Town cannot find clinical edge at Ewood Park
- Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Huddersfield Town
- Ben Brereton Diaz scores the game’s only goal
- Second half performance still doesn’t herald goal
It was a familiar story for Town as, despite many things to like about the performance, they came away empty-handed from high-flying Blackburn Rovers.
In the end, Chile international striker Ben Brereton Diaz showed a clinical edge that once again escaped Town to grab all three points for his side, scoring the only goal of the game in the 35th minute from Blackburn’s only chance of the first half.
Town had limited their hosts without creating much themselves in the first 45, but penned Rovers back in their own half for the final half hour – only to fail to find the back of the net.
With Yuta Nakayama out for the season due to the Achilles injury sustained in the midweek game against Sunderland, Mark Fotheringham handed a first Championship start to Will Boyle, who was probably Town’s best player on the afternoon.
Alongside Michał Helik, Town’s defence stifled Blackburn for 35 minutes, but one counter-attack ultimately settled the game. Diaz, who plays wide on the left, constantly looked to run behind and timed once such movement well to get in behind 18-year-old Brodie Spencer. Although the Northern Irishman, alongside Helik, got goal-side momentarily, the forward checked back onto his right foot and reversed the shot between skipper Lee Nicholls and the post from 15 yards.
Spencer and Boyle had to cover ground to take the ball from Diaz as Blackburn tried to break before the half-time interval, whilst our best chance of the first 45 was a tame shot from Duane Holmes after he cut in from the left flank.
However, Town did pen Blackburn back for large swatches of the second half, and created the game’s best chance in the 53rd minute. Helik started the move, finding Danny Ward with a low pass forward; the striker then span left and played Holmes the ball out wide. Although Duane’s first cross was blocked, he reacted quickest to volley the rebound into the six yard box – only for Jack Rudoni to scuff an effort at the goalkeeper.
Nicholls had to be alert to save shots on the counter from Diaz and Morton, but Town made the running in front of the travelling fans. Josh Ruffels couldn’t make contact with a Sorba Thomas corner that fell at the back post before Sorba, Ward, and Rudoni all flashed balls across the face of goal without a connection at the end.
Helik flicked a header wide and Sorba Thomas had shouts for a penalty turned away by the referee in a challenge that saw him leave the pitch with blood flowing from a stud-shaped gash in his leg.
Brahima Diarra almost made an immediate impact after coming on 20 minutes from time, receiving the ball on the half turn and driving forward before uncorking a powerful drive that the home goalkeeper had to push behind.
Despite the territorial pressure the equaliser never came, leaving players and fans alike frustrated.
Unfortunately, David Kasumu also received a second half yellow card that will rule him out of our midweek trip to QPR through suspension.
Town’s team (4-5-1)
Lee Nicholls (c); Brodie Spencer, Michał Helik, Will Boyle, Josh Ruffels; Sorba Thomas, David Kasumu, Etienne Camara (Brahima Diarra, 72’), Jack Rudoni, Duane Holmes; Danny Ward (Jordan Rhodes, 81’)
Nicholas Bilokapic; Luke Mbete, Connor Mahoney, Kaine Kesler-Hayden, Ben Jackson
Jack Rudoni (36’), Etienne Camara (40’), David Kasumu (68’)