TOWN 1 DERBY 2
In an exciting encounter between Huddersfield Town and Derby County, it was the away side who claimed victory over the Terriers after taking the lead twice in the game.
For the visit of Derby County, Chris Powell named an unchanged from the one that defeated MK Dons on Tuesday; the only change being on the bench with Mustapha Carayol returning to the squad at the expense of Duane Holmes.
Paul Clement made one change from their midweek draw at Blackburn Rovers with Scottish international, Craig Forsyth, replacing Stephen Warnock. Included in the starting line-up was Town’s Player of the Year for last season, Jacob Butterfield.
In the opening few minutes, Derby showed intent to dominate the match with Tom Ince looking dangerous down the right hand side. The former Blackpool man won a free kick in the centre of the pitch, and Johnny Russell saw his attempt deflected over Jed Steer’s bar by the wall of Huddersfield players.
On the quarter of an hour mark, Derby opened the scoring when Cyrus Christie’s cross was headed into the path of Johnny Russell by Joel Lynch.
Russell chested the ball down and got a weak volley away; the shot was deflected into the path of Chris Martin, with shouts of offside from the home fans. Martin took a touch to control and slotted the ball past Jed Steer to give the visitors the lead.
Both sides were forced into first half changes; Huddersfield had to replace Sean Scannell with Mustapha Carayol and Derby took off Tom Ince for former Aston Villa player, Andreas Weimann.
The home side applied more pressure in the hope of grabbing a equaliser and it paid off when Carayol’s cross was missed by Richard Keogh and found the feet of Ishmael Miller. His attempt struck the crossbar and bounced down, leaving Terriers fans unsure of whether the ball was over the line or not. Harry Bunn made sure that the ball crossed the line by powering the rebound home from close range for his first home goal since February.
Derby looked for an instant reply, with Johnny Russell’s left footed cross coming close to making contact with Chris Martin’s head. Their pressure increased and Jed Steer had be alert to force a Jason Shackell header away from a corner and then to hold onto a Bradley Johnson header.
Derby looked to slow the play down and wait for an opening to present itself, but the Huddersfield players kept their shape well.
Huddersfield fans almost saw a moment of magic as a loose ball from a Town corner fell to Jason Davidson, the Australian took a touch, before flicking the ball over a Derby player’s head and then striking a looping volley into the arms of Scott Carson. That ambitious effort was the final entertainment in an exciting first half.
The first effort of the second half came when Ishmael Miller struck a long range shot into the arms of Carson.
Two minutes after the break, Derby regained the lead when Jacob Butterfield’s cross was headed away to the edge of the box by Joel Lynch. George Thorne picked it up and smacked a volley shot past Jed Steer.
In a hope of getting another equaliser, Town applied pressure on the visitors with Harry Bunn looking dangerous. The pressure almost paid off as Joel Lynch appeared to have his shirt pulled back in the box, with Town screaming for a penalty. However, the referee was not convinced.
Derby hoped to give themselves a two goal cushion and had a lot of possession, whilst in desperation, the Terriers began to snatch at chances when they were presented to them.
Lynch was booked for a poor challenge on Johnny Russell after the winger surged through Town’s defence.
With twenty minutes to go, Man of the Match Steer was forced into a great close range save from Derby right back, Cyrus Christie. The on-loan keeper’s out stretched leg forced the ball out. The resultant corner forced another tremendous save from Steer, Chris Martin made a near post run and Steer needed strong hands and quick reactions to parry the ball away.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Chris Powell decided to bring off the goal scorer, Harry Bunn, in favour for Nottingham Forest loanee, Jamie Paterson.
When Andreas Weimann paced through the Huddersfield defence to slip in Chris Martin, the striker’s hopes for a second goal were again thwarted as Steer saved fantastically once again.
In a final attempt to grab an equaliser and ten minutes form full time, Chris Powell brought on young striker, Flo Bojaj for Ishmael Miller as Derby looked to run down the clock.
A long ball was fired up field towards the Derby penalty box; Mark Hudson nodded it down for Flo Bojaj to thrust his head towards in an attempt to fire the ball past Carson, but the power on the header was weak and Carson easily held on to it.
In the final minute of added time, Huddersfield won a corner and Steer was sent up to grab a goal, leaving no one back in Town’s half. The ball eventually broke to Jamie Hanson and he decided to take a shot from the halfway as there was no keeper to defend the effort, but the Derby man’s shot was weak and was cut out by the covering Dean Whitehead.
The final chance of the game came when Paterson slipped in Jason Davidson on the edge of the box to hit a shot, but his effort sailed over Scott Carson’s bar, meaning the away team came out of the match with all three points.
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Jed Steer; Jason Davidson, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson, Martin Cranie; Harry Bunn (Jamie Paterson, 71), Emyr Huws, Dean Whitehead, Sean Scannell (Mustapha Carayol, 23); Ishmael Miller (Flo Bojaj, 81), Nahki Wells
Joe Murphy, Tommy Smith, Philip Billing, William Boyle