Groundhog day for Huddersfield Town as Hull City keep the faith - with the headaches belonging to Darren Moore

ON REMEMBRANCE Day, there was fond reminiscence for Hull City but, in stark contrast, another brutal moment that Huddersfield Town would prefer to forget against their East Yorkshire rivals.

In this particular fixture at the MKM Stadium back in January, a stoppage-time goal from the hosts left the struggling visitors feeling bereft after seeing two precious survival points fritter away in a 1-1 draw.

Almost ten months on and there was an inescapable feeling of groundhog day for Huddersfield, again in a bit of strife at the wrong end of the Championship for a second successive season.

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Once more, they conceded a shattering goal at the death. On this occasion, it cost Town a solitary point and not a win, yet the cut was just as deep.

Huddersfield Town manager Darren Moore, whose side were beaten in stoppage-time at Yorkshire rivals Hull City.Huddersfield Town manager Darren Moore, whose side were beaten in stoppage-time at Yorkshire rivals Hull City.
Huddersfield Town manager Darren Moore, whose side were beaten in stoppage-time at Yorkshire rivals Hull City.

For Oscar Estupinan early in the new year, read Liam Delap on Saturday. Both produced unerring finishes to shatter the Terriers.

Like in January, Huddersfield showed a high level of organisation in their defensive duties and structure without the ball. Like in January, there had been a bit of chatter about Hull’s home numbers. This will help quell it.

After seeing his side concede a combined total of eight goals in humiliating recent defeats to Leeds United and Cardiff City which damaged confidence as well as goal difference, Darren Moore has been effectively left with no choice but to try and shut up shop with his squad options being pretty anaemic.

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The ends justified the means by way of a chiselled-out recent point against Watford - on a day when Town named just five outfield substitutes.

Out east, it almost brought another dogged point. Almost, but not quite.

Three points belonged to Hull and while it was an undeniably cruel finish for Huddersfield, the merit of the hosts’ win could not really be quibbled with, even if it arrived late in the day.

They produced 20 goal attempts and boasted 78 per cent possession. They were also the only team trying to win.

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Hull displayed belief, but above all, they were rewarded for their perseverance. They showed their northern soul by keeping the faith.

Persistence came in an individual sense from Delap, a workaholic and versatile forward with talent to match and the sort of young player who managers gravitate towards and opposing defenders loathe.

The loanee’s weekend goal was a milestone one. It took his season’s tally to five - his previous best in a campaign was four. Autumn is turning to winter, but Delap will leave for England under-21 duty with a spring in his step.

Saturday was a personal triumph. After hitting the bar with a header - having somehow earlier failed to convert from close range moments into the second half - Delap came back for more.

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It was a day for stamina, but Hull’s tactical dexterity should not be downplayed. Liam Rosenior changed shape three times in a bid to crack the defensive code of a Huddersfield side who blocked space effectively with distances between their backline being right on point.

Winger Jaden Philogene, moved into a central position, was involved in the winner. The move started with a left-wing cross from a replacement in Ruben Vinagre, who enabled Philogene to come inside.

It helps when you have strong bench options. Huddersfield did include Josh Koroma and David Kasumu among their replacements, but the fact they are still undercooked, fitness wise, ensured that Moore did not use them.

There was also a case to say ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ To the 20,630 present on Saturday, it was as clear as day that Town came for a point; they should make no apologies for that in the current climate. And it worked. Until the 92nd minute.

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With options likely to be a bit better on the resumption, Moore - who has won just once in his opening nine matches - will be mindful that Huddersfield must find a way of showing more offensively and striking a balance.

Otherwise faith and patience from the Terriers nation will start to tank by the time the Christmas decorations go up. The current mood is tetchy.

It’s only mid November, but Moore will be counting down the days for the January window to open to address some squad deficiencies.

In the here and now, there are nine games to negotiate first and he will have to think outside of the box, especially if Town's best player in Jack Rudoni continues not to be around.

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The headaches for Moore’s good friend Rosenior, by contrast, are more pleasurable ones and focus on who to start or leave on the bench, as opposed to what to do per se. You would much rather be in his shoes.

Hull City: Allsop; Coyle, Jones, McLoughlin (Connolly 63 (Docherty 90+4), Greaves; Morton, Seri (Christie 63); Philogene, Tufan, Twine (Vinagre 80); Delap. Unused substitutes: Ingram, Allahyar, Vaughan, Furlong, Smith.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Jackson, Pearson, Helik, Lees, Nakayama; Thomas, Hogg, Edmonds-Green (Headley 73), Wiles; Hudlin (Harratt 88). Unused substitutes: Maxwell, Ruffels, Koroma, Diarra, Edwards, Kasumu, Austerfield.

Referee: M Donohue (Greater Manchester).