Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports


10 February 2024

Match Reports


10 February 2024

Town lose despite leading twice at St. Mary’s.

- Southampton 5-3 Huddersfield Town
- Sorba Thomas, David Kasumu and Alex Matos score
- An incredible game down on the south coast

Jon Worthington’s Huddersfield Town were bested by promotion-chasing Southampton in an incredible game of football on the south coast.

The Saints were 24 games unbeaten coming into the fixture, but the Terriers’ aggressive, front-foot plan put them two goals up at the interval through Sorba Thomas and David Kasumu.

Saints sub Joe Rothwell then scored an impressive quickfire brace when the second half got under way, only for Town to keep pressing and retake the lead though a deflected Alex Matos strike.

Unfortunately, an unlucky own goal from Tom Lees put Saints level again and they eventually pulled away through two late strikes that was cruel on the away side.

Worthington was dealt a blow on the morning of the game when January signing Radinio Balker was ruled out through illness, but thankfully he had Yuta Nakayama to call upon, who was back from Asian Cup duty with Japan.

He joined the fit-again David Kasumu and Jack Rudoni in a 3-4-3 formation featuring real athleticism all over the pitch.

Town could expect to concede possession against Russell Martin’s possession-heavy side – the Saints have the highest average in the Sky Bet Championship – but Worthington set them up to press high as Saints tried to play out, and to break quickly when possible.

At the back, the likes of Pearson, Lees and Nakayama had to be wary of the ball over the top looking for the runs of Adam Armstrong and Che Adams, and the former had an early chance to shoot from one such pass in the 2nd minute, only to blaze over from range.

Town’s left side of the pitch was where most of the action was taking place for both sides in the opening 45 minutes. Brodie Spencer and Kyle Walker-Peters were both having success against each other when attacking, and a trip from the Saints defender on the Town man led to our first big chance in the 12th minute. It allowed Sorba Thomas to whip a great ball into the danger area that was met by Pearson’s head, but his effort deflected off his shoulder before looping just over the crossbar.

The men in acid lime continued to attack smartly when possible, but again Lees did well to recover and clear a ball over the top as winger Ryan Fraser looked to set himself to shoot in our penalty area.

Jonathan Hogg put striker Koroma through on goal soon after, but Bazunu gathered the ball with Josh trying to control the ball at full pace having outstripped the final defender.

Adam Armstrong fired over from a smartly worked short corner on his weaker left side after the half hour before Town looked to have a very presentable penalty claim turned away. Koroma went on the outside of Walker-Peters to get into the penalty area and invited the sliding challenge from the defender before going down. It looked like a clumsy tackle, but referee David Webb waved away the Town appeals.

No matter, as Town did take the lead barely two minutes later. It came down our left again, with Spencer playing a pass into Rudoni in the penalty area; Jack pulled the ball back behind Koroma’s run, where Sorba Thomas smashed a first-time effort past Bazunu for his first ever away goal for Town.

There was danger at the other end in the 43rd minute where Pearson volleyed Che Adams into the air, when trying to clear the ball. Stuart Armstrong stepped up, but thankfully for us he drifted his effort over the bar.

Soon after, Town doubled their advantage. Spencer was involved again, winning the ball from a Lee Nicholls goal kick before nudging a pass infield to Thomas. Sorba did brilliantly, driving between two defenders to enter the penalty area before pulling the ball back for David Kasumu, who belied his goalscoring record by smashing an unstoppable first-time effort in off the underside of the crossbar!

Koroma, who had performed excellently as the central striker, had two further shots in the six minutes of first half added time, but couldn’t seriously test Bazunu.

Saints came into the game in second and showed all their ability to draw level inside the first five minutes of the restart. Ryan Manning had already been booked for a dive in our area trying to win a penalty from Kasumu, but then substitute Joe Rothwell took centre stage.

His first came in the 49th minute; a stunning volley into the top corner after Nicholls had punched a corner out of his penalty area. From a Town perspective, there wasn’t much that could be done.

Then he netted his second within a minute of the restart, ghosting in behind our defence to collect a reverse pass before firing across Nicholls and into the top corner once again.

To the immense credit of the Town players, they didn’t fold. First Bazunu had to spring from his line to deny Koroma a clear run at goal from Thomas’ ball over the top, and then Rudoni dragged a shot wide from inside the area after playing a smart one-two with Spencer.

Hogg soon tested the goalkeeper with a low drive before Nicholls came to the rescue at the other end, standing tall to collect the ball when Armstrong tried to chip him having run clear.

Town then retook the lead with 25 minutes left in spectacular fashion. Chelsea loanee Matos picked up the ball to the left of Southampton’s goal, cut infield and unleashed a right footed effort that hit a defender and looped over the unfortunate Bazunu, who stood no chance.

At 3-2 up, the Terriers stuck to their plan and continued to test Southampton. However, an 80th minute equaliser from the hosts changed the flow of the game.

It was unlucky. Manning tried to pull the ball back from our right and in trying to block the cross, Lees only succeeded in diverting it between Nicholls and his near post.

Then, four minutes later, Southampton took the lead for the first time when a pull back was collected by substitute Sekou Mara, who turned and slammed the ball home.

Edozie’s fifth in added time gave an unfair look to the scoreline, and Lees was adamant he had been fouled in the build-up.

Town sub Pat Jones hit the side netting after racing past Walker-Peters late on, but it wasn’t to be for the Terriers.

Town’s team (3-4-3)
Lee Nicholls; Matty Pearson, Tom Lees, Yuta Nakayama; David Kasumu (Bojan Radulovic, 87’), Alex Matos (Ben Wiles, 87’), Jonathan Hogg (c) (Brahima Diarra, 87’), Brodie Spencer (Ben Jackson, 67’); Sorba Thomas, Josh Koroma (Pat Jones, 76’), Jack Rudoni

Unused substitutes
Chris Maxwell, Giosue Bellagambi; Tom Edwards, Tom Iorpenda

Town bookings
Brodie Spencer (21’), Jack Rudoni (39’), Ben Jackson (74’)


Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account