Huddersfield Town 0 Birmingham City 0: Frustration for Terriers in Blues stalemate

It was a hugely frustrating night for Huddersfield Town in front of their own fans last night, but at least this season games like that end in draws.

Birmingham City's Lukas Jutkiewicz in action with Huddersfield Town's Levi Colwill. Pictures: PA

The Terriers had the better of the game, and hit the post twice through Fraizer Campbell, but had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

Settle they did, goalkeeper Lee Nicholls bafflingly wasting time late on where Lee Bowyer’s side had been in the first half – the goalkeeper lingering over a tied shoelace and faffing over a goalkick as if it was his team hanging on. Their last substitution was to bring a defender, Ollie Turton, for their best player, Duane Holmes – albeit it was partly about getting Sorba Thomas further forward.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It only added to the annoyance for home fans who have got used to better after four years of famine.

Birmingham City's George Friend is tackled by Huddersfield Town's Levi Colwill.

Whilst it would be inaccurate to say they bombarded Birmingham City despite two thirds of the possession – only one of their nine shots hit the target – there was no question the moral victory was theirs. Morals have never counted for that much in the beautiful game.

Campbell has scored seven times against the Blues, three in four Huddersfield appearances so when even he could not find the net, you knew it was not going to be his team’s night.

It was not for a lack of trying, though.

The centre-forward had not touched the ball when a Sorba Thomas cross fell to him. The substitute spun quickly on the ball and hit it high on the post. Minutes later he won a free-kick Town wasted.

Huddersfield Town head coach Carlos Corberan gestures from the touchline.

Campbell refused to take the hint.

With the game into its third of four added minutes, and with the veteran having the ball at his feet the best part of 30 yards out, there was nothing for it but to have a lash.

Again his shot smacked against the woodwork.

Limited opponents were never likely to be able to pull off a heist against this defence, although they could have done if Gary Gardner hadn’t headed their one good chance wide in the 81st minute. Generally, though, Huddersfield kept them at arm’s length with centre-back Tom Lees on the sort of form which meant Nicholls did not have to be.

The best indication of how the first half went came from Birmingham manager Bowyer. Twice late in the opening period the ball came his way. The first time he side-stepped it, the second he touched it deep into his dugout.

It was very minor gamesmanship, nothing to get upset about, but it showed he would be the happier manager for the score to stay at 0-0. It would turn out to be a good point for a team who have not had enough of them this season.

Holmes was unchanged Huddersfield’s brightest player, causing most damage when he popped up on the right.

He picked Thomas out in the 14th minute, only for Matija Sarkic to hold the cross. It was a rare moment of excitement in the opening quarter, with the Terriers overhitting a couple of passes when danger threatened.

In the 22nd minute, though, Danny Ward nearly got the benefit of his own industry, coming back into the midfield to rob Ivan Sunjic and just unable to slide onto a Holmes cross.

Holmes is coming into good form at the moment, as shown by the way he beat Dion Sanderson in the corner.

Thomas miscontrolled the ball he put in but Birmingham never got it clear and Sinani forced an eye-catching save. Jonathan Hogg had a shot blocked from the best part of 30 yards.

Andy Woolmer’s poor refereeing nearly worked to Huddersfield’s advantage when he blew up for a foul as Thomas bore down through the middle.

The Terriers went close from Sinani’s free-kick, but Woolmer did not realise it was Sanderson, not Harry Toffolo, who headed wide.

The official’s performance would only get worse.

The best Birmingham offered in response was Ryan McGree’s shot from a tight angle, dealt with by Matty Pearson and Nicholls.

Lewis O’Brien had a tremendous shot on the turn close enough in the 57th minute for those not sat behind the goal to think for a millisecond he had found the net.

The brutal reality, though, was Huddersfield were not doing enough for the possession they had, too often architects of their own downfall with a misplaced pass.

If anyone was going to do anything about it, it was Campbell, introduced after 76 minutes.

For once, even he could not conjure up a goal.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Lees, Colwill; Thomas, Hogg, O’Brien, Toffolo; Sinani (Koroma 72), Holmes (Turton 87); Ward (Campbell 76). Unused substitutes: Ruffels, High, Sarr, Bilokapic.

Birmingham City: Sarkic; Sanderson, Roberts, Friend; Graham, Gardner, Sunjic, Pedersen; McGree; Chong, Jutkiewicz (Deeney 69). Unused substitutes: Woods, Hogan, Dean, Aneke, Sanchez, Trueman.

Referee: A Woolmer (Northamptonshire).