Terriers knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup
- Preston North End 3-1 Huddersfield Town
- Florian Kamberi scores his first goal for the club
- Three soft goals condemn Town to defeat
Preston North End got quick revenge for our recent league win at Deepdale by knocking Town out of the Emirates FA Cup at the Third Round stage.
After a cagey opening first half, the game exploded into life in an action-packed second when substitute Florian Kamberi scored a debut goal to put us ahead.
However, Town then conceded three soft goals in the final half hour to be eliminated from the competition.
Mark Fotheringham named Town’s youngest line-up of the season for the tie, with four players making their first starts for the club. New recruit Matt Lowton added his vast experience to the side at right wing back, whilst goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic, defender Loick Ayina and striker Tyreece Simpson also came into the side.
Preston enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the opening 45, although lots of it was in their defensive third as they looked for a way through Town’s resolute defence.
Australia Under-23 international Bilokapic was kept busy, however, and did well with his first actions – an assertive punch to clear Alan Browne’s 11th minute corner and then a good save from Ryan Ledson five minutes later. The second was a well-worked move down our right from the hosts, with Alvaro Fernandez’ pull-back finding Ledson 20 yards out; however, Nick got a strong hand to the ball diving low to his right.
At the other end, Jack Rudoni intercepted a pass and tried to set Kaine Kesler-Hayden into the box with a reverse pass, only for the Aston Villa loanee to stumble as he received the ball.
Browne and Johnson hit speculative curling efforts off target for Preston as the half continued before Simpson’s strength and pace almost paid dividends on the counter, only for defender Andrew Hughes to cover and clear the danger after the forward had rolled past the first defender.
For all Preston’s possession, it was the Terriers who went closest to breaking the first half deadlock in the 36th minute. Sorba Thomas worked the ball across to the left before checking onto his right and crossing into the area, where Rudoni knocked it down to Simpson; the former Ipswich man was caught slightly off balance, but still managed to improvise a volley that clipped the angle of post and bar before dropping dead.
The last meaningful action of the half involved French teenager Ayina. Watchers of the B Team will know the centre back is an aggressive player and, having been booked earlier in the game, he committed a foul on Mikey O’Neill by the touchline that had the home fans and players asking for a red card. Fortunately referee Anthony Backhouse opted for a final warning and Fotheringham wasted no time in withdrawing the debutant, with Will Boyle replacing him.
January signing Kamberi, who has trained with the Terriers since November, was brought on for his debut during the interval, and soon scored his first goal in our colours.
The strike came after Town forced two corners just before the hour, with the second not being effectively cleared by the home defence. Alvarez and goalkeeper Woodman got in each other’s way, allowing Helik to loop a cross back into the area – eventually Boyle nodded the ball across to Kamberi, who expertly half-volleyed home on his left foot from around 12 yards out.
Unfortunately, the lead was short lived, with Preston equalising three minutes later. Kasumu gave away a free kick that was initially cleared by Helik, but Woodburn beat Kasumu to the loose ball before delivering a pacey cross into the area that hit Tom Lees on the knees and fired past a helpless Bilokapic.
The big moment in the game came in the 64th minute, when Town didn’t score a golden opportunity. Kasumu caught Preston playing out and seized the ball before entering the area, drawing the goalkeeper and sliding a pass left to Kamberi; the forward looked to place the ball home first time, but somehow defender Diaby got back to block it off the line.
With that chance still fresh in the memory, Preston took the lead for the first time. Helik handled the ball, allowing Preston another free kick, and the delivery from Ledson hit Kasumu before dropping to Diaby, who gleefully volleyed home.
Town tried to fight back gamely, but Preston secured passage to the fourth round in the 85th minute when Alan Browne beat Kesler-Hayden to another delivery into the box from Ledson that dropped at the back post, finishing at close range.
Town’s team (5-4-1)
Nicholas Bilokapic; Matthew Lowton (Brahima Diarra, 70’), Tom Lees (c), Michał Helik, Loick Ayina (Will Boyle, 38’), Kaine Kesler-Hayden; Sorba Thomas, David Kasumu (Kian Harratt, 74’), Etienne Camara, Jack Rudoni (Duane Holmes, 46’); Tyreece Simpson (Florian Kamberi, 46’)
Jacob Chapman; Jordan Rhodes, Josh Ruffels, Ben Jackson
Florian Kamberi (57’)
Loick Ayina (18’), David Kasumu (60’), Michał Helik (71’)