Alarming signs and numbers for Huddersfield Town, whose inconsistency is crippling them - final word on heavy Championship home loss to West Brom

ON MOTHER’S DAY, it was West Brom who were the daddies.

But only after getting a telling-off from their manager, well known in these parts.

The capricious nature of the Championship was summed up in one contrasting episode at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

First to most things in the first period and good value for an interval lead given to them by Delano Burgzorg’s seventh goal of the campaign, Huddersfield Town then clocked off from a defensive perspective in unfathomable and alarming fashion and looked what they currently are - a side in the relegation zone.

Downcast Huddersfield Town defender Tom Lees pictured after his side's 4-1 Championship home loss to West Brom. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.Downcast Huddersfield Town defender Tom Lees pictured after his side's 4-1 Championship home loss to West Brom. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Downcast Huddersfield Town defender Tom Lees pictured after his side's 4-1 Championship home loss to West Brom. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Carlos Corberan’s Albion - appalling in the opening half - enjoyed a feast by way of four goals in 22 minutes as a dreich afternoon became a whole load more miserable.

The scoreline and turnaround was something that no-one could have envisaged at the break.

Such is life in this thoroughly unpredictable division.

An outstanding tactician, Corberan, on his first return to Huddersfield, adeptly addressed things at half-time, complete with a few choice words, no doubt.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The duels that Huddersfield won in the opening half - and the momentum they carried - was lost badly on the resumption.

Albion’s gun players - Mikey Johnston in particular - got behind the Terriers’ increasingly troubled backline.

Jed Wallace played more centrally with Andi Weimann and Grady Diangana moving to the right. It worked a treat.

Andre Breitenreiter had a gripe about the awarding of Albion’s leveller from Johnston, believing that Weimann was offside. It looked a very tight call.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He also felt that the visitors’ second goal, bundled in by Kyle Bartley amid a sea of bodies, was unlucky.

But over the course of the second period, there was nothing unlucky about Huddersfield’s charitable defending or lax finishing.

The hosts were the architects of their own downfall. After a poor first half at Cardiff in midweek, there was another lamentable half just four days on.

Town’s inability to consistently piece together positive performances over 90 minutes has been pretty damning this season and helps to explain their current predicament in the bottom three.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their propensity to record heavy defeats is also giving their goal difference a battering, which could be significant come May.

They have conceded four goals on three occasions on home soil this term, while also seeing their goal breached four times or more in a quartet of away matches.

Town’s next fixture is on the road at rock-bottom Rotherham United.

It looks a key one in the context of their season which is precariously perched.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On a gloomy March day, there was not much to enthuse spectators early on.

To their credit, it was Town who would take the initiative against a Baggies side who initially resembled play-off imposters.

The breakthrough, when it arrived, was a tidy one.

Matty Pearson forced a loose pass and Tom Lees showed distinctly more appetite to win a tackle against Wallace.

The ball found Burgzorg, who twisted and turned past Darnell Furlong before firing home an angled low drive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The zeal, fight and intelligence in the first 45 minutes came exclusively from the hosts.

That’s what made what followed it all the more disappointing when the reverse applied as West Brom shook off their passivity.

A leveller on 51 minutes from Johnston, their electric loanee from Celtic, proved the catalyst when he turned in a low cross from Weimann with Wallace playing a clever dummy along the way. Town appealed in vain for an offside flag.

Straightaway, the Terriers missed a huge opportunity to retake the lead in a big moment in the context of the game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Yokuslu’s backpass was short and Burgzorg was in on goal, only to lack conviction with Alex Palmer blocking his effort.

The moment was magnified when Albion went in front on the hour.

A fierce drive from Wallace was blocked and amid the commotion, Kyle Bartley bundled the ball home from close in.

Town started to look increasingly ragged and the visitors increased their lead with a screamer from Yokuslu, which flew into the net at a rate of knots.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nicholls thwarted Johnston before the winger, giving Pearson plenty of grief, further teased the Town man before firing in his sixth goal in seven matches.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Helik (Balker 76), Lees; Spencer, Kasumu (Ward 65), Hogg (Matos 76), Rudoni, Headley (Koroma 65); Thomas, Burgzorg. Unused substitutes: Maxwell, Diarra, Wiles, Jackson, Iorpenda.

West Brom: Palmer; Furlong (Pieters 80), Bartley (Ajayi 75), Kipre, Reach; Yokuslu, Mowatt; Wallace (Thomas-Asante 75), Diangana, Johnston (Swift 75); Weimann (Fellows 57). Unused substitutes: Griffiths, Chalobah, M’Vila, Pipa.

Referee: D Webb (Co.Durham).

Sign up to our new Sports Editor’s TeamTalk newsletter available this week