NIPPY TERRIERS FIND THEIR BITE
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.
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