Match Report: Huddersfield Town 1-1 Stoke City

Huddersfield Town again failed to find a way through a stubborn defence as they once again failed to take three points from a game in which they completely dominated.

Carlos Corberan named an unchanged team from that which lost to Bristol City mid week, the terriers squad was boosted however by the arrival of Duane Holmes from Derby County, he took a place on the bench for the home game against Stoke City. The game had been selected for coverage by Sky Sports; it’s no wonder considering the fact that the last two games between the two teams had seen fourteen goals. Unfortunately for Town though, Stoke had come out on top in both prior occasions.

Town dominated the opening minutes and their hard work quickly paid off, Harry Toffolo retrieved possession on the left side and whipped a ball into the box, Campbell jumped for it but missed his header, the ball dropped for Mbenza, who took his time and picked out Pipa on the edge of the box, Pipa took a second to steady himself before hitting a low right footed shot towards goal, the deflection proving enough to carry it past Potters keeper Angus Gunn. Town were in the lead!

Town had another big chance several minutes later, Mbenza with another brilliant corner delivery. He managed to pick out Naby Sarr, who made a brilliant jump to win the header however he could only watch as his header soared over the bar.

More chances would follow for a completely dominant Town within the next ten minutes however the Terriers struggled to capitalise, with Stoke flooding the eighteen yard box and making it almost impossible for the Town wide men to pick out men in the middle.

Stoke’s first chance of the game came just after the twenty minute mark, Keogh’s overweight pass rolled under O’Brien’s foot and gifted Stoke City a run on goal, Town recovered well though to keep Stoke at bay.

Town gifted the ball away again just a couple of minutes later, Keogh again with a poor pass into no man’s land, the pass (if you can call it that) was picked up by Tottenham loanee Jack Clarke who bursted into the box, forcing Naby Sarr into a decision, Sarr went to ground and gave away the penalty…

After a few desperate appeals from the Town players, Steven Fletcher placed the ball down on the spot before giving Schofield the eyes and placing the ball just right of centre into the back of the net, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Vallejo was very nearly caught out again just minutes later, another poor pass out from the back again dropped to Jack Clarke; Vallejo won it back however and managed to win a free kick, abolishing the Stoke pressure.

Stoke’s next chance came just before half time, Thompson’s corner from the right nearly flew straight into the back of the net – only for the former Blackpool man to be denied by Schofield.

There was one last big talking point of the half, a poor ball from a Stoke defender nearly set Campbell away, he slipped and it looked like Stoke would recover only for Bacuna to burst forward and win possession. That forced Potters left back Norrington-Davies to commit to a dangerous challenge that would result in a red card for the Stoke new boy.

The half time whistle sounded just seconds later and Town went into half time having dominated most of the first half and knowing that once again, sloppy mistakes at the back had cost them the lead.

HALF TIME: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1-1 STOKE CITY

The Town players returned for the second half with the bizarre sound of ‘he’s electric, we signed him from Charlton Athletic, it’s Karlan Grant’ sounding through the Sky Sports crowd noise. Despite the former Town forward having departed months prior.

Town’s first big chance came five minutes into the second half, Pipa made a brilliant, twisting and turning run into the box before picking out Vallejo on the edge, Vallejo struck it first time only to see his effort fly over the bar.

Duane Holmes was the first substitute used by Carlos Corberan, he replaced Rolando Aarons for his first appearance in a Town shirt for nearly five years.

O’Brien struck the bar just a couple of minutes later, he was picked out after a brilliant town move but could only watch in agony as his effort ricocheted off of the bar.

Town had another big chance just a few minutes later, Bacuna dribbled past a pair of Stoke players and unleashed a curler on goal, with Angus Gunn beaten it looked destined for the back of the net before James Maclean appeared on the goal line to nod it away.

Kieran Phillips was the next Town player introduced in an attempt to find a way through a stubborn Potters defence, he replaced a quite frankly poor Richard Keogh.

The last of Town’s changes saw Isaac Mbenza withdrawn to make way for Alex Pritchard to potentially make his last appearance for Town ahead of a rumoured deadline day exit.

Town worked another chance with only a couple of minutes remaining of the match. Pipa, who had looked energetic all match, picked up a pass on the edge of the box and waited patiently for the space to open up before unleashing a shot on goal – unfortunately though it rustled the wrong side of the netting.

The full time whistle sounded just a couple of minutes later leaving Town fans fuming, it was another dominant yet fairly poor performance – especially offensively – by the terriers which saw their winless run stretch to six games and the frustrations and anxiety amongst Town fans continue to grow. But there are positives to be taken, chances were created and we have our first point of 2021. We go again against Luton Town on Tuesday. UTT.

FULL TIME: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1-1 STOKE CITY

Written by Will Marriott

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