Emirates FA Cup campaign ends against Premier League side
Town’s Emirates FA Cup campaign ended at the Third Round stage against Premier League side Southampton at St Mary’s, with two second-half goals setting a game of few real chances.
The Terriers’ discipline frustrated the home team and supporters at times and, on the break, the Terriers created a handful of very presentable chances.
Unfortunately, Fraizer Campbell, Juninho Bacuna and Christopher Schindler couldn’t convert them, whereas Will Smallbone and Jake Vokins did for the hosts.
Danny Cowley named a strong side to face the Saints, with three changes made from the previous league fixture - giving Karlan Grant, Kamil Grabara and Steve Mounié a rest.
It took almost half an hour for the first big moment to come, and it was Town on the attack despite Southampton’s majority of possession. Centre back Vestergaard gave away the pass with a sloppy pass in the centre circle and Lewis O’Brien pounced, dinking a pass into Campbell’s path. He had Lewis as an option for the return pass, but Fraizer instead took aim from 20 yards – and fired over the bar.
Southampton responded, with a poor clearance from goalkeeper Joel Coleman allowing the ball to be quickly worked towards winger Rathbone. He skipped past Jonathan Hogg on his way infield but fired well over on his left when slightly off balance.
Defender Danso put a powerful header over the bar from James Ward-Prowse’s corner as the half ticked by before it looked like his side had gone ahead through Shane Long. VAR was in operation for this tie and ruled that the Irishman had just strayed beyond the defensive line in collecting the pass, ruling out the strike.
As the half looked to be ending, Town created their best chance of the game. Southampton were calling for a penalty on Boufal as the away side broke away, with Flo Hadergjonaj leading the charge from his right wing position. His low cross evaded three in the penalty area before falling perfectly to Bacuna, but he placed his first-time effort too close to the goalkeeper.
Unfortunately, the second half started in the worst fashion when Southampton took an early second half lead. A big, looping cross from the right from Danso was nodded back across goal by experienced striker Long and Smallbone was given too much space in the box to volley home.
Coleman believed the initial cross had gone dead, but a quick VAR check proved it hadn’t.
Town kept their discipline and should have drawn level 10 minutes later. Hadergjonaj was fouled by Boufal on the right, allowing Bacuna to swing an excellent free kick towards the near post for Christopher Schindler. He connected with a first-time volley but sent the ball just wide of target with the Town fans ready to celebrate.
Stanković volleyed wide and substitute Karlan Grant had a volley blocked by Cedric after some lovely work from the impressive Trevoh Chalobah as Cowley’s side searched for a way back into the game, but the match was settled in spectacular fashion with a few minutes left when left back Jake Vokins crashed a volley in off the crossbar, with the ball having clipped the heals of birthday boy Danny Simpson on route.
Town’s team (4-5-1)
Joel Coleman; Jaden Brown, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Christopher Schindler (c), Danny Simpson; Juninho Bacuna (Karlan Grant, 65’), Lewis O’Brien (Josh Koroma, 82’), Jonathan Hogg, Trevoh Chalobah, Florent Hadergjonaj; Fraizer Campbell (Steve Mounié, 61’)
Ryan Schofield; Kian Harratt, Matty Daly, Scott High