Huddersfield 1 Leeds 2: Redfearn praises poacher Sharp

Leeds United's Billy Sharp celebrates scoring his side's second goal.
Leeds United's Billy Sharp celebrates scoring his side's second goal.
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NEIL REDFEARN hailed ‘fox in the box’ Billy Sharp after his late winner secured Leeds United a famous double over Huddersfield Town for the first time since the 1938-39 season.

Sharp, just a few minutes after entering the fray, was on hand to head home fellow replacement Mirco Antenucci’s cross to fire United 2-1 in front - the prelude to ecstatic celebrations with the travelling contingent at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Play was held up for a lengthy spell after the strike, with home defender Tommy Smith sustaining a head injury in the lead-up to the goal, which resulted in him being knocked unconscious.

He was later taken by air ambulance to hospital, with Huddersfield manager Chris Powell hopeful he will make a full recovery.

Earlier, Sam Byram had put United ahead with his first goal since March 2013, netting after just five minutes, but Harry Bunn - on for the injured Nahki Wells - levelled with a header on 26 minutes.

On the win, Redfearn, whose side claimed their first win on the road since September 16 and continue their improvement in a heartening January as they extended their unbeaten Championship run to four games, said: “Billy showed what he is capable of and all about in coming off the bench and getting the winner.

“Billy is a fox-in-the-box and capable of that type of thing. It was a great ball in and he did in between defenders and it was a great finish.

“The lads kept going and if you look at them now, there’s a resilience about them and toughness.

“They are reacting to things, talking to one and other and sorting things out on the pitch. It has got a good smell about it.

“We are getting where we need to be and there’s a togetherness about us.

He added: “It was a typical derby. Quality was few and far between.

“We had little spells where we did well and they had spells where they did well.

“I thought we started off really well for twenty to twenty-five minutes and took our goal well. Then, they came into it and we conceded a bad goal from our point of view.”

Redfearn earmarked special praise for debutant Sol Bamba, who he felt excelled in the heart of the back four in his first game in English football since April 2012.

The United head coach added: “I thought he played really well, I have to say.

“What he gives you is physical presence at the back and he’s experienced with a turn of pace and he organises.”

Powell’s thoughts were with Smith following his worrying late injury, with the Town boss hoping he makes a full recovery after he was flown by air ambulance to hospital in Leeds.

He said: “They have stabilised Tommy. I believe he was in and out of consciousness for almost ten minutes.

“But he is in good hands and they are taking him to Leeds (General) Infirmary and hopefully we will get him back fighting fit again.

“I am a little bit in shock really after seeing that. I made sure I saw him and his family and hopefully he will be okay.”

On the game, Powell, who saw Nahki Wells leave the fray early on through injury, with the striker leaving the ground on crutches, added: “We just didn’t defend that final cross, although it was a good ball in from the lad.

“I don’t think on the balance of play that we deserved to lose the game. But that is what happened.

“We didn’t give ourselves a good start, but we became the stronger side and deservedly got an equaliser.”