A massive first away win of the season!
- Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Huddersfield Town
- Town record a first away win under Mark Fotheringham
- Josh Ruffels hits his first two goals for the Terriers!
A huge defensive effort from every Town player resulted in a fantastic first away win of the season at QPR’s Loftus Road on Tuesday evening!
With 10 First Team players side-lined through injury, illness and suspension, those on the pitch stepped up to the plate and showed genuine Terrier Spirit to grab all three points in gutsy fashion.
Josh Ruffels was the unlikely goalscoring hero, netting his first two Sky Bet Championship goals to bring Town from a goal down to lead at the interval and after the 90 minutes.
With David Kasumu suspended and Etienne Camara injured, Mark Fotheringham handed a first league start to 19-year-old Brahima Diarra, whilst Ben Jackson also returned on the wing.
Jackson looked to have given Town the perfect start when he set Danny Ward in on goal inside 30 seconds, only for goalkeeper Dieng to narrow the angle and block his shot at source.
It then felt all-too-familiar when QPR went up the other end and scored their first chance. Former Town loanee Chris Willock got goal side of teenage right back Brodie Spencer and squared the ball for striker Lyndon Dykes to tap home at close range.
However, the Terriers fought straight back, with their prowess at set pieces returning. The ninth minute equaliser came from a free kick won by Sorba Thomas, who picked himself up to cross deep into the area; his delivery was knocked back across goal by Jack Rudoni, where Ruffels expertly volleyed into the top corner from 18 yards out!
The end-to-end play continued as experienced winger Albert Adomah shot inches wide barely 60 seconds later, before Lee Nicholls – outstanding on the night – pushed away a strong shot from Ilias Chair.
However, Town got the all-important second in the 26th minute – and it was Ruffels again. Duane Holmes was upended on the left, allowing Thomas to come across and deliver another dangerous ball into the box; Boyle’s first header was half blocked into the path of Ruffels, who brilliantly teed the ball up on his knee before hooking the ball over his shoulder with his back to goal, looping it over Dieng and into the net!
The rest of the half set the tone for the entire game – QPR in possession, probing to find a way through a very resolute defence. Nicholls, Boyle and Helik were exceptional, but credit to every player for staying in their shape and doing their jobs expertly.
Town still carried a threat on the break and from set pieces. Big Boyle seemed to get his head to every delivery but couldn’t find the target, whilst Sorba Thomas was a lively outlet down the right.
Fotheringham changed the shape at half time, introducing Aston Villa loanee Kaine Kesler-Hayden for Spencer and switching to a back five to contain QPR’s many forward runners. It worked, but Nicholls eventually had to make some very good saves.
First, he pushed away a powerful volley from Tim Iroegbunam, but it was in the final 10 minutes that he did his best work – producing a stunning effort to claw the ball out of the top corner from substitute Richards before saving a point-blank header from the same man with five minutes left.
Town had one massive chance at the other end when substitute Connor Mahoney set Thomas in on goal, only to see his powerful first-time effort saved well by Dieng to his right.
In the end, it was the Town staff, players and fans celebrating an important win in West London.
Town’s team (4-5-1)
Lee Nicholls (c); Brodie Spencer (Kaine Kesler-Hayden, 46’), Michał Helik, Will Boyle, Josh Ruffels; Sorba Thomas, Brahima Diarra (Jordan Rhodes, 58’), Jack Rudoni, Duane Holmes (Connor Mahoney, 69’), Ben Jackson (Luke Mbete, 90’); Danny Ward
Nicholas Bilokapic; Charles Ondo, Loick Ayina
Josh Ruffels (9’, 26')
Brahima Diarra (40’), Brodie Spencer (45’), Danny Ward (75’), Sorba Thomas (88’), Lee Nicholls (90+1’), Jordan Rhodes (90+5’)