Huddersfield Town 0 Norwich City 1: Stearman gaffe leads to late Town defeat

A CATASTROPHIC error from Richard Stearman led to Huddersfield Town missing out on a point against newly-relegated Norwich City.

Action from Huddersfield Town v Norwich City (PA)

own had held their own in a competitive Championship opener and - although increasingly tested - had kept their illustrious rivals at bay.

However, veteran centre-half Stearman, who had produced one brilliant tackle to deny Onel Hernandez at the end of the first half, then endured a moment of madness in the 80th minute.

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The ex-Sheffield United defender rolled a ball back towards goalkeeper Ben Hamer but it never looked like getting near and Teemu Pukki intercepted.

Huddersfield Town head coach Carlos Corberán offers instruction (PA)

The lively Norwich forward advanced and then held his nerve to square for Adam Idah to score barely four minutes after coming on off the bench.

A disconsolate Stearman had to be helped up off the ground by his keeper.

He was substituted moments later as head coach Carlos Corberan threw on striker Frazier Campbell to try and rescue a point from his first league game in charge since switching from Leeds United.

There was no reprieve, however, and Town were left to rue that momentary lapse in concentration.

Norwich City's Onel Hernandez on the attack against Huddersfield's Jonathan Hogg (PA)

That said, Norwich will argue they should have had a penalty when Max Aarons surged into the box and was clearly brought down by ChrisSchindler in the 55th minute only for referee Geoff Eltringham to incredibly wave play on.

The first half had been evenly matched with both sides enjoying around 50 per cent possession.

Unfortunately, for all there was plenty of neat build-up work, neither could really create any clear-cut chances of note.

Josh Koroma enjoyed Town’s best opportunity at the start of the second period but his right-foot drive was just wide and Norwich soon flexed their muscles with an unmarked Chris Simmermann knowing he should have done better after heading over the bar from a corner.

Then came the penalty appeal which was a major let-off for the hosts who had already gone close to going behind just moments before.

That time, Ben Hamer could only parry Onel Hernandez’s drive and there was a desperate scramble to clear before Pukki pounced.

Poor final balls from Alex Pritchard prevented Huddersifeld from making the most of their counter attacks and it was Norwich who became increasingly dangerous.

A clever dummy from Pukki saw him leave Stearman staring at thin air as the Norwich forward escaped upfield but Schindler came across with a timely intervention to deny Kenny McLean.

Hernandez continued to cause problems and he flashed another drive having weaved in from the left and it seemed only a matter of time before the home side would concede.

There was another almighty scare when Schindler dawdled on the ball, not realising Kieran Dowell was directly behind ready to pick his pocket.

Fortunately, for the Town captain, the Norwich forward failed to get his shot away but they would not survive the next mistake.

Huddersfield Town: Hamer; Pipa, Schindler, Stearman (Campbell 82); Toffolo; Jackson (Mbenza 57), Hogg, Pritchard, Diakhaby (Brown 71); Bacuna, Koroma.

Norwich City: Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Quintilla; Cantwell (Rupp 89), Skipp, McLean, Hernandez (Placheta 76); Dowell (Idah 76); Pukki.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham