Ter­ri­ers bite back af­ter first loss

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Mark Wil­liams

DAVID WAG­NER hailed his “fan­tas­tic” back four af­ter ta­ble-top­ping Hud­der­s­field Town ex­tended their per­fect home record over a sorry QPR at the John Smith’s Sta­dium.

Goals ei­ther side of half-time from a sparkling Kasey Palmer and Elias Kachunga were more than enough for the Ter­ri­ers to ex­tend their ad­van­tage at the top of the Cham­pi­onship.

Idrissa Sylla grabbed a late con­so­la­tion for Rangers but even this nar­row-look­ing de­feat was flat­ter­ing for the west Lon­don out­fit.

Town have now tri­umphed in all four home league fix­tures this cam­paign and Wag­ner ad­mits he is lov­ing life in York­shire.

“The fans are en­joy­ing the ride and I am re­ally en­joy­ing it too, to be fair,” said the boss.

“We had to work hard but I thought my de­fend­ers, in par­tic­u­lar, were fan­tas­tic. We hardly gave them any­thing to go at apart from that late goal.

“I am very pleased be­cause our aim was to bounce back from our first de­feat against Brighton and the boys did that. It was a great per­for­mance.

“There is such a pos­i­tive at­mos­phere around the place but it is early days. It’s nice ev­ery­one is happy.”

Town broke the dead­lock in style on 14 min­utes. The lively Ra­jiv Van La Parra re­cov­ered pos­ses­sion on the left be­fore whip­ping the ball across the face of goal for an un­marked Palmer to head home.

The goalscorer con­tin­ued to drop deep to scoop the ball from the hosts’ back four and pull the strings from the heart of mid­field. Try as they might, QPR’s coun­ter­parts couldn’t get near him.

The vis­i­tors of­fered pre­cious lit­tle in at­tack and fi­nally reg­is­tered their first mean­ing­ful shot on tar­get af­ter 37 min­utes, but Danny Ward saved com­fort­ably from a Tjaronn Ch­ery ef­fort.

The Ter­ri­ers raced out of the traps af­ter the break and another im­pres­sive cen­tre by right-back Tommy Smith was nod­ded just over the bar by Kachunga.

Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink’s charges were un­done on 58 min­utes when Palmer slalomed his way through be­fore Nahki Wells ri­fled the ball into the net. Luck­ily for the Hoops, the lines­man had flagged for a tight off­side call.

But so poor was QPR’s de­fence that another cross from Smith was hung up to the back stick and Kachunga sneaked be­tween two de­fend­ers to head over Alex Smithies and into the net.

Sub­sti­tute Sylla was able to pull a goal back with his first touch of the game, three min­utes af­ter com­ing on though. Ch­ery had a sec­ond bite at a cross and the Guinean headed home at the back post with 15 min­utes left on the clock.

But a share of the spoils never looked likely, or de­served, as the home side marched on, and QPR man­ager Has­sel­baink said: “We were sec­ond best, there is no doubt about that.

“We are go­ing through a dif­fi­cult pe­riod for sure and we need a lift quickly. We are the only peo­ple who can give us the lift as no­body else will do it for us. But there is a good group here and we have to work hard.

“Over­all, with­out the ball we didn’t re­act as quickly as I would have liked. We were too slow.

“We had to change things for the sec­ond half and we were at least a lit­tle bit bet­ter af­ter the break. It wasn't good enough from us and we have to put this be­hind us and go again.”

PIC­TURES: Pro Sports

TOWN FLYER: Hud­der­s­field’s Kasey Palmer scores the early opener

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