Huddersfield Town 1 West Brom 0: Fantastic team display sees Terriers triumph

AFTER a couple of quiet, tough years, Huddersfield Town supporters emphatically have their team back.

Huddersfield Town players celebrate Danel Sinani's goal against West Brom. Picture: Tony Johnson.

A good, decent, honest, hard-working side who are together and watch each other’s backs and possess a prodigious work-rate which is impossible not to admire, there is plenty to like about Carlos Corberan’s class of 2021-22.

It ended in them claiming their biggest scalp of the season so far in West Brom and deservedly so they did.

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Danel Sinani took the headlines for his sixth-minute goal, but it was an afternoon when every manjack of the Town line-up contributed to a hearty, reassuring display from Matty Pearson and Naby Sarr at the back to outstanding captain Lewis O’Brien and a willing accomplice in midfield in Scott High.

Non-stop and unquenchable in their work-rate, Town displayed elements in their play that served Valerien Ismael’s Barnsley well last season in a game which saw them out-work and out-enthuse the Frenchman’s latest club.

Albion’s third-placed position may have hinted, on one level, at a fairly strong and authoritative Ismael outfit, but sometimes things are not what they seem.

Listen to the Albion natives and all is not well. Three successive away defeats hinted at issues and an unconvincing, laboured performance - despite seeing plenty of the ball, especially in the second half - further illustrated the depth of their problems.

They intensified on 78 minutes when Jake Livermore was rightfully dismissed for a reckless high challenge on Fraizer Campbell.

Without two leaders in Jonathan Hogg and Tom Lees, Town dusted themselves down and did not feel sorry for themselves and produced an opening half in which their desire and intensity outshone those in Albion jerseys.

It yielded an early goal from Sinani, who tapped home after Albion were opened up by incisive work from Sorba Thomas, High and Danny Ward, with the latter’s cross tucked away from close range by the loanee.

West Brom could have few complaints, in a half in which Lewis O’Brien, handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Hogg, and High won their midfield battle against two senior Championship operators in Alex Mowatt and Livermore, who both returned to the side and looked rusty.

Thomas and Sinani both threatened down the sides, allied to Ward with Town posting danger on the break in particular.

Albion did grow into the half and afforded themselves more possession and territory, but Town defended stoutly, none more so than Pearson, who made three excellent blocks to deny Kyle Bartley, Grady Diangana and Matt Clarke.

The fact that Bartley arguably looked Town’s most threatening attacker in a side which contained ex-Town striker Karlan Grant, Matt Phillips and Diangana did not reflect particularly well on the Baggies.

Ismael, who looked nonplussed in the technical area, did not look amused by proceedings, while his opposite number had cause to be much more satisfied, albeit mindful that it was a job only half-done at the interval.

Albion continued to boast a fair bit of the ball on the restart, but did not look particularly threatening and do much with it, with Lee Nicholls protected well with Town happy to wait for their moment on the counter.

The visitors’ sole moment of threat came to a defender again and not a forward, with Taylor Gardner-Hickman connecting with a sweet volley, which flew off target shortly before the hour-mark.

Town’s moment which they had been waiting for then arrived midway through the half.

A raid on the counter saw Sinani supply Ward in front of goal, but he dragged his shot wide.

Albion huffed and puffed but the Terriers stayed strong ahead of the day going downhill further for Ismael’s side when Livermore saw red for a disgraceful challenge on Campbell.

West Brom’s best chances on the day arrived to defenders and their best chance to equalise fell to Matt Clarke, whose downward header drifted inches wide from Grant’s centre.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Sarr, Colwill; Turton, O’Brien, High, Toffolo; Thomas (Ruffels 86), Ward (Campbell 68), Sinani (Russell 90). Substitutes unused: Schofield, Odubeko, Koroma, Aarons.

West Brom: Johnstone; Kipre, Clarke, Bartley; Gardner-Hickman, Livermore, Mowatt (Molumby 75), Townsend; Diangana (Hugill 61), Phillips (Furlong 82), Grant. Substitutes unused: Button, Ajayi, Robinson, Reach.

Referee: T Robinson (West Sussex).

Attendance: 17,297 (2,232 West Brom supporters).