Huddersfield Town wrapped up all three points in the final game before Christmas with a 2-0 win over Watford in the Sky Bet Championship.
A Fraizer Campbell strike and an Etienne Capoue own goal was the difference as the Terriers picked up a fourth successive win at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Carlos Corberán named an unchanged XI for the visit of the Hornets with Jonathan Hogg captaining the side against one of his former clubs.
The only alteration to the match day squad came on the bench where 17-year-old winger Pat Jones came in off the back of an impressive scoring performance in the FA Youth Cup in midweek.
It was Town who were hotter from the off on a chilly December afternoon in West Yorkshire. Isaac Mbenza applied the heat to the Terriers’ showing early on with a powered effort skied over Ben Foster’s goal.
From the resulting goal-kick, the winger’s enthusiastic start led to a Town opener. Mbenza charged down Ben Foster’s clearance into the path of Frazier Campbell who finished the job by finding the empty net to give the Terriers the lead.
At the other end, Ryan Schofield’s reactions preserved the recently-taken advantage. The Town ‘keeper denied James Garner from close range with a smart stop moments before tipping Andre Gray’s close-range header behind.
Off the back of that, Town doubled the lead just after the half-hour mark. It was Mbenza who was the catalyst again, with a dangerous corner turned into from the Terriers’ no.18 turned into his own net by Etienne Capoue to make it 2-0.
Town were in their groove and were pushing for a third before half-time. Juninho Bacuna had an effort well-blocked by James Garner before Foster got down well to deny Harry Toffolo’s long-range strike.
After the break, the visitors started strongly in their pursuit of a route back into the game. Schofield again denied Andre Gray one-on-one before Capoue headed over from the resulting corner.
Moments after Capoue hacked over another attempt, Town substitute Alex Pritchard did the same at the other end after the ball had come to him on the half-volley, on the edge of the box.
The rain began to come down heavily as the encounter reached the closing stages in HD1. Just before three minutes were added on, Schofield stopped another Gray effort before Hornets skipper Tom Cleverley fired wide from the resulting corner.
That was the final opportunity of the game with referee Leigh Doughty’s whistle going soon after to confirm another win for the Terriers on home soil.
Next up for Town is a Boxing Day Yorkshire derby against Barnsley at Oakwell in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday 26 December 2020; 3pm kick-off.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-3-3)
Ryan Schofield; Harry Toffolo, Naby Sarr, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Pipa; Jonathan Hogg (c), Carel Eiting (Alex Pritchard, 63’), Lewis O’Brien; Juninho Bacuna (Adama Diakhaby, 90’), Fraizer Campbell, Isaac Mbenza (Aaron Rowe, 80’)
Joel Pereira; Álex Vallejo, Demeaco Duhaney, Romoney Crichlow, Jaden Brown, Pat Jones
Ben Foster; Ken Sema, Ben Wilmot (Marc Navarro, 75’), William Troost-Ekong (Francisco Sierralta, 30’), Christian Kabasele, Jeremy Ngakia (Adam Masina, 75’); Etienne Capoue (Stipe Perica, 67’), James Garner, Tom Cleverley; Andre Gray, Ismaïla Sarr
Daniel Bachmann; Troy Deeney, Nathaniel Chalobah, Kane Crichlow, Daniel Phillips