Huddersfield Town rounded off the calendar year with a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Naby Sarr’s 90th minute winner secured all three Sky Bet Championship points for Town after Sam Gallagher’s equaliser had cancelled out the first of Sarr’s two strikes moments earlier.
The win was the Terriers’ fifth on the bounce at the John Smith’s Stadium and sixth successive game unbeaten on home soil.
Head Coach Carlos Corberán named an unchanged starting XI for the fourth successive game in the Sky Bet Championship.
Like on Boxing Day, it meant that the only change came on the bench where Matty Daly returned to the match day squad in place of Adama Diakhaby who missed the game with a foot injury.
Prior to kick-off in the Terriers’ final game of 2020, there was a minute’s applause to remember all the Town supporters and players who have sadly passed away this year.
Upon the game’s start, it was the visitors who had the earlier of the game’s chances. The first two of which went the way of Harvey Elliott who forced a good block out of Harry Toffolo, moments before driving over Ryan Schofield’s crossbar with a speculative attempt.
At the other end, Pipa fired Town’s first effort wide at the near post before two quickfire efforts on goal from Juninho Bacuna forced Rovers ‘keeper Thomas Kaminski into his first action of the evening to keep the pair of fierce efforts out.
For Town, Ryan Schofield was also playing his part in maintaining the deadlock in the encounter. The ‘keeper got down superbly to keep out Adam Armstrong’s powered effort at goal after Bradley Johnson’s original effort was blocked.
Openings at both ends continued into the closing stage of the half. After Armstrong had once again gone close hitting the side-netting, Toffolo repeated the feat at the other end, firing a first-time effort just wide of the goal with the final opportunity of an entertaining first 45 in West Yorkshire.
After the break, the Terriers got straight on to the front foot and were rewarded with the opener.
Isaac Mbenza’s corner from the left picked out Naby Sarr who rose highest to plant a header into the bottom corner to put Town 1-0 up.
The opener looked to give Town even more confidence going forward as Carel Eiting curled an effort from the edge of the box as the Terriers went in search of some breathing room.
Toffolo and O’Brien continued to combine neatly down the left side as Town put together another swift attacking move on 74 minutes.
This time, it was the former with the strike, dragging wide after the midfielder had smartly found him with a flick.
For all of Town’s pressure on goal, the visitors made an attack at the opposite end count to level the scores inside the final 10 minutes.
Armstrong’s fizzed cross into the area from the left fell at the feet of Sam Gallagher who was in the right place at the right time to find the net with the equaliser.
But Town weren’t done there and as the game ticked over into five minutes of stoppage time, the Terriers found the all-important winner.
A perfectly flighted pass from Pipa found the feet of Sarr following a cleared free-kick, with Town’s no.23 keeping his composure to pick out the top corner with his second of the game to win the game and spark wild scenes at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Carlos Corberán’s side navigated their way through the remainder of the encounter to round off the calendar year with a fifth successive win on home soil.
Next up for Huddersfield Town is the visit of Reading in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday 2 January 2021; 3pm kick-off.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-3-3)
Ryan Schofield; Harry Toffolo, Naby Sarr, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Pipa; Jonathan Hogg (c), Juninho Bacuna (Alex Pritchard, 88'), Carel Eiting (Jaden Brown, 90'); Lewis O’Brien, Fraizer Campbell, Isaac Mbenza (Aaron Rowe, 84')
Ben Hamer; Álex Vallejo, Demeaco Duhaney, Kian Harratt, Romoney Crichlow, Matty Daly
BLACKBURN ROVERS (4-3-3)
Thomas Kaminski; Amari'i Bell, Daniel Ayala (Stewart Downing, 72’), Darragh Lenihan, Ryan Nyambe (John Buckley, 65’); Bradley Johnson, Tom Trybull (Lewis Holtby, 11’), Joe Rothwell (Sam Gallagher, 65’); Ben Brereton, Adam Armstrong, Harvey Elliott (Bradley Dack, 65’)
Aynsley Pears; Barry Douglas, Jacob Davenport, Tyrhys Dolan