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Match Reports


27 August 2016


David Wagner’s Terriers made it a hat-trick  of home victories and extended the unbeaten run at the summit of the Sky Bet Championship, all thanks to ex-Wolves man Rajiv Van La Parra striking early in the first half to seal a hard-fought three points for the men in blue.

Triumph over Walter Zenga’s side will see Town as leaders throughout the international break; but it was far from plain-sailing as the Black Country outfit more than handed Wagner’s men a stern test on a mild afternoon at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The Head Coach retained the usual 4-2-3-1 formation, making two changes in the process; Kasey Palmer made his first league start for Town, replacing Sean Scannell, whilst Dean Whitehead also made way for last week’s goal-scoring hero Jonathan Hogg, who slotted in alongside the ever present Aaron Mooy.

The afternoon’s main talking point arrived six minutes into the first period, when Rajiv Van La Parra notched his first goal in a blue and white shirt.

Van La Parra’s effort came courtesy of a Nahki Wells effort striking the post after an exquisitely weighted through ball from Kasey Palmer.

The Dutch winger responding quickest to the ricochet from the Bermudan’s attempt to send the Town faithful into premature dream-land.

Town continued to apply pressure; Van La Parra could’ve had a second soon after the opening goal, only for Elias Kachunga’s cross to only just evade the wide man after he towered above former Terrier Conor Coady.

Town had settled well, and the confidence of a high flying team was evident with slick interchange passes from Chris Lowe down the left hand side after connecting with Kasey Palmer.

Aaron Mooy was also beginning to pull the strings, with Jonathan Hogg also proving to be a pivotal cog in the midfield system with his physicality.

The warning signs and danger of Walter Zenga’s side were starting to become slightly more of note; George Saville wasted multiple chances from long range, before talisman Joe Mason had the ball in the net but had his effort ruled out by the linesman’s flag.

At the other end, Chelsea loanee Palmer had a glorious chance to stretch the advantage, but he could only scuff wide after Tommy Smith fizzed in a ball after tenacious work from Elias Kachunga to dispossess Wanderers’ left back Matt Doherty.

Nahki Wells was starting to make waves up top for Town, firstly making good space for himself down the right, only to cross too deep for the arriving cavalry of Blue and White shirts, followed by a smart turn in the box to send Iorfa sprawling but firing a tame effort which was easy for Nigerian stopper Carl Ikeme to gather at his near post.

The Terriers continued to look solidly organised through the marshalling of skipper Mark Hudson and the impressive Christopher Schindler.

With ex-Terrier Coady firing wide early on, as well as full back Doherty who had a couple of chances saved by Danny Ward.

Town remained calm and weathered a storm of pressure after Portuguese substitute Joao Teixeira rattled the post mid-way through the half. Oniangue’s attempted bicycle flashed way wide of the target late on, as well as Danny Batth’s header which sailed over the bar to make sure the points would be staying in the White Rose county.

Danny Ward arguably pulled off the save of the season to deny Wolves and equaliser. Price’s corner was met by an unmarked Bodvarsson who head towards goal from five yards out, but Ward pulled off a remarkable save to deny the Icelandic international.

Town’s chances were limited within the second period, although the performance was capped with professional game management enabling the Terriers to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign and ensuring top spot in the Sky Bet Championship would belong to David Wagner and his side for the next two weeks at least.

Town line-up (4-2-3-1):

Danny Ward; Chris Löwe, Christopher Schindler, Mark Hudson (c), Tommy Smith; Aaron Mooy, Jonathan Hogg; Rajiv van La Parra (Sean Scannell 88’), Kasey Palmer (Jack Payne 57’), Elias Kachunga; Nahki Wells (Harry Bunn 61’)

Unused subs:

Joel Coleman, Dean Whitehead, Martin Cranie, Michael Hefele

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