Huddersfield Town extended their unbeaten Championship run to nine games, but were held to a 1-1 draw by Stoke City at the John Smith’s Stadium this evening.
Jacob Brown stepped off the Stoke bench to clinch a point for the Potters, after Josh Koroma had opened the scoring in a controversial first-half he found himself at the centre of.
A point keeps Huddersfield in the top-six, but with fixtures across the Championship over the weekend, they could slip as low as eighth.
Jacob Brown off the bench with a killer finish to deny #htafc all three points tonight. #scfc will feel a sense of justice in that given first-half decisions. #HUDSTO report for @FootballLeagueW https://t.co/Frlar5IsQc
— Alfie Burns (@BurnsAlfie) January 28, 2022
Carlos Corberan’s side started the evening brightly, with Lewis O’Brien testing Jack Bonham early on. However, it was Lee Nicholls making the game’s first meaningful save, clawing a Mario Vrancic shot over his crossbar.
The first-half was entertaining and full of edge either side of Koroma’s opener, with the goalscorer fortunate to be on the pitch after his high challenge on Taylor Harwood-Bellis, just six minutes before he broke the deadlock with a deflected shot over Bonham.
Gavin Ward’s popularity with Michael O’Neill sunk even further when he waved away Tyrese Campbell penalty appeals following a clumsy Tom Lees challenge.
Huddersfield’s reaction to taking the lead was far from convincing, with Nicholls then forced to dig them out of trouble, denying Jaden Philogene-Bidace with a diving save.
Nicholls had kept Town ahead at the break and served a timely reminder of the difference he’s made for Corberan. From 71 goals conceded last season to play-off contenders this. Not all one man’s work, but a big contribution.
Stoke failed to bring the Huddersfield goalkeeper into the game again until after the hour, with Lewis Baker’s dipping drive a routine stop in the end.
Nicholls was beaten on 78 minutes, though, with Stoke pressure building. Philogene-Bidace rattled the post and Campbell saw a shot blocked before Brown rifled the ball into the top corner with a killer finish.
A point apiece, then, which might prove to be more useful for Town than they can first appreciate after Brown’s late blow.
That said, it might be a result that has the chasing pack going to bed with a smile on their face tonight.
FT: Huddersfield Town 1-1 Stoke City.