REPORT: Huddersfield Town 1 Blues 1

Blues struck late to draw in Yorkshire.


Blues showed their character to recover from going a goal down to force a draw at Huddersfield Town.

With 12 minutes left on the clock Marc Roberts' close-range header, after a free-kick from the left, went in off Lukas Jutkiewicz's shoulder to level matters up and ensured Blues away day disappointment were not to continue.

They matched the Terriers in every department and although they found it harder than normal to express themselves with their football, it ended up down to grit and determination.

Fraizer Campbell put Huddersfield into the lead in the 55th minute but Blues did not go under.

The impact of Jefferson Montero off the bench in particular helped the comeback and the match could have gone Blues way in the spell after the equaliser.

But all told it was a decent point on the road for Blues against a side that has become much tougher to beat.

Blues made three changes to their side with Connal Trueman replacing Lee Camp for his first appearance in 15 months.

Jeremie Bela and Jacques Maghoma also started, with Blues playing 4-3-3 when attacking and 4-2-3-1 out of possession.

Compared to recent away games, it was nip and tuck with little goalmouth action in the opening half-an-hour.

Both teams were cancelling one another out and a series of free-kicks made proceedings bitty, too.

Blues rhythm, in fairness, seemed better but neither side had much joy in really opening the other up.

Maghoma looked a danger and Bela was always looking to go in behind but much of the early exchanges were contested in tight midfield territory.

The first real attempt at goal came via Jude Bellingham, who weaved into the box after blocking down a clearance by Juninho Bacuna.

He twisted this way and that, throwing Christopher Schindler off kilter, before firing a left footer just over the bar.

Huddersfield responded with danger, from a low cross on the left that Alex Pritchard slid onto, only for the ball to hit Jake Clarke-Salter raced into position just outside the six-yard box.

In the 36th minute Trueman was called into action and pulled off a super save.

Pritchard swung in a cross from the right and Elias Kachunga got free between the centre-halves. He powered a header at goal and Trueman made an instinctive parry, the ball ran loose towards Campbell and his follow-up blast was thwarted by Roberts brave diving block.

Then Roberts, stooping to knee height, got in a clearing header after Lewis O'Brien exchanged passes with Pritchard and got in behind on the left to deliver a dangerous ball into the box.

A beautiful move involving Dan Crowley and  Bela saw the latter cross into the area and Jon Gorenc Stankovic made a vital headed clearance at the near post.

Then Ivan Sunjic slipped Bellingham in down the right and his clipped cross from the byline was taken off the head of the incoming Maghoma.

The action swung down the other end and Trueman pushed behind a fierce, daisy-cutter free-kick by Pritchard from 30 yards out.

Blues came again and Maghoma, receiving the ball on the left, gave himself a bit of space before fizzing a sidefooter just wide of the far post.

Half-time: Huddersfield 0 Blues 0

Blues made a tactical wrinkle at the break, using Bela in the middle of the three behind Lukas  Jutkiewicz with Crowley moving to the right.

Out of nowhere, in the 55th minute, Huddersfield took the lead.

Trevoh Chalobah picked up a loose ball just inside halfway, near the dug outs. He sent a searing 45-yard pass at a perfect angle that went in behind Roberts.

Campbell managed to take it across diagonally into the area as Roberts nipped at his heels and then whipped it past the advancing Trueman, who spread himself to no avail, into the corner.

Blues had been opened up and caught out with a single pass.

It was a goal that stung Blues all right.

Kristian Pedersen tried his luck from 25 yards, but his rising shot had power but not the necessary direction.

The urgency levels lifted and Blues poured forward.

From a good raid on the left, Maghoma stood up an inviting cross to the far post and although the threat of Jutkiewicz was repelled with a good clearing header, the ball bounced back out to Bellingham but he couldn't quite keep a difficult half-volley down.

Montero replaced Maghoma in the 63rd minute and then Alvaro Gimenez also entered the fray (Bela coming off) a minute later.

A brilliant ball from Crowley, turning back on himself in the centre of the park to chip it forward for Maxime Colin on the right, should have brought reward. Colin, in acres of space, crossed low into the box but the pass skidded off the wet turf beyond the straining attempts of Jutkiewicz and Gimenez to get a decisive touch.

Then Sunjic found Montero with a diagonal in behind full-back Bacuna and although he centred low to the near post to cause alarm once more Huddersfield defended their lines well and cleared.

Huddersfield withdrew Pritchard with 13 minutes left to try and hold what they had, sending on Terence Kongolo to slot in at left-back.

Moments later, after Montero was taken down by two players high on the left, Blues equalised.

Crowley delivered the free-kick to the near post, it was deftly flicked on into a crowd of bodies by Pedersen and Roberts speared it goalward with his head and the ball went in off Jutkiewicz's shoulder amid the packed six-yard box.

Jutkiewicz, with the last touch, will have the goal credited.

Then, in the 82nd minute, Gimenez went close after Pedersen prodded the ball into his path, deep inside the area.

He let fly quickly with his left peg from a right angle and forced Kamil Grabara into a smart save with his feet.

Huddersfield demanded a penalty when Pedersen eased Diakhaby out of the way and over as he tried to brust through in the box, but there was no offence as the contest reached its finale.

The hosts were forced to negotiate some anxious moments before rallying to put pressure on Blues going into added-time, which they saw out with grim determination.

Huddersfield (4-2-3-1): Grabara, Schindler, Stankovic, Chalobah, Hogg, Bacuna, Pritchard (Kongolo 77), Grant, Campbell (Diakhaby 67), Kachunga.

Subs not used: Coleman,

Koroma, Mounie, Hadergjonaj, Daly.

Goal: Campbell (55)

Booked: Campbell (10)

Blues (4-2-3-1): Trueman, Colin, Pedersen, Roberts, Clarke-Salter, Sunjic, Bellingham (McEachran 80), Maghoma (Montero 63), Crowley, Bela (Gimenez 64), Jutkiewicz.

Subs not used: Camp, Harding,  Villalba, Davis.

Goal: Jutkiewicz (78)

Booked: Clarke-Salter (27)

Referee: K Stroud