Huddersfield Town picked up their first Sky Bet Championship point of the calendar year following a 0-0 draw with high-flying Brentford at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Karlan Grant had Town’s best opportunity to win it, midway through the second half, but fired over from close range with the two sides remaining deadlocked at the final whistle in West Yorkshire.
Manager Danny Cowley named three of Town’s four new signings in the starting XI for the visit of the Bees; Richard Stearman and Emile Smith Rowe came straight in after their first week of training with the Club.
Harry Toffolo was also selected in the side having completed his move from Lincoln City the day before, whilst Andy King was named on the bench after joining on loan from Leicester City earlier this week.
The three starters got into the game early and were wasting no time in getting involved in a well-contested opening 25 minutes at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Stearman was predominant in that, throwing himself in front of an Ollie Watkins strike as Brentford looked for an early opening.
Moments later, it was Lewis O’Brien who found himself guarding Town’s goal with a block, as he charged down another well-hit effort from the visitors.
Karlan Grant got the winner for Town in the reverse fixture back in November and looked to be causing problems for the Brentford defence once again, on 39 minutes.
Town’s top scorer drove down the left side of the box before attempting to fire a low ball across the six-yard area, only for a well-timed visiting block to cut out the impending danger.
The Terriers were continuing to grow into the encounter and nearly edged ahead on the stroke of half-time. Grant’s corner from the right found the head of Trevoh Chalobah who nodded onto the roof of the net from close range.
Danny Cowley’s side were quicker into the second half too and with a slight bit of fortune nearly had the lead. Grant’s cross deflected off a Brentford defender and took a scrambling stop from David Raya to prevent Town breaking the deadlock.
Town’s number 16 then looked for goal himself and probably should have put the Terriers 1-0 up. The forward was unseen at the back post, meeting Emile Smith Rowe’s low ball in acres of space, but he couldn’t keep his shot down from around six yards out.
It was then one new boy to another on the provider front. Harry Toffolo swung in a good first-time ball from the left, after linking up with Smith Rowe, but there was nobody on hand to finish at the back post.
Smith Rowe was central to the action as Town continued to assert themselves on the game. The ball broke to the on-loan Arsenal midfielder on the edge of the box, with his goal-bound curling effort blocked into the goalkeeper’s path.
After Florent Hadergjonaj and Juninho Bacuna had been brought on in search of the game’s all-important first goal, Andy King was introduced by Danny Cowley for his Huddersfield Town debut, as the third and final change with just under 10 minutes left to play.
Brentford were going for a winner of their own late on too and produced the game’s closest chance to getting one. The ball broke to Josh Dasilva who squeezed his shot through a body of defenders and on to the base of the post as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes.
With just two minutes added on, neither team could find the time to make a last gasp breakthrough with the two sides sharing the points at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Next up for Town is the short trip to the KCOM Stadium to face Hull City in the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday 28 January 2020; 7.45pm kick-off.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-2-3-1)
Kamil Grabara; Harry Toffolo, Christopher Schindler (c), Richard Stearman, Danny Simpson, Lewis O’Brien, Trevoh Chalobah, Karlan Grant, Emile Smith Rowe (Andy King, 81’), Elias Kachunga (Florent Hadergjonaj, 70’), Fraizer Campbell (Juninho Bacuna, 71’)
Joel Coleman, Steve Mounié, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Jaden Brown
David Raya; Rico Henry, Ethan Pinnock, Julian Jeanvier, Henrik Dalsgaard, Josh Dasilva, Christian Nørgaard, Kamohelo Mokotjo (Emiliano Marcondes, 75’), Saïd Benrahma, Ollie Watkins, Bryan Mbeumo (Joel Valencia, 69’)
Luke Daniels, Dominic Thompson, Halil Dervişoğlu, Jan Žambůrek, Mads Roerslev
20,824 (567 away)