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Match Reports

Report | Huddersfield Town 1-2 Luton Town

1 January 2023

Match Reports

Report | Huddersfield Town 1-2 Luton Town

1 January 2023

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The Hatters came from behind to record a third successive win and move back into the Championship play-off places as they made a perfect start to the New Year at Huddersfield.

Goals from defenders Amari'i Bell and Reece Burke, on his return from injury, ensured a hat-trick of victories from six superb festive days at the John Smith's Stadium, sending the travelling Hatters home in great spirit.

Manager Rob Edwards handed a first league start of the season to Louie Watson, the midfielder being one of two changes from Thursday's 3-0 away win against Queens Park Rangers at the expense of Jordan Clark, who missed out with a slight knock.

The other change came up front, with Elijah Adebayo fit again and in the starting line-up alongside Carlton Morris.

There was also a welcome return to the matchday squad for defender Burke, who has been ruled out with injury since the end of September. The centre-back was back on the bench, along with Casey Pettit as defensive options for the boss.

With the crowd behind them and buoyed by two successive wins, Huddersfield started on the front foot and Ethan Horvath pulled off a great save to deby Tom Lees from close range, although the assistant referee's flag was raised for offside from the initial free-kick.

Town's first opening came on ten minutes, when James Bree and Alfie Doughty combined down the right to set Morris up to flick a ball around the corner for Adebayo to race onto, but last term's Championship goalkeeper of the season, Lee Nicholls, saved well with his feet as the striker looked to slip the ball past him into the bottom corner.

The Hatters were starting to control the game with Watson getting plenty of touches in the holding midfield role, Morris benefitting twice from the Republic of Ireland U21 international's passes out to the left, the first time putting in a dangerous cross that the Terriers only half cleared, and the second curling a shot that was only stopped by Michal Helik's midriff.

The hosts had the lead on 25 minutes when Jack Rudoni's left-footed shot landed straight at the feet of Duane Holmes, who controlled and hit one on the turn low into the corner of Horvath's net.

Morris led the attempts to find a way back in, zipping a cross in low towards the near post that Campbell tried to divert in, only for Will Boyle to block his path. The top scorer then fired over from 20 yards after more good build-up play involving Bree, Adebayo and Doughty on the the right.

Town were back on level terms three minutes before the break, and yet again it was a result of progressive play down the right, with Morris playing another ball round the corner for Doughty to race clear of Josh Ruffels. The wing-back's low cross flicked up off Campbell, whose touch took it out of Adebayo's path, but Bell was there to smash a right-footed half-volley at goal.

Helik made a valiant attempt to hack clear, but the Hawk-Eye goal-line technology deemed the ball over the line by the time he made contact and the Jamaican international's second goal for the club would stand.

The Hatters started the second half on the front foot, with Adebayo unable to keep his header down on the end of a right-wing cross by Doughty, who then curled a 20-yard free-kick on target, only for Nicholls to hold onto it with Town's strikers on the prowl for the rebound.

A real scrappy few minutes ensued, with Lockyer eventually going into referee Matthew Donohue's book for a late lunge on Holmes, just before Burke came on in place of Doughty with a little over an hour played.

Cauley Woodrow replaced Watson soon after, and the ex-Barnsley man had Town's next effort after Campbell, Adebayo and Mpanzu had led a counter-attack from the edge of the Hatters' box, but Nicholls was right behind his shot from just inside the area.

Huddersfield rarely threatened the Town goal, with Horvath getting down low to keep out a shot from outside the box by Kaine Kesler-Hayden with ten minutes to go, their first real opening of the second half.

Edwards threw Cameron Jerome into the fray with seven minutes left, and the veteran striker's first involvement saw him link play, again down the right, to set Bree free to cross low for Burke to control and hit on the turn past Nicholls and into the bottom corner of the net.

The win lifted the Hatters up to fifth in the table as they now look enter a fortnight's break from league action, with Wigan up next in the FA Cup third round.


HT - Holmes 25, 

LT - Bell 42, Burke 84

Att: 18,333 (638 Hatters)

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