|Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Huddersfield Town|
Saturday, 7th December 2013 Kick-off 15:00
Town 2-1 Huddersfield
Saturday, 7th Dec 2013 17:06
Daryl Murphy headed home a late winner as the Blues came from behind to beat Huddersfield 2-1 at Portman Road. The Terriers were deservedly ahead at the break via Danny Ward, skipper James Vaughan having had a penalty saved at Town for the second successive season, but David McGoldrick equalised soon after the restart then Murphy won it in the 89th minute.
Mick McCarthy made two changes to the team which beat Blackburn 3-1 on Tuesday with Ryan Tunnicliffe and Daryl Murphy returning in place of Stephen Hunt and Carlos Edwards as he switched his side to a 4-3-3 formation with McGoldrick behind Murphy and Frank Nouble.
Huddersfield, who switched to 4-4-2 from their more usual 3-5-2 system, left former Blue Jon Stead out of their 18.
After a minute’s applause celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, Town kicked off facing the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.
Blues right-back Luke Chambers hit the first shot of the game across the face of goal in the fourth minute, then a minute later Hyam sent Murphy away down the left but his low cross towards Nouble was cut out.
There was danger at the other end soon afterwards when former Canary James Vaughan seized on a poor Chambers backpass but Gerken was out quickly to clear with his feet.
However, it was the Blues who were looking more threatening in the early stages. On seven McGoldrick headed a Cresswell cross from the right just wide after a corner had been played back out to the left-back by Tunnicliffe.
Four minutes later, the Terriers probably should have gone ahead but Vaughan directed his header past Gerken’s post from Clayton’s freekick on the right.
On 15 Murphy sent Nouble away down the left but no one else had got far enough forward to take advantage of his cross.
McGoldrick hit a 20-yard shot into Huddersfield keeper Alex Smithies’s arms on 16, then a minute later Murphy cut in front the right and hit a low effort which Smithies claimed.
The Irishman ought to have put the Blues in front a minute later when he chased down a Cresswell long ball, out-muscled Paul Dixon before taking the ball into the area. Murphy should have shot but turned inside the defender and his touch allowed the keeper to claim.
Huddersfield midfielder Oliver Norwood shot over from 25 yards on 21, then Gerken parried Danny Ward’s shot from a tight angle on the left.
The visitors were handed a golden opportunity to go in front in the 24th minute when referee Gary Sutton awarded them a very debatable penalty.
Town’s Tommy Smith headed a cross from the left into the air and as Christophe Berra waited for the ball to drop Vaughan ran into him and was knocked over. If it was a foul at all a Town freekick seemed a more likely outcome but it just seemed to be an accidental collision as two players went for the ball.
Vaughan took the kick himself, taking a pause in his run-up before he hit a low effort to Gerken’s left which, fortunately for the Blues, the keeper got down well to claim. It was Vaughan’s second penalty miss at Portman Road in two seasons, Scott Loach having saved from the spot in last season’s corresponding fixture.
McGoldrick shot wide for the Blues with the Terriers now having most of the possession but with the Blues looking dangerous whenever they broke forward.
But on 34 the visitors went in front. Adam Hammill brought the ball in from the left along the byline before cutting it back to Vaughan, who stabbed it back into Ward’s path and he slammed home from 12 yards.
Skuse shot not far over from 30 yards in the 39th minute but overall Huddersfield had been on top since the goal with too many Town passes going astray, particularly in the final third.
The Terriers were close to adding to their lead in the 43rd minute when Hammill, who played for Blues boss McCarthy at Wolves, unleashed a fearsome strike from 25 yards on the left but the ball cannoned off the underside of the bar before being cleared.
Town almost levelled as the fourth official’s board went up to signal one minute of injury time. After Huddersfield had uncharacteristically given the ball away, Nouble brought it forward before feeding McGoldrick. The Blues top scorer tricked his way past a defender and into the area but shot wide.
However, the goal would have flattered the Blues at that stage with the visitors deserving their half-time lead.
Town started the stronger of the two sides, but failed to make the most of their early opportunities. The Terriers got on top and having missed the very generous penalty deserved their goal when it came.
As on Tuesday night against Blackburn, the Blues scored soon after the restart. In the fifth minute Skuse played an inch-perfect ball between the two Huddersfield centre-halves to McGoldrick, who took a touch before smashing a low shot to Smithies’s left and into the net from the edge of the box.
McGoldrick’s eighth goal of the season handed the momentum back to Town and they weren’t far from going in front in the 53rd minute. Murphy did well down the left and cut the ball across but ahead of Hyam and behind Nouble.
Two minutes later, Cresswell crossed from the left, the ball was cleared to the edge of the area, from where Chambers hammered a powerful strike not far over.
Gerken saved a low Clayton 20-yard freekick in the 59th minute, then Murphy shot high and wide from the right.
Terriers sub Sean Scannell almost put his side back in front in the 68th minute when he brought the ball forward on the left before hitting a shot through a crowd of players. His low strike deflected off Berra but Gerken reacted quickly to divert it past the post. Moments later, Jay Tabb replaced Skuse, who had undergone treatment earlier in the half.
The impetus had swung back to the visitors and in the 70th minute Gerken was forced into action again as Norwood struck a powerful effort from the right.
Tunnicliffe blocked from Norwood in the 77th minute with Huddersfield continuing to look the more likely winners. Two minutes later McCarthy handed a debut to loan signing Jordan Graham in place of Nouble.
Neither side was able to create too much in a scrappy spell and a draw looked on the cards until the 88th minute when the Blues were awarded a freekick midway inside the Huddersfield half to the right after Joel Lynch had fouled Murphy.
Cresswell curled the freekick to the far post, Anthony Gerrard inadvertently nodded back across his own six-yard area and Murphy headed back past Smithies and into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
As the Blues looked to see out injury time, Tyrone Mings replaced McGoldrick and after Graham had shown a glimpse of his skills by sublimely pulling the ball out of the air with his toe, referee Sutton blew the final whistle to confirm Town’s third win on the bounce.
As against Blackburn on Tuesday, the visitors had looked the more likely winners at the break but another early second half goal saw the Blues get back on top.
However, Huddersfield were made of stiffer stuff and came back into it and looked the more likely victors but like Town in the first half, failed to capitalise when they were in charge and were made to pay when Murphy headed in the Blues’ late winner.
Town’s third win in three games and their first against the Terriers in 13 years sees them stay in ninth but only two points from the play-offs.
Town: Gerken, Chambers (c), Berra, Smith, Cresswell, Skuse (Tabb 68), Hyam, Tunnicliffe, Murphy, McGoldrick (Mings 90), Nouble (Graham 79). Subs: Loach, Hunt, Anderson, Edwards.
Huddersfield: Smithies, Lynch, Gerrard, Smith, Dixon, Norwood, Hogg (Holmes 90), Clayton, Hammill, Ward (Scannell 60), Vaughan (c). Subs: Bennett, Woods, Gobern, Wallace, Bunn. Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire). Att: 15,386 (Huddersfield: 515).
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