Blackburn Rovers 0 Huddersfield Town 0: Gritty Terriers secure fine point

SEQUELS are often forgettable and this was a case in point.
Ewood Park.Ewood Park.
Ewood Park.

The fixture between these two sides in the autumn was a five-goal classic full of riveting football and it was a match that you simply could not take your eyes off with the points going to Huddersfield in intoxicating fashion.

This game was unremarkable in contrast, with the main animation coming from the Blackburn contingent who are quick to vent their spleen in the direction of referee Keith Stroud following a controversial afternoon.

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At the end, Huddersfield had cause to be the more pleased after collecting an excellent point at a side who have been scoring goals for fun of late and were seeking a seventh successive win.

It backed up Thursday’s fine result against another strong side at this level in Nottingham Forest.

It was not a day for both these side’s leading lights, but the foot soldiers who did Carlos Corberan - absent from the game due to Covid - proud.

Matty Pearson stood tall at the place where he started out in his career, while Levi Colwill was also commanding in his defensive duties. Others were not far behind as Town kept a player who has been the talk of the Championship of late in Ben Brereton-Diaz in check.

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The second half was sedate, but it was a bit more lively early on.

Rovers started off like a train and looked what they most definitely are - a side in serious form - with Huddersfield left gasping for air in an opening twenty minutes which was dominated by the hosts on a surface left saturated by some heavy early afternoon rain.

Town gradually got a toehold in the game after and started to piece together some promising situations and afforded themselves one big opportunity midway through the half.

It came from Duane Holmes with the attacking midfielder, fresh from his match-winning strike at the City Ground, seeing his diving header beaten away by Thomas Kaminski after Harry Toffolo again showed his capacity for providing telling assists.

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At the other end, Town managed to keep Ben Brereton-Diaz, running hot after 20 goals this term - and seeking to score for the sixth successive game at Ewood Park - relatively quiet, yet Rovers had plenty of threats elsewhere.

One of them in Reda Khadra went very close to opening the scoring early on with his venomous shot clipping the woodwork after breaking clear down the right, while Jan Paul van Hecke almost turned in an excellent free-kick from Joe Rothwell as Blackburn flew out of the traps.

The main moment of incident surrounding Brereton came when he went down under pressure in the box from former Blackburn academy player Matty Pearson, but Keith Stroud - who incurred the wrath of Rovers supporters at several junctures in the first half - was unmoved.

The Hampshire official was not exactly flavour of the month with Tony Mowbray either with the exasperated Rovers manager issued with a booking after a heated discussion with Stroud.

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Rovers’ opening to the second period was not as convincing or intense as their start to the game and the scrappy nature of proceedings suited Huddersfield more than them.

Harry Pickering put one header wide from Rothwell’s corner. Aside from that, there was not too much to worry about in truth.

Attacking their sizeable away contingent in the Darwen End, it was Town who almost produced the game-breaking moment, only for Holmes to wastefully fire into the side-netting at the near post after a super pass from Scott High.

With the home support noticeably quietened, Town grew into the game before Stroud again irked the Rovers followers by cautioning Holmes instead of brandishing a red card for a late challenge on Tyrhys Dolan.

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The closest moment to a breakthrough arrived for Rovers, only for Levi Colwill to make a tremendous last-ditch challenge to thwart Sam Gallagher.

Blackburn Rovers: Kaminski; Lenihan, van Hecke, Wharton; Nyambe, Travis, Rothwell, Pickering (Edun 67); Buckley (Dolan 73), Khadra (Gallagher 63), Brereton-Diaz. Substitutes unused: Pears, Johnson, Ayala, Gallagher, Dolan, Butterworth, Edun.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Lees, Colwill; Thomas, High (Turton 71), O’Brien, Toffolo; Holmes, Sinani; Koroma (Rhodes 67). Substitutes unused: Schofield, Pipa, Rowe, Ruffels, Russell.

Attendance: 16,313 (2,150 Huddersfield Town fans).