Another point secured at the Madejski Stadium
Huddersfield Town picked up another important Sky Bet Championship point following a 0-0 draw with Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Town went close in both halves, through Emile Smith Rowe and Alex Pritchard respectively, but couldn’t break the deadlock as a third successive clean sheet at the other end secured another point towards Championship survival.
Three days on from the draw with Preston North End, Danny Cowley made five changes to his starting XI with Jon Gorenc Stanković and Steve Mounié both in for their first starts since the restart.
Andy King, Chris Willock and Emile Smith Rowe were also back in from the start whilst Karlan Grant brought up his 150th career appearance at the Madejski Stadium.
Town may have made five changes but the resolute defensive setup that had earned the Terriers four points from the last two games remained evident in the early minutes in Berkshire.
With the possession in the opening stages being held in Town’s half, the Terriers’ best attacking outlet came on the counter, with Steve Mounié and Chris Willock both springing attacks early on.
Town, sporting the fiery coral alternate kit on the road once again, began to grow into the game as the clock passed the 10-minute mark.
Willock, along with fellow returnees, Andy King and Emile Smith Rowe had Town’s first sighters on the Royals’ goal, with the latter coming closest after some good footwork, but Rafael Cabral was equal to the on-loan midfielder’s low effort.
With goals in both of Town’s away games since the restart, Karlan Grant was starting to find his range at the Madejski Stadium after the break. After lofting a left-footed strike over on the counter moments earlier, the Terriers’ top scorer drilled wide of the goal from a well-worked free-kick.
The hosts’ best opening of the encounter so far came on 36 minutes. Winger Jordan Obita was found in space on the edge of the box from the right but dragged his first-time effort wide of the goal.
Reading looked to gain confidence from that attack, putting together another that Jonas Lössl had to be alert to shortly after. The Town ‘keeper got down well to deny George Pușcaș’ chip after the Romanian had got in behind the Terriers’ defensive line, moments before the break.
After the interval, it was Town who had best chance before the second half drinks break. Grant’s lifted free-kick from a deep central position found the head of Mounié who’s downward header caused Cabral little problem in the Reading goal.
Smith Rowe’s driving runs from the heart of midfield had caused problems throughout the game for Reading, but it was a sprint without the ball that nearly gifted Grant with another opportunity on 65 minutes.
The midfielder’s swift closing down forced the Reading defender into a loose back-pass that Cabral had to rush out of his goal to cut off before Grant could get there.
Pushing for the breakthrough, Danny Cowley introduced Lewis O’Brien, Elias Kachunga and Alex Pritchard, with the latter nearly making an instant impact from the bench.
After combining with Willock on the right, Pritchard’s driven ball across the face of goal took a deflection and needed action from Cabral to prevent it breaking the deadlock, with just over 10 minutes to go at the Madejski Stadium.
In a tense last ten minutes, neither side could work any clear openings until Royals substitute Michael Olise found some space with the last kick of the game, but his effort was straight down Lössl’s throat.
Referee Steve Martin brought a close to the encounter immediately after, with the deadlock remaining intact and both sides sharing the points in Berkshire.
Next up for Town is a return to the John Smith’s Stadium to face Luton Town in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday 10 July 2020; 6pm kick-off.
Rafael Cabral; Tyler Blackett, Gabriel Osho (Chris Gunter, 86’), Tom McIntyre, Michael Morrison; John Swift, Andy Rinomhota; Jordan Obita (Lucas Boyé, 85’), Pelé (Garath McCleary, 85’), Yakou Méïté; George Pușcaș (Michael Olise, 65’)
Sam Walker; Liam Moore, Sam Baldock, Charlie Adam, Omar Richards
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-2-3-1)
Jonas Lössl; Harry Toffolo, Christopher Schindler (c), Jon Gorenc Stanković, Trevoh Chalobah; Andy King (Demeaco Duhaney, 90+1’), Jonathan Hogg (Lewis O’Brien, 66’); Karlan Grant, Emile Smith Rowe (Alex Pritchard, 71’), Chris Willock (Collin Quaner, 90’); Steve Mounié (Elias Kachunga, 71’)
Joel Coleman; Richard Stearman, Rekeil Pyke, Jaden Brown