Huddersfield Town recorded a first league victory of the Championship season, beating Preston North End 1-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium this evening.
Sepp Van Den Berg’s own goal in the 74th minute settled the contest in favour of Carlos Corberan’s side, who now have four points from their opening three fixtures.
The story for Frankie McAvoy’s Preston remains a bleak one, though, with North End rooted to the foot of the table after three defeats on the spin.
— Alfie Burns (@BurnsAlfie) August 17, 2021
Corberan had already made three changes to his starting line-up after Saturday’s 5-1 hammering against Fulham. An unwell Matty Pearson was then forced to drop out in the warm ups, replaced by Tom Lees.
Huddersfield’s reshuffled defence were almost caught out just minutes into the contest by a Ched Evans cross from the left, but Brad Potts was unable to connect and test returning goalkeeper, Lee Nicholls.
Despite a few nice touches in possession, Huddersfield were struggling to build anything substantial and the next meaningful chance fell to McAvoy’s side. Daniel Johnson robbed Levi Colwill of possession, before seeing his shot deflected wide.
Evans wasted a good opportunity to open the scoring on 16 minutes, lashing a volley over the bar after Huddersfield failed to deal with a cross from the right.
Sorba Thomas offered some direction and purpose from left wing-back for Town after that let off, winning a corner and creating a half-chance for Colwill with his delivery.
The game drifted at times on the back of that burst from Thomas, yet the former Boreham Wood man was again offering Huddersfield some impetus on the half-hour. Another searching run resulted in a shooting chance for Scott High, which was always rising.
Naby Sarr blocked Evans’ shot on the line minutes later and, all of a sudden, there was something of an end-to-end contest in West Yorkshire.
Josh Koroma’s speculative drive deflected off Andrew Hughes and wrong footed Daniel Iversen in the Preston goal. The goalkeeper, though, watched on as the ball bounced out for a corner.
Potts was denied by Sarr once more in the 40th minute before Ben Whiteman curled an effort into the arms of Nicholls.
Liam Lindsay’s heavy challenge on High earned him a first-half booking, as Preston looked to impose their physicality heading into the break.
Preston took the sting out of the opening exchanges in the second-half, drawing frustration from Huddersfield substitute, Fraizer Campbell, who joined Lindsay in James Linington’s book.
Lewis O’Brien and Thomas, meanwhile, tried to lift Huddersfield’s tempo. The latter fed Koroma on 62 minutes, with the forward’s ball across goal too good for his teammates to react to.
Ben Whiteman and Sarr exchanged yellow cards motoring towards the final quarter. However, both sides were struggling to create much.
That was until the 74th minute, when clever play from Koroma allowed him to turn and create space in the Preston defensive unit. He slipped a ball into the path of Duane Holmes, who forced Van Den Berg to poke beyond Iversen.
Thomas’ performance nearly got the goal it deserved on 81 minutes. His strike, though, rattled Iversen’s far post after Alex Vallejo set him free down the left.
Koroma snatched a shot wide after breaking into the penalty area, as Huddersfield looked to wrap up a vital victory for Corberan.
They managed to do just that and put Saturday’s embarrassment at the hands of Fulham behind them, albeit with a big stroke of luck.
FT: Huddersfield Town 1-0 Preston North End.