Terriers Cement Play-Off Bid as Blues Go Down at the John Smith's Stadium
Huddersfield bolstered their Play-Off credentials as Town finished a disappointing week with defeat at the John Smith’s Stadium.
There was nothing in the game until a minute before the break when Isaiah Brown spun away in midfield and found the net with a terrific strike from 25 yards.
The Terriers extended their lead 11 minutes into the second-half through Christopher Schindler and never looked likely to relinquish their stranglehold on the points from there.
Jordan Spence was handed his debut after signing a deal this week until the end of the season in one of four changes to the side that went out of the FA Cup to Lincoln. Dean Gerken remained in goal, with Bart Bialkowski out with a sickness bug, Andre Dozzell, Kevin Bru and Freddie Sears all returning to the side. Tristan Nydam on the bench for the first time.
Tom Lawrence won an early free-kick on the edge of the box but Terriers’ ‘keeper Danny Ward was in the right place to save comfortably, Philip Billing responding for the home side, his shot blocked by Cole Skuse.
Rajiv Van La Parra tried his luck from distance but Gerken saved comfortably, the Town ‘keeper tested far more by an Elias Kachunga header that he tipped over.
Van La Parra had another effort blocked by Christophe Berra, Kachunga headed over from a good position while at the other end Bru’s delivery deflected off Sears and into Ward’s grateful hands.
Van La Parra whipped over a cross that beat Nahki Wells at the far post as Huddersfield looked for a way to break down Town, Luke Chambers covering well down the left flank to cancel out the threat from Kachunga.
Spence’s excellent long range pass found Sears on the left, the striker firing over from the angle, Gerken then saving from Kachunga’s header at his nearpost.
Lawrence had a penalty shout after his effort was blocked from Bru’s cross, Spence then having a shot that drifted wide from inside the box before
Huddersfield took the lead on 44 minutes, Brown showing a great touch to turn away from his marker in midfield and after driving into Town territory, he buried his shot into the bottom corner.
Dozzell made way for Jonathan Douglas at the break in Town’s first change, Chambers’ interception bringing a flowing Huddersfield move to a halt as the second-half got underway.
Van La Parra was crowded out on the edge of the Town box before the Terriers made it two on 56 minutes, Gerken beat out Billing’s shot but Schindler, who got the winner at Portman Road earlier in the season, smashed in the rebound.
Spence drove forward as Town looked for an immediate response, the former West Ham player driving the ball across goal and just wide of the far post.
Ward plucked Berra’s header from under his bar, Wells then set up Kachunga, whose cross was cleared, Kachunga then heading wide at the far post.
Town made a second change on 67 minutes with Kieffer Moore on for his debut to replace Spence.
Van La Parra cut in before blasting wide, Gerken off his line quickly to clear from Wells, Brett Pitman replacing Bru in Town’s final throw of the dice as the game entered the closing stages.
Pitman couldn’t get his header on target from Lawrence’s corner as Town looked for a way back into the game, Michael Hefele completely missing a header when in a great position at the other end.
Ward saved from Moore in Town’s final effort at goal as Huddersfield saw the game out to maintain their push for the Play-Offs.
Huddersfield: Ward, Smith, Hogg (Whitehead 86), Billing, Kachunga, Lowe, Van La Parra, Wells (Hudson 89), Schindler, Brown (Lolley 77), Hefele. Subs not used: Coleman, Bunn, Cranie, Stankovic.
Town: Gerken, Spence (Moore 67), Knudsen, Digby, Chambers, Berra, Skuse, Dozzell (Douglas 46), Bru (Pitman 73), Lawrence, Sears. Subs not used: Crowe, Emmanuel, Ward, Nydam. Booked: Bru, Douglas, Berra, Lawrence.
Att: 19, 113