Huddersfield Town 3 Preston North End 2: Terriers clinch three points after stoppage time penalty drama

Elias Kachunga levelled for Huddersfield Town on the stroke of half-time
Elias Kachunga levelled for Huddersfield Town on the stroke of half-time
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HUDDERSFIELD Town maintained their slim automatic promotion hopes with a stunning late victory over Preston on Good Friday.

The Terriers found themselves a goal down but rallied to lead 2-1 only for North End to hit back and level it up inside the last ten minutes.

Elias Kachunga met a cross to head home from close range (Photo: PA)

Elias Kachunga met a cross to head home from close range (Photo: PA)

But drama ensued at the end when Town were handed a penalty.

Aaron Mooy's effort was well kept out but fell straight to Collin Quaner who slid home a late but precious winner for David Wagner's men.

Wagner's side started the day with a seven-point buffer over seventh-placed Fulham while their visitors trailed the play-off pack by eight points.

Town made a bright start with Elias Kachunga and Mooy both going close to breaking the deadlock in the early exchanges.

Preston North End's Aiden McGeady (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Ben Pearson (Photo: PA)

Preston North End's Aiden McGeady (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Ben Pearson (Photo: PA)

On 12 minutes Preston almost penetrated the Town backline when Aiden McGeady got on the end of a precise through-ball in the area.

Thankfully an expert challenge from Chris Lowe denied the jet-heeled Irishman inside the box.

Michael Hefele saw a header from a free-kick blocked by a Preston defender inside the box midway through the half as Town stepped up their pursuit of the opening goal.

But just moments later they found themselves 1-0 down thanks to a superb strike from McGeady.

The Everton loanee is enjoying a renaissance after his ill-fated stint at Sheffield Wednesday last season.

And here he notched his eighth of the campaign when he lashed past Danny Ward after cutting in from the right.

Town were dealt another blow ten minutes before half-time when influential midfield man Philip Billing was replaced by Jack Payne after sustaining a knock.

But thankfully Town dusted themselves down and levelled proceedings, just before half-time.

Mooy's corner was met with the head of Kachunga and he nodded home his 12th of the campaign to restore parity.

Kachunga fashioned the first notable chance of the second half when put through by Mooy, but the German forward could only find the side netting.

As the half wore on the hosts looked stronger going forward and they duly went in front for the first time on 70 minutes.

Nahki Wells pinged a glorious ball from left to right and Tommy Smith's whipped cross was headed in by sub Jack Payne.

Preston conceived the hit back however, and levelled on 79 minutes through Jordan Hugill.

The youngster nodded home inside the box following Tom Barkhuizen's pinpoint cross from the right.

Hugill almost made it 3-2 moments later but this time saw his header just clear the Town bar.

As the game reached the latter stages, neither side looked likely to steal a winner until the dying stages of four minutes of stoppage time.

Huddersfield were awarded a penalty after an apparent foul on Kachunga in the box.

Following deliberations and Preston appeals, Mooy stepped up but saw a fine save from Chris Maxwell only for the ball to fall to sub Quaner.

The January signing made no mistake and slid home his maiden Town league goal to seal a hugely memorable victory.

Huddersfield: Ward, Smith, Schindler, Hefele, Lowe, Hogg, Billing (Payne 36, Hudson 90), Mooy, Van La Parra, Kachunga, Wells (Quaner 86)

Subs not used: Coleman, Whitehead, Scannell, Cranie

Preston: Maxwell, Vermijl, Huntington, Clarke (Spurr 17), Cunningham, Johnson, Pearson, Gallagher (Horgan 74), McGeady, Barkhuizen, Hugill

Subs not used: Lindergaard, Browne, Makienok, Beckford, Robinson

Ref: L Probert (Wiltshire)