The Football League Paper - - MIDWEEK ROUND-UP - By John Lyons

HUDDERSFIELD have wob­bled of late, but they got back on track last Wed­nes­day with a morale­boost­ing win over Norwich.

Af­ter de­feats against Bris­tol City (4-0) and Bur­ton (1-0), David Wag­ner’s men badly needed three points, and a 3-0 vic­tory against the Ca­naries was just what the doc­tor or­dered.

Once Elias Kachunga had bro­ken the dead­lock in the 66th minute, the Ter­ri­ers’ con­fi­dence soared.

Aaron Mooy added a sec­ond four min­utes later and Nahki Wells rounded off the scor­ing by mak­ing it three goals in seven min­utes.

There was an­other mas­sive plus for the Ter­ri­ers as mid­fielder Jonathan Hogg re­turned to ac­tion less than three weeks af­ter he was thought to have frac­tured his neck at Bris­tol City.


Re­lieved Huddersfield boss David Wag­ner said: “I am de­lighted about the per­for­mance all over the pitch.

“It was a to­tally de­served win and I am very proud of the play­ers.”

Vic­tory lifted Huddersfield back into third place, but they are still a long way be­hind lead­ers New­cas­tle and sec­ond-placed Brighton.

New­cas­tle beat Bur­ton 1-0 thanks to a su­perb Matt Ritchie strike, but all the talk was about the penalty Ritchie had chalked off mis­tak­enly by ref­eree Keith Stroud in the first half.

Stroud wrongly dis­al­lowed the ‘goal’ for en­croach­ment by Ritchie’s team-mate Dwight Gayle and awarded Bur­ton an in­di­rect free-kick when he should have or­dered a re­take.

Mag­pies boss Rafa Ben­itez was fum­ing at the time but was more re­laxed af­ter his side claimed all three points.

“Ev­ery­one has seen the in­ci­dent. It was a strange de­ci­sion,” he said. “But we won a dif­fi­cult game, we are at the top of the ta­ble and that is it.”

The vic­tory put New­cas­tle back on top just 24 hours af­ter they had been usurped by Brighton, who beat Birm­ing­ham 3-1 with goals from Glenn Mur­ray – his 20th league goal of the sea­son – Tomer Hemed and Uwe Huen­e­meier. Che Adams net­ted a con­so­la­tion for the Blues. Read­ing had tem­po­rar­ily gone third with a 3-1 vic­tory against Tony Mow­bray’s Black­burn.

Yann Ker­mor­gant net­ted two head­ers and Garath McCleary got the other for the Roy­als, with El­liott Ben­nett re­ply­ing for Rovers.

Leeds re­mained fifth de­spite go­ing down to a 2-0 de­feat against in-form Brent­ford, Ro­maine Sawyers and Lasse Vibe do­ing the dam­age.

It was a bad night for

Ful­ham, who slipped out of the play-off places fol­low­ing a 4-2 de­feat at Gary Rowett’s Derby. David Nu­gent was the star of the show with a hat-trick for the Rams – he also missed a penalty – and Johnny Rus­sell also got on the score­sheet. Floyd Ayite net­ted twice for Ful­ham.

Sh­effield Wed­nes­day took ad­van­tage of Ful­ham’s woe to re­gain sixth place. Steven Fletcher struck twice in the first half as the Owls brushed aside al­ready-rel­e­gated Rother­ham.

Pre­ston main­tained their hopes of sneak­ing into the play-off places with a 5-0 de­mo­li­tion job on rel­e­ga­tion -threat­ened Bris­tol City.

Tom Barkhuizen, Ai­den McGeady (penalty) and skip­per Tom Clarke gave Pre­ston a 3-0 lead be­fore Cal­lum Robin­son notched a dou­ble.

Em­bar­rassed Bris­tol City play­ers pledged to dip into their own pock­ets to re­im­burse Robins’ fans who had made the trip north af­ter their lack­lus­tre show­ing. Fred­die Sears notched a dou­ble and David McGoldrick bagged the other as Ip­swich eased their rel­e­ga­tion fears with a con­vinc­ing 3-0 win over Wi­gan. Pro­lific striker Jonathan Kod­jia net­ted the only goal of the game as As­ton Villa edged out vis­i­tors QPR, while Nouha Dicko did like­wise as Wolves made it five straight wins with vic­tory against lowly Not­ting­ham For­est. Barns­ley and Cardiff played out a 0-0 draw.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

KEEP SMIL­ING: New­cas­tle’s Matt Ritchie can af­ford a joke with ref­eree Keith Stroud BACK IN BUSI­NESS: Nahki Wells gives Elias Kachunga a piggy back af­ter scor­ing the Ter­ri­ers’ third and, inset, Kachunga scores the opener

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