Powell worry for stricken Smith
BILLY Sharp’s 90thminute winner gave Leeds their first win in 11 away games, but the clash was overshadowed by a serious injury to Huddersfield defender Tommy Smith – and it left Terriers boss Chris Powell visibly shaken.
Smith was flown to hospital in a Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter after the final whistle following a heavy collision with his own goalkeeper Joe Murphy.
The incident occurred while Sharp was in the process of nodding home the late Leeds winner and, after a lengthy delay in which Smith was initially stretchered off the pitch, Powell could barely bring himself to discuss the match itself.
Powell said: “I went to see him. It’s obviously a very serious incident but he’s in good hands now.
“I thought everyone with regards to his welfare – the medical department at my club and Leeds, and obviously the people on standby here – dealt with him very efficiently and quickly.
“He’s conscious now but I believe he wasn’t at the start of the incident, so clearly there’s been a major trauma with regards to his head or neck, I’m not entirely sure. But he’s gone off to Leeds General Infirmary now and hopefully he’s in good hands and they’ll look after him and get him right as rain again.
“The helicopter landed on the pitch after the game because they couldn’t land outside because of the traffic, and that’s where I managed to see him and his family briefly.
“I know it’s been a disappointing day for us with regards to the game, but I’ve got to say my thoughts are more with him than with what happened over the course of the 90-odd minutes.”
In other circumstances, the attention would be on Leeds, who book-ended a physical game with two good spells. Sam Byram got things underway on seven minutes by dinking over the onrushing Joe Murphy from a through ball from Luke Murphy.
Huddersfield drew level through substitute Harry Bunn on 26 minutes, with the striker heading into an open goal after Marco Silvestri made a hash of Jacob Butterfield’s corner.
Both sides missed late opportunities, with Sean Scannell missing Butterfield’s tantalising ball across the goalline and Leeds sub Mirco Antenucci blazing over from a good position.
But Antenucci made amends, crossing for Sharp to convert just three minutes after coming off the bench after Byram did superbly to keep a long ball alive.
New boy Sol Bamba, on loan from Palermo, was excellent for Leeds.The 30-year-old ex-Leicester man had been an outcast at the Italian club, playing just one senior game since representing Ivory Coast at the World Cup.
But he showed no signs of rust here as he helped United hold Huddersfield at bay before their late winner.
Leeds manager Neil Redfearn said: “I thought Bamba was excellent. What he gives you is physical presence and leadership at the back.
“He’s quick and obviously he’s an experienced guy. He played his part and we looked more assured with him at the back.
“The win just takes a bit of pressure off everything. It’s a long season and everyone down the bottom of the league usually starts winning at this stage.”
TRAUMA: Huddersfield manager Chris Powell looks on as his stricken defender Tommy Smith is taken to hospital in an air ambulance
JOY: Sam Byram celebrates his goal