A 68TH-MINUTE penalty from Fernando Forestieri maintained Sheffield Wednesday’s excellent record at Huddersfield, as the hosts’ 100 per cent league record at the John Smith’s Stadium in 2016-17 was dramatically ended.
Scenting a victory would have taken them back to the summit of the Championship, Town suffered a reality check - as they failed to follow up derby wins over Rotherham United, Barnsley and Leeds United with another three-point haul.
Forestieri, who had earlier hit the post following a wonderful piece of skill just after the break, coolly sent Danny Ward the wrong way from th e spot after Rajiv Van La Parra was penalised for handball following a shot from Tom Lees.
His strike enabled Wednesday to drew level on points with sixth-placed Birmingham City, with Town – playing in front of a record league crowd at the John Smith’s Stadium – punished for a largely flat second half display.
The Owls, by contrast, turned in a professional away-day performance which enabled them to take away a hard-earned three points.
A tight opening 45 minutes saw Town and Wednesday fail to conjure a breakthrough.
Wednesday, unbeaten on their previous five visits to Huddersfield, went close to forging a lead, with David Jones’ cross hitting the top of the crossbar just three minutes in following a spell of pressure from the visitors.
Earlier, Kieran Lee saw a shot blocked in front of goal as the Owls made the initial running.
Town gradually asserted themselves with Daniel Pudil clearing well following a dangerous cross from Van La Parra and from the resulting corner, Aaron Mooy fired a long-ranger over the top.
Just after the half-hour mark, Town stepped up the pressure with Kieren Westwood grasping Elias Kachunga’s low shot at the second attempt following good work by Van La Parra before making a full-stretch save to turn away Kasey Palmer’s angled drive.
A nip-and-tuck encounter continued on the restart, although a wonderful piece of skill from Forestieri went desperately close to putting the Owls in front.
The striker’s first touch to latch onto Adam Reach’s lofted punt forward was sensational and with Ward stranded out of goal, the Owls talisman saw his chip clip the post in a real stand-out moment on 49 minutes.
At the other end, Town forced a string of corners, but the Owls rearguard held firm.
A half-chance saw Chris Lowe fire over from distance with a free kick, but despite seeing plenty of the ball, the hosts struggled to manufacture clear-cut chances.
The defintive moment of the game arrived midway through the half, when Van La Parra was penalised for handball after blocking Tom Lees shot following a corner, with referee Scott, despite initially appearing not to punish the offence, eventually pointing to the spot.
Forestieri coolly sent Ward the wrong way.
In a bid to pep up the hosts, David Wagner threw Jack Hunt into the fray for Palmer with the diminutive midfielder announcing himself with a rising goalbound which was diverted in the nick of time by Daniel Pudil.
Wednesday, who showed sporadic threat on the counter-attack, then went close to a second with Tommy Smith going well to deflect Hooper’s close-range shot, with Ward stranded out of his goal following Kieran Lee’s centre.
Time was increasing running out fast for Town, although Wednesday were afforded a big scare ten minutes from time following Low’s corner, with the ball breaking for Elias Kachunga, whose shot was blocked close to his own line by Hooper.
Liam Palmer spurned a chance to seal victory late on when sent clear by Hooper, with Ward blocking his effort.
Huddersfield Town: Ward; Smith, Hudson, Schindler, Lowe (Hefele 84), Hogg, Mooy; Kachunga, Palmer (Payne 71), Van La Parra; Wells. Substitutes unused: Cranie, Whitehead, Bunn, Holmes-Dennis, Coleman.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Palmer, Lees, Hutchinson, Pudil; Bannan (Wallace 57), Lee, Jones, Reach; Hooper (Loovens 90), Forestieri (Nuhiu 85). Substitutes unused: Dawson, Abdi, Hunt, Buckley.
Referee: G Scott (Oxon).
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