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Match Reports


27 April 2024

Match Reports


27 April 2024

Huddersfield Town unable to score winner despite improved second half performance

- Huddersfield Town 1-1 Birmingham City
- Rhys Healey scores second half equaliser
- Point unlikely not enough in Club's survival persuit

Despite a spirited second half performance, a point will likely be too little as results elswhere all but confirmed a finish within the bottom three.

Nerves and noise was the overwhelming emotion at kick-off, with both sets of players and supporters aware of the magnitude of the game and potential result. With three changes made by André Breitenreiter, two of those in Rhys Healey and Danny Ward tried to link on the break early, but the away defence stood tall to knock away any potential danger for a throw in.

Brushing aside and defending an early free kick for Birmingham that came from a Rudoni foul in the final third, David Kasumu rushed forward and lashed his own cross-shot in the box which was deflected behind for a corner. Watching the first ball in from Rudoni knocked away, Town regathered possession and crossed again, with captain Michał Helik found at the far post. Looking to add to his nine goal haul for the season on the same afternoon he became the Club’s fourth ever back-to-back Hargreaves Memorial Player of the Year winner, his stretched effort fell kindly for the well positioned John Ruddy.

Responding with a chance of their own, Birmingham’s forwards linked well in the final third, working an opening for Keshi Anderson in the right hand channel. Not connecting with his effort at all well, his strike dribbled tamely wide of the near post, with Lee Nicholls watching it all the way.

While there were odd moments of hesitation, neither side was showing signs of the occasion getting on top of them, with each attacking with purpose. Attempting to get around the back of the Town defence with Ethan Laird, great defending from Alex Matos shut the move down, with the Birmingham man’s frustration getting the better of him as he shoved the midfielder in the back after losing the ball. Heading straight up the other end of the pitch, Matos almost turned from denier to supplier, with his chip landing with Jack Rudoni, who’s half volley bounced marginally high and wide.

Defending well when required, including from consecutive corners for Birmingham, the Terriers remained committed in attack, playing with imagination to try and unlock the deep defence. Spotting a great onward run from Turton behind the back line, David Kasumu almost executed a perfect driven ball over the top for Turton to cross from, but the returning full-back just couldn’t make contact as he leapt to connect on the volley. Drawing desperate fouls from the away side, too, Jack Rudoni was caught late out wide by Buchanan, who found himself booked as a result.

Luck, quality or both would seemingly be the difference, and Birmingham City thought it was on their side as Kōji Miyoshi had an effort from close range at the far post. Watching his own cross bounce kindly back to him, his volley was well saved by Nicholls who’s reflexes got Town out of trouble. Unable to make the same intervention moments later, Miyoshi made no difference in a similar position of the pitch, turning home a cross first time into the opposite corner of the goal to give his side a precious lead.

With two minutes added time indicated, the Terriers could make no reply before the half-time whistle was blown, giving themselves a tall task to reverse the scoreline after the break.

Roaring out of the blocks after the break with neither side making a change, the Terriers wasted no time to start their fightback. A move started by a wonderful ball forward from Turton to Rudoni taking a number of away midfielders out of the game, Town’s number eight kept his composure down the wing before cutting the ball back. Perfectly placed and weighted for Rhys Healey, the forward swept home past Ruddy first time, giving the game and second half a completely different look and feel.

Riding the noise and emotion from the crowd, Healey could’ve scored again within seconds of his first. Finding himself chasing down an awkward bouncing ball over the top, he could only knock it into the chest of the oncoming John Ruddy, who did well to make the chance even harder for the Town forward.

Pushing themselves with the crowd at their back, the Terriers forced a number of dead balls with Birmingham City conceding corner kicks and free kicks as they looked to defend their own box. Unable to make them count despite the momentum being in their favour, results elsewhere had turned to mean anything but three points would all but seal Town’s fate in the bottom three of the division. With the away side still showing signs of danger of the break, too, things were far from certain, but Brodie Spencer made an intervention overlapping two of his own men to win the ball back down the wing, getting fouled as a result.

Introducing both Sorba Thomas and Ben Wiles from the bench with Josh Koroma and Alex Matos making way, Head Coach André Breitenreiter made attacking changes to give the Terriers more bite in the final third, later taking Ollie Turton off as well to send Bojan Radulovic up the field. Despite those changes, the away side did create the next chance of the game, with Jay Stansfield rolling an effort across the face of goal and wide.

Giving their all but falling short, Town saw a strike wide from Ward before another series of set-plays came their way in added time. Sending goalkeeper Lee Nicholls forward, he remained in the opposition box for three consecutive corner kicks, but even with the box packed, it wasn’t to be, and Matty Pearson’s off balance header over was ultimately the final action of the game. Another draw in a series of fixtures this season the side will be questioning how they haven’t won, the table and mathematics remain against us heading into the final weekend.

TOWN'S TEAM (3-5-2)

Lee Nicholls; Matty Pearson, Michał Helik, Brodie Spencer; Ollie Turton (Bojan Radulovic 79'), David Kasumu, Alex Matos (Ben Wiles 68'), Jack Rudoni, Josh Koroma (Sorba Thomas 58'); Danny Ward, Rhys Healey


Chris Maxwell; Delano Burgzorg, Jaheim Headley, Tom Edwards, Ben Jackson, Tom Iorpenda


Rhys Healey 47'


Jack Rudoni 80'


22,001 (2,339)

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