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FT: Huddersfield Town 2-4 Leeds United - Warnock delighted, Grayson disappointed

Terriers gaffer Simon Grayson

Terriers gaffer Simon Grayson

  • by Phil Hay
 

Leeds United claimed the bragging rights with a third win in a row to silence the Terriers fans with a 4-2 win at West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town.

A frantic West Yorkshire derby produced four goals in the first half as Huddersfield Town and Leeds United reached the interval with parity.

Chris Atkinson and Adam Clayton struck for Town while Michael Tonge and Luciano Becchio struck for Leeds to leave a fascinating game finely balanced.

Huddersfield had the better of the opening exchanges, with Simon Church and Danny Ward testing goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, and they took the lead after 12 minutes.

Adam Clayton collected Jack Hunt’s pass and found Atkinson with a delicate through-ball which Chris Atkinson controlled carefully and slipped beyond Kenny from six yards.

United struggled to created clear-cut chances and Joel Lynch ended a rare attack with a sliding tackle to dispossess Ross McCormack inside Huddersfield’s box.

McCormack went close on 25 minutes when he met Sam Byram’s cross with a firm header but Peter Clarke blocked the effort with his body amid unconvincing shouts for handball.

Atkinson could have scored a second for Huddersfield with a shot which Kenny held but Tonge found the net on 35 minutes when Town keeper Alex Smithies allowed a weak shot to slip through his hands, and Becchio’s sharp finish moments later gave United the advantage.

But Clayton levelled from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute after Becchio fouled Peter Clarke.

It was all Leeds though in the second half.

Twenty-five minutes into the second period, David Norris restored Leeds’s advantage.

And then Becchio headed a fourth, and his second, to seal the points in the 86th minute.

Neil Warnock became the first Leeds manager to win at Huddersfield since Don Revie in 1963 as his side climbed back into play-off contention..

“It comes very high on the list,” the former Huddersfield manager added. “Especially away from home in a derby. They dominated the first 15 to 20 minutes but we got back into it then and I thought: ‘Ok, let’s play now’ and after that we were very good.

“We dominated the second half and played some good football really. The boys have been on fire all week and we hoped they wouldn’t leave it on the training ground.

“The finishing has been out of this world in training and you could see that. To see it in a game was great, sometimes I had to look twice.”

Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson endured a frustrating afternoon against his former club and his side have now taken just one point from their last four league matches.

“We’re very disappointed after we started very well,” said Grayson. “We had a purpose about us and passed the ball well and got a good early goal.

“But we sat back and stopped doing the good things and after their equaliser we were on the back foot.

“We didn’t do enough when we had the ball in terms of passing and creating chances and when Leeds had the ball we looked like we weren’t going to defend as well as we can do.

“Al round it’s a really disappointing afternoon for us. Leeds were sharper than us and won more individual battles.”

Grayson, sacked by Leeds in February before being installed as Huddersfield boss less than three weeks later, added: “This is how the Championship is. You can win games and get on a good run, but you have to be careful that you don’t get on a downward spiral.

“But a week ago it was all doom and gloom at Leeds and suddenly they win three on the trot and everything’s rosy, so we won’t get carried away when we’re in the top six and we won’t get too down now.”

Huddersfield: Smithies, Lynch, P Clarke (C), Gerrard, Hunt, Ward, Clayton, Atkinson, Arfield, Church, Lee. Substitutes: Bennett, Norwood, Hammill, Woods, Scannell, Novak, Vaughan.

Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Lees, Tate, Peltier, Green, Norris, Tonge, Thomas, Becchio, McCormack. Substitutes: Ashdown, Pearce, White, Brown, Gray, Diouf, Hall.

 

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