunn in space but he blazed his shot over the crossbar.
The fourth official held up four minutes of additional time with Town throwing everything forward but they were unable get that equaliser.
Town’s team (4-4-1-1):
Jed Steer; Jason Davidson, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson (c), Martin Cranie; Harry Bunn, Emyr Huws, Dean Whitehead (Flo Bojaj, 90'), Mustapha Carayol (Kyle Dempsey, 72'); Jamie Paterson; Ishmael Miller (Nahki Wells, 59')
Joe Murphy, Duane Holmes, Philip Billing, William Boyle
Attendance: 16,749 (1,309 Town fans)