Town lose a tightly contested game.
- Swansea City 1-0 Huddersfield Town
- Town lose their first game in six
- Deflected strike settles a tight game
Town were unfortunate to lose their first game in six at the Swansea.com Stadium, with a deflected Ryan Manning strike settling a tight game between the sides.
Neil Warnock’s side restricted their hosts for the most part, with Jaheim Headley having our best chance in the first half, but it was the second half strike that settled the game on the day.
As was the case in our last away game at Watford, Warnock changed the team’s shape to try and deal with Swansea. In came Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Brahima Diarra and Jaheim Headley, who was back following a seven-game injury absence, as the Terriers switched to a back three with more central midfielders against their possession-hungry opponents.
Town had to defend well again in a challenging opening 45 minutes, whilst relying on the likes of Diarra to spring counter-attacks. Three Swansea players earned yellow cards for tough challenges on the Mali Under-23 international in the opening half as his direct running and dribbling ability caused problems.
At the other end, the centre backs stood strong. Lees, Helik and Pearson all executed excellent clearances when the Swans did manage to deliver into the area through Joel Latibeaudiere and former loanee Jamie Paterson.
The men in pink threatened through set pieces, as always. In-form goalscorer Pearson volleyed a difficult chance over from 18 yards out after Jack Rudoni’s 18th minute corner wasn’t fully cleared, whilst Helik nodded wide under heavy pressure from another corner that was nodded back across goal by Lees.
However, Swansea went closest to scoring in the 28th minute through a set piece of their own. Matt Grimes’ initial shot hit the defensive wall, but he picked up the rebound before delivering an excellent cross towards top scorer Joël Piroe, whose glanced header hit the far post. Midfielder Liam Cullen tried to follow up, but the ball struck him before flying well over.
Town hit back with a great chance of their own four minutes later. Lees found Danny Ward’s chest with a throw-in, and he held off the centre back before hooking the ball across goal, where Headley met it on the volley with a fantastic strike that flew inches over the crossbar.
Olivier Ntcham struck a first-time effort off target from around 20 yards as the half reached its conclusion, with the Terriers frustrating the home team and fans.
The second half continued in the same vein, with Swansea enjoying the ball but finding it difficult to break the Terriers down. Tomáš Vaclík, on his 500th club appearance, had routine saves to make from Piroe and Grimes, whilst Headley got enough on substitute Morgan Whittaker’s useful shot to send it wide of goal.
Sadly, the only goal did come with around 20 minutes left, and it had an element of bad luck about it. A loose ball dropped to Ryan Manning on the edge of the Town box and just as his volley looked to be heading wide, it hit the chest of Jonathan Hogg, who had charged out to deny him space for the shot, before looping over the helpless goalkeeper.
Swansea enjoyed a bit of momentum after that, with Joel Latibeaudiere shooting wide from 20 yards and lively substitute Ollie Cooper testing our goalkeeper from range.
Warnock responded by introducing Josh Koroma, Tyreece Simpson and Josh Ruffels – and then Martyn Waghorn – to try and find a goal.
We mustered two chances before the full-time whistle but couldn’t find the breakthrough. First Helik found Ruffels with a cross-field ball to the left and his cross was attacked by Simpson, but he could only divert it straight at the goalkeeper.
Then, in the 93rd minute, Pearson was felled right on the edge of the Swansea box. However, Rudoni’s free kick was blocked by the wall before being cleared.
Town’s team (3-5-1-1)
Tomáš Vaclík; Tom Lees, Michał Helik, Matty Pearson; David Kasumu (Josh Koroma, 73’), Jonathan Hogg (c), Rarmani Edmonds Green (Martyn Waghorn, 84’), Jack Rudoni, Jaheim Headley (Josh Ruffels, 73’); Brahima Diarra (Tyreece Simpson, 73’); Danny Ward
Nicholas Bilokapic; Ben Jackson, Matthew Lowton
Jonathan Hogg (43’), Jack Rudoni (90’)