ANALYSIS: Huddersfield Town enjoy a second-half party as Hull City plumb the depths

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DURING his time at Hull City in the first half of last season, the 'old pro' in Tommy Elphick must have watched play unfold at the other end of the pitch and counted his blessings that he did not have to contend with the Tigers' terror twins in Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki.

A season on and the Huddersfield Town defender would not have needed any extra information or tactical insight when he saw the names of messrs Bowen and Grosicki on the visitors' teamsheet.

John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield.

John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield.

He, more than anyone, in the blue and white of Huddersfield can vouch for the potentials of two of the most deadly players in the Championship on their day.

On this particular day, the talk was reserved not for Hull's star turns, but for those who strode out for the hosts.

A souvenir from a terrible year, Karlan Grant's importance to the Town cause is unmistakable.

With just over half of Huddersfield's league goals this season, the former Charlton forward has been the club's 'go-to' man so far in 2019-20 and came up trumps again with a wonderful opener midway through the second half with a classy turn and shot.

Another exquisite moment nailed the game not too long after when another clean-as-a-whistle strike from Juninho Bacuna flew into the net and the gloss was provided by a third from Elias Kachunga in a handsome 3-0 win.

You had to go back to February 2018 for the previous occasion that Huddersfield had scored more than one goal at home - and back seven-and-a-half months to the last time that the Terriers had won at the John Smith's Stadium - and they duly filled their boots in a dream final 25 minutes.

Much of the pre-match attention had centred on Town striker Fraizer Campbell's re-acquaintance with the amber and black, having spent two spells in his career at East Yorkshire before heading home to the west in the summer.

The prospect of Elphick lining up against one of his former clubs seemed secondary in comparison, even though, in the event, Campbell started the game on the bench.

The importance of Elphick's role in this all-Yorkshire affair alongside Chris Schindler in helping the Terriers cope with the dual threat of Bowen and Grosicki, alongside a big targetman with confidence coursing through his veins after his fine midweek winner in Tom Eaves, could not be underestimated.

Elphick and co would have probably been expecting to be busier in the opening half-hour, but most of the play was towards the other goal, with Town - buoyed by their cherished midweek win at Stoke - far sharper and snappier and not looking like a side without a home win or clean sheet in seven-and-a-half long months.

Battles were being won by those in home jerseys and the tempo was stirring, with the hosts cajoled from the sidelines by Danny Cowley, who will have also been enthused by the sight of Bowen and Grosicki being kept in check.

Promising movements and situations transpires, but no chances, with Hull - after a slow and flat opening - posting a warning with the game's first chance when excellent persistence down the left from Brandon Fleming saw his cross find George Honeyman, when well placed, but his low shot was straight at Kamil Grabara.

Soon after, Grosicki arrived at the party with his technically proficient free-kick curling just over before Town conjured their best moment when alert play by Danny Simpson and the busy

Lewis O'Brien set up Jaden Brown on the overlap, with his fierce low shot blocked by George Long.

The ex-Sheffield United keeper then turned away a low shot from Karlan Grant, which took a deflection off Jordy de Wijs before the half ended with Eaves stinging the palms of Grabara after clever movement saw him evade the home defence following Kevin Stewart's astute pass.

It was a rare aberration from Town's rearguard, who were on message for most of a first period in which the hosts took the honours, by and large.

The game was still tantalisingly poised, with both sides showing intent in their quest to secure a valuable breakthrough as the match started to open up.

Driven forward by the excellent O'Brien, Town persisted and got their rewards with an excellent opener from Grant - as the hosts conjured a choice moment of quality.

Played in by substitute Bacuna, Grant displayed the confidence of someone with five goals to his name already this season with a fine turn and instinctive half-volley which gave Long no chance.

Clearly in the mood, Town killed the game with another wonderful moment.

A breakaway saw Adama Diakhaby surge clear on the right and his cut-back found Bacuna, whose first-time low strike was crisp and true and arrowed straight past the helpless Long.

Hull's second-half nightmare continued when Kachunga buried the ball at the back post after a fine cross from the immaculate O'Brien and Elphick and his defensive cohorts were afforded a breather, for once.

Huddersfield Town: Grabara; Simpson, Elphick, Schindler, J Brown; Chalobah (Stankovic 75), Hogg (Bacuna 67); Diakhaby (Campbell 77), O'Brien, Kachunga; Grant. Substitutes unused: Schofield, Mbenza, Mounie, Hadergjonaj.

Hull City: Long; Lichaj, Burke, De Wijs, Fleming; Stewart, Honeyman (Bowler 58), Batty (Lopes 58); Bowen, Eaves, Grosicki (Magennis 75). Substitutes unused: Ingram, Tafazolli, Balogh, Pennington.

Referee: D Webb (Co.Durham).

Attendance: 21,702 (1,700 Hull City supporters).

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