Huddersfield Town get point from ‘crazy game’

Mark Hudson celebrates scoring the Terriers' second goal against County.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Mark Hudson celebrates scoring the Terriers' second goal against County. Picture Bruce Rollinson

A stoppage time offside flag denied Huddersfield a late winning goal against promotion chasing Derby County as the clubs played out a spectacular 4-4 draw.

Tom Ince’s rocket had the rams ahead but three goals in nine minutes for Huddersfield’s Oscar Gobern, Mark Hudson and Reece James had the Terriers 3-1 up at the break.

Simon Dawkins and Jesse Lingard levelled the scores at 3-3 until Nahki Wells’ deflected strike put Huddersfield ahead again.

A second goal for Ince rescued the draw for County and had Wells not strayed offside in stoppage time, the Terriers would have left the happier of the sides.

The result means that both Huddersfield and Derby have gone through April without losing a single game, winning two and drawing three each.

Chris Powell said: “For it to be 4-4 is some game. From 1-0 down to 3-1 killed their momentum and we put Derby to the sword.”

“The save in the face from Lee Grant was the turning point but we had a good response. We more than matched a side that could be playing in the Premier League next season and our unbeaten run continues.”

“There’s players here that a more than a match for some of the sides and that what I’ll be demanding from now until the end of the season.”

“Until yesterday morning, Ishmael was not playing but he came in this morning, had a fitness test and he was still going in the 90th minute.”

“We need another two or three players in the summer. The players are a tight unit but we are maybe two or three short in certain areas with one or two youngsters promoted.”

Derby remain in the play-offs but with results around them doing them few favours, they face a nervous wait as to whether they will cement a play-off spot.

Steve McClaren said: “It was a crazy game putting the Derby fans through the mire. We started well and looked in control but we were in a big hole at half-time.”

“That was the biggest half of the season. To come back and show character and fight was important and we showed unbelievable character to stay in the game.”

“We’re crawling our way over the line but we never said it was going to be easy. The game had everything and it’s a massive point.”

“I’ll have to pray a lot now, we’re very inconsistent and very unlike what I like. That is what is most frustrating for me and especially the fans.”

“Today’s performance will get us into the play-offs but no further.”

An injury to Craig Bryson after only seven minutes saw Simon Dawkins make an early bow but Sean Scannell’s powerful drive forced Lee Grant into action and a Tom Ince free-kick tested Alex Smithies early on.

Ince opened the scoring seconds later as he blazed home from 25-yards into the top right-hand corner of the net on 16 minutes.

Zak Whitbread walked off injured with Cyrus Christie replacing him but Huddersfield sparked into life just before the break.

Conor Coady’s clever chip found Oscar Gobern who took the ball on his chest and dispatched his effort beyond the sprawling Lee Grant.

Three minutes later and the game had turned on its head as Reece James’ corner was powered home via the head of captain Mark Hudson.

In the second minute of first-half stoppage time, the game appeared all but over when James’ corner flew straight into the net to make it 3-1 in Huddersfield Town’s favour at half-time.

Nahki Wells forced a reaction save from Grant early in the second-half with Mark Hudson backheeling home the corner but a foul in the build-up cut his celebrations short.

Dawkins calmly volleyed home Stephen Warnock’s cross and Jesse Lingard’s smart sidefoot finish made it 3-3 just past the hour mark.

Dawkins earned a caution for an innocuous challenge whilst Coady and Miller’s link-up culminated with the latter’s effort saved by Grant.

Huddersfield regained the lead as Scannell slipped his marker before pulling back and in the melee that followed, Wells thumped home the loose ball via a heathy deflection.

Hudson was unfortunate not to score again as he headed James’ corner inches wide and after Jacob Butterfield received a caution, the game took another dramatic twist.

Tommy Smith’s error saw the ball ricochet into Ince’s path and the attacker struck the leveller with 10 minutes remaining.

Miller thought he had netted the winner when he knocked in Butterfield’s saved effort only for the offside flag to deny him while Johnny Russell’s bouncing free-kick bobbled over the bar as it ended level.

Derby’s promotion bid will roll on to face Millwall at The New Den next weekend as Huddersfield Town entertain Blackburn Rovers in their final home game of the season.