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Match Reports

REPORT: HTAFC 0-0 SWANSEA CITY

10 March 2018

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The visitors played with ten men for over 80 minutes but would hang on to claim a point as Town couldn’t find that killer touch in-front of goal.

Jordan Ayew was the man to see red for a challenge on Jonathan Hogg early on, as a combination of the woodwork and an inspired Lukasz Fabianski saved ensured the spoils were shared despite endless Blue and White pressure.

David Wagner made three changes to his side from the last outing against Spurs. Aaron Mooy returned from a respective knee injury in the place of Danny Williams, with Scott Malone and Tom Ince also recalled to the starting team ahead of Terence Kongolo- out with what the Head Coach described as a knock- and Collin Quaner.

Town began this crunch encounter with superb positivity, but couldn’t manage to capitalise on two early chances. Good work from Scott Malone to work his way into space down the left to fashion a cross ended with neither Alex Pritchard or Rajiv van La Parra able to provide the definitive goalwards touch, followed by Steve Mounié striking the side netting having been slipped through by Pritchard’s intricate pass between the lines.

As the Terriers looked to take reasonable control in the hunt for that elusive opener, the visitors would have to play the remaining 80 minutes a man light as Jordan Ayew was shown a straight red card by referee Michael Oliver for a high challenge on the standing leg of ‘skipper Jonathan Hogg.

Hoggy instantly looked to punish the Swans for Ayew’s dismissal as a powerful strike took a wicked deflection away, only for the succeeding move to conclude with the unlikely attacking presence of Christopher Schindler looping a header inches over the bar from an accurate Rajiv van La Parra delivery from the right flank.

Carlos Carvalhal was aiming to ensure his 10-man outfit was structured in the way of a Town offensive unit thoroughly intent on keeping all three points in HD1. Patience was a key characteristic required in order to find a way of breaking down the visitors’ defensive stance nonetheless.

Chances would begin to harness some way or the other; Tom Ince had a duo of efforts valiantly blocked from two of the Swans’ back five, Mawson and Van Der Hoorn, with Alex Pritchard having the same piece of luck as a red shirt once again diverted away before Fabianski was close to being forced into a save.

In truth, it was backs-to-the-wall for the South Wales side as Town pressed in abundance; albeit only half-chances for the time being at least, as neat moves crafted in and around the penalty area were rarely being polished with that final, killer pass to open up a clear opportunity.

A timely worked passage down the right culminated in Florent Hadergjonaj- celebrating the announcement of a permanent summer transfer to West Yorkshire earlier this week- delivering invitingly towards the un-marked Tom Ince. Tom’s connection wasn’t strong enough to guide on target, and the move came to an end as the supporting Steve Mounié also missed with a glance at the far-post as the ball dropped down from Ince’s initial header.

The hard-working ethic was there for all to see, and Town certainly weren’t finding it particularly difficult to advance into useful offensive positions as the interval approached; just that final ball was eluding the Blue and Whites.

Leading by example was Jonathan Hogg; the ‘skipper led the press tactic of winning the ball back effectively, and also saw the first chance after the restart fly agonisingly wide of the post with a low, skimming thunderbolt from distance.

That pattern of Town not being to turn pressure into goals reared its head once more as Scott Malone couldn’t bundle home inside the six-yard box from yet another inch-perfect Florent Hadergjonaj cross.

For all that Swansea soaked up, the in-form side had a great chance whilst giving many a Town fan heart palpitations of the highest degree; setting the precedent for a flurry of goalmouth activity.
Mike Van Der Hoorn sprung the offside trap from a free-kick to get in behind the Terriers’ defence, but the Dutchman’s touch was to be desired despite a handful of home players being slow to react.

Back at the other end, Steve Mounié’s sensational volley as the ball fell from the sky rattled back off the cross-bar via an inspired fingertip save from the resilient Fabianski.

Just beyond the hour mark and all associated with Huddersfield Town would have been wondering just as to how this match remained goalless. The impressive Hadergjonaj latched onto Aaron Mooy’s corner before bending wide of the target by a matter of inches; not the first attempt which has been a whisker away from giving the Terriers what would have been a deserved lead for sure.

Swansea’s ‘skipper also led the way for his team in light of keeping the Blue and Whites, and Tom Ince, at bay. The Argentine timed a sliding intervention to perfection as Ince advanced into a shooting position on the right-hand side of the penalty area allowing lines to cleared.

Scott Malone did his best to set-up one of the arriving cavalry consisting of Quaner, Ince and Mounié with a delicious ball across the face of goal, but still no Terrier could break the deadlock with the necessary touch into the back of the open net.

Mounié eventually managed to clamber onto the end of Malone’s next high, looming delivery, and despite leaping highest to win the header over the on-rushing Fabianski and Fernandez, the Benin striker couldn’t add to his season tally as it marginally landed the wrong side of the post.

The post itself would vitally deny Town what would’ve been a late, late winner as injury-time beckoned. A trademark Hadergjonaj cross was met with Tom Ince heading downwards with intent, but it was to hit high up on the upright to round off a goalless day on the offensive front.

The John Smith’s Stadium will see back-to-back Premier League action as Crystal Palace make the trip to Kirklees a week today (March 17, 3pm).

TOWN (4-2-3-1): Jonas Lössl; Scott Malone, Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka, Florent Hadergjonaj; Jonathan Hogg (c), Aaron Mooy (Danny Williams, 69’); Rajiv van La Parra (Laurent Depoitre, 77’), Alex Pritchard (Collin Quaner, 64’), Tom Ince; Steve Mounié

UNUSED SUBS: Joel C0leman, Tommy Smith, Chris Löwe, Abdelhamid Sabiri

SWANSEA CITY: Lukasz Fabianski; Martin Olsson, Alfie Mawson, Federico Fernandez (c), Mike Van Der Hoorn, Kyle Naughton; Sam Clucas, Andy King, Ki Sung-yeung (Tom Carroll, 89’); Andre Ayew (Tammy Abraham, 73’), Jordan Ayew (Sent off, 11’)

UNUSED SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Kyle Bartley, Connor Roberts, Nathan Dyer, Luciano Narsingh

REFEREE: Michael Oliver

ATTENDANCE: 23, 567


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