Top performance heralds a late winner in Humberside!
Huddersfield Town recorded a first win of 2020 with a well-earned and hard-fought 2-1 win over Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
Hull City enjoyed the opening moments of the game, but the Terriers gained control and took the lead in the first half with Karlan Grant scoring his 13th of the season.
The hosts equalised in the second half through a scrappy own goal, spurring the Terriers on to create enough chances to provide them with the winner – substitute Steve Mounié’s fourth of the season.
Danny Cowley made one change to his starting XI for the game, bringing in Juninho Bacuna for Danny Simpson, who picked up a contact injury in the Brentford game.
That meant that Bacuna played at right-back, a position that he has filled before for Town.
After a positive start from the hosts, the first big moment of the game came in the 13th minute, when Jarrod Bowen played the ball to Kamil Grosicki just inside the area. He stepped inside from the left, went past Richard Stearman and pulled the trigger, only for his shot to be met by a superb block from Town’s Trevoh Chalobah.
Town responded instantly to the threat and worked the ball to Karlan Grant who found space down the left-hand side. He drove down the flank and played a pass to Emile Smith Rowe, but the ball flew off him and was cleared by a Hull defender.
The Terriers continued to create openings. After some neat football, Lewis O’Brien clipped across into the area, which was glanced just over the goal by Grant.
However, the forward wasn’t to be denied moments later! Grant received the ball from Bacuna inside the area, cut in onto his right and provided one of his signature finishes, curling the ball into the bottom right corner to score his 13th goal of the season for the Terriers.
Just after Town took the lead, the host immediately looked to level. Grosicki got clear of Bacuna down Town’s right hand side and burst into the area. He tried to drill a low ball across the face of Town’s goal but was met by Richard Stearman who worked brilliantly to block it.
Hull continued to press, utilising the strengths of Wilks, Bowen and Grosicki, but Town remained strong and looked a threat on the counter.
Town started the second half quickly and had a great chance through Emile Smith Rowe. Elias Kachunga was released down the right and cut the ball back into the area. His pass was met by the Arsenal loanee, but Emile couldn’t keep his effort down and didn’t trouble the ‘keeper.
Danny Cowley’s side could have doubled their lead just after the 50-minute mark. A Town corner was flicked clear towards Bacuna, who found himself 20 yards out to the right of the area. He whipped across to Kachunga at the back post, but his volley was blocked.
The Terriers kept piling on the pressure, finding another chance just moments later. Emile found Grant down the left and the striker’s first shot was blocked before he fired another with his right which went just wide.
The hosts then got back into the game in the 66th minute. A flat corner landed in the six-yard box and after a lot of touches, goal-line technology gave it as an own goal by Richard Stearman.
That spurred on the Tigers as Kamil Grabara was forced to make two excellent saves. Bowen beat Toffolo and stood up a cross for giant substitute striker Tom Eaves, whose header was well saved by Town’s ‘keeper. Moments after Grabara made a full stretch save to his right to prevent Jackson Irvine.
After a clash between Christopher Schindler and Grabara there was a lengthy delay where Town’s ‘keeper received treatment for over 10 minutes. Unfortunately, Kamil couldn’t continue and was stretched off, being replaced by Joel Coleman.
The hosts came close to taking the lead when Irvine rose highest to meet a deep cross into the box, but his effort went over the crossbar.
Just inside the 14 minutes of added time Town responded with a chance of their own. Grant squeezed a low ball across the face of the goal in an attempt for his second of the game, but it was knocked away by Tafazolli.
Town kept pushing, this time Bacuna forced Long into an excellent save; the ‘keeper managing to tip his low effort just wide.
Another chance fell to Grant, who collected a long ball from Trevoh Chalobah before firing an effort inches wide.
Town’s pressure finally paid off late in game, with all the credit going to Elias Kachunga. The winger ran the full width of the pitch to collect a throw in, stood his man up and played an inch perfect cross to big Steve Mounié, who showcased one of his signature headers from close range.
The hosts tried to respond, but couldn’t level the score once again, allowing Danny Cowley’s Terriers to leave the KCOM Stadium with all three points and complete a double over a good Tigers side.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-2-3-1)
Kamil Grabara (Joel Coleman, 83’); Harry Toffolo, Christopher Schindler (c), Richard Stearman, Juninho Bacuna; Lewis O’Brien, Trevoh Chalobah; Karlan Grant, Emile Smith Rowe (Andy King, 85’), Elias Kachunga; Fraizer Campbell (Steve Mounié, 62’)
Rekeil Pyke, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Jaden Brown, Florent Haderjonaj
HULL CITY (4-4-1-1)
George Long; Eric Lichaj (c), Ryan Tafazolli, Reece Burke, Robbie McKenzie (Tom Eaves, 63’); Kamil Grosicki, Leonardo Da Silva, Herbie Kane (George Honeyman, 90+3’), Mallik Wilks (Jackson Irvine, 63’); Jarrod Bowen; Josh Magennis
Matt Ingram, Sean McLoughlin, Stephen Kingsley, Kean Lewis-Potter