Huddersfield Town 0
Sheffield United 1
Three precious points for Danny Wilson’s side who with neighbours Wednesday also losing at home to Stevenage leaped into the second of the automatic promotion spots. The winning goal came after just five minutes when Harry Maguire rose to head Ryan Flynn’s corner back across goal where Neill Collins rose in front of Alex Smithies, back after injury to replace Ian Bennett in goal, to head home his first goal for the club. Queue ecstatic celebrations amongst the 4,500 travelling army. There was a chance of a second soon after but Flynn made a poor pass as the home defence struggled to cope with the Blades attacking midfielders.
When the Terriers did respond Danny Ward, who minutes earlier had been switched from right to left, hit a powerful 30-yard shot just wide. Then from a corner the home fans and players made a strong appeal for a penalty, as Anton Robinson appeared to have had his shirt tugged in the box. A flying Steve Simonsen save then denied Oscar Gobern before the Blades Richard Cresswell failed to take the opportunity to double his side’s advantage with a poor header from just six yards.
Huddersfield’s scoring sensation Jordan Rhodes had been well marshalled by Maguire and Collins but might have done better with two half-chances from the edge of the area before he was desperately unlucky with a snap shot that beat Simonsen but cannoned back into play off the post.
On 37 minutes the home side were kept in the match when after fumbling a Ched Evans shot, Smithies blocked Stephen Quinn’s follow up effort and then did brilliantly to foil Richard Cresswell when the ball spun towards the United attacker. With the interval looming Gobern should have headed Sean Morrison’s long throw home for the equaliser.
After an entertaining first half the second proved a dull affair and chances were few, although Rhodes should have done better when he received the ball just seven yards out from Danny Ward. The Huddersfield winger then created a half-chance for himself but after turning inside his shot lacked pace and direction.
With the home side seeking an equaliser Morrison had his header knocked off the line by Michael Doyle and then minutes later the big centre-back did well to turn inside and hit a right-foot shot that seemed set to enter the net until Collins stuck out his leg and deflected the ball, somewhat fortunately, into Simonsen’s grateful arms. With time running out the keeper confidently held on to another Gobern header to ensure a just about deserved victory on a cold night that must have Sheffield United fans dreaming of a quick return to the Championship.
|4,500 Sheffield United fans packed out one end of the ground and made far more noise than the home fans.|
The away fans stood throughout the whole 90 minutes of the match.