IPSWICH TOWN pulled off a classic smash and grab raid in West Yorkshire on an afternoon when Huddersfield Town created and then spurned a host of chances.
Ben Pringle’s first half goal was enough to maintain the Tractor Boys’ impressive recent run against the Terriers.
In the last nine meetings between the two clubs, Huddersfield have won just once but that record really should have been improved in front of 12,644 fans today.
Bartosz Bialkowski was the man of the match but, even so, the hosts should have made at least one of their chances count.
It was a disappointing follow-up for Huddersfield, who ended the game with ten men after Jonathan Hogg limped out of the action with all three substitutes made, to yesterday’s news that fans will be able to benefit from a cut-price season ticket offer.
Ipswich’s goal came totally against the run of play and owed everything to the tenacity of Daryl Murphy.
The ball appeared to be heading out of play when Murphy somehow managed to get his leg round Joel Lynch to keep play alive. His cross then picked out Pringle, whose shot went in despite the best efforts of Jason Davidson on the line.
Before that, Kyle Dempsey had headed wide after being picked out by Davidson while Nahki Wells saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski after being played clear.
Harry Bunn also proved wasteful in front of goal when presented with a chance by Karim Matmour before Wells also twice went close for the hosts.
Right on half-time, Town did have a let-off when Murphy shot wide from close range following a sweeping move.
Davidson wasted another good chance for the hosts on the hour mark when Tommy Smith’s shot was deflected into his path and the Australian could only prod the ball wide from eight yards out.
Murphy went close at the other end for Ipswich after cleverly spinning Mark Hudson, the striker’s shot passing just a few inches wide of the post.
Jonathan Hogg was the next to test Bialkowski in the visitors’ goal with a stinging shot following a lovely cushioned header from Wells.
The Ipswich keeper was called into action again in the final stages after Luke Chambers had diverted Jamie Paterson’s cross back towards his own goal.
Huddersfield head coach David Wagner said there was an incident in the box, missed by many, where his side could have had a penalty.
“There were incidents that did not go our way,” he said. “One of them was a fair play moment for Nahki Wells. If Nahki gets a bigger hit then it’s clearer and he gets a penalty. But I want fair play from my players.
“If we win games I want it to be by fair play but if we get a penalty the result could be different.”
Wagner added: “The first half was fantastic and it hurts that we got this result for our performance.
“The possession and shots tell you everything about this game. Usually you would get the result. Maybe I will feel better about it in the morning.”