Huddersfield Town record important victory at Hull City to remain in the playoff hunt


Harry Toffolo was the hero of the hour as Huddersfield moved up to third in the Championship table following their 1-0 win over ten-man Hull City.

Toffolo’s 79th-minute tap-in was the decisive second-half moment as he finally beat Matt Ingram in the home goal after an inspired second-half showing from the City keeper to frustrate The Terriers.

City were architects of their own downfall, and Tom Eaves’ 46th minute sending off was pivotal as Huddersfield dominated the second period from the restart. Sent off for a second yellow card for a needless challenge on Lewis O’Brien, Eaves was City’s April fool as, without his physical presence, the hosts struggled from that point to get a foothold in the game.

Eaves had gone into the book initially for a clumsy challenge on Levi Colwill in another avoidable moment. As the big striker failed to get any change out of his suitor Tom Lees and referee Jeremy Simpson, he began to look a frustrated figure as the half wore on.

With only a minute left on the clock for City to regroup after a promising first-half showing against the promotion hopefuls, the timing of the offence could not have come at a worse time. Ollie Turton should have opened the scoring from the resulting free-kick, but he could only head over the impressive Sorba Thomas’s inviting delivery.

Carlos Corberan sensed victory from that point and attacking in front of their travelling support, the Terriers were relentless as they searched for the opening goal. Thomas again showed excellent skill to get away from Brandon Fleming, and only a superb interception from Sean McLoughlin prevented Jordan Rhodes from tapping home from close range.

As the away support turned up the volume willing their side on, keeper Ingram went on a one-man mission to try and keep The Terriers at bay. He made a superb reaction save to deny a goal-bound effort from Josh Koroma on 54 minutes as Huddersfield’s number 10 drilled a low shot towards goal. Diving down to his right, it was a tremendous stop as he got a firm hand on the ball to thwart the danger.

Ingram also stood firm to Lewis O’Brien’s well-struck effort after Huddersfield’s influential skipper skipped away from several challenges to get an effort on goal. However, The Terriers’ pressure eventually told on 79 minutes. As Danel Sinani met Sorba’s cross, his header was again well saved by Ingram, but the keeper’s luck had run out as Toffolo tapped home for a simple winner.

Despite their dominance in the second period, City had chances to grab an equaliser and were a whisker away on 86 minutes as Keane Lewis-Potter’s volley flashed right across the box when the lightest of touches would have put the ball in the net.

The home side should have equalised with the last kick of the game, which would have been a real kick in the teeth for Corberan’s men. As Richie Smallwood fired a volley towards goal, Iranian Ally Sayyadmanesh was unmarked six yards out but could only plant his header back across goal and wide of a relieved Lee Nicholls.

At full time, Corberan was delighted with the win and felt his side were deserved winners.

“Having arrived at the game on the back of two defeats, it was very important to change the dynamic tonight in terms of the result. We put many balls into the box and could have had penalties, but we kept going.

“We were very focused on the attack and did well to prevent their counter-attacks, other than the one big opportunity at the end of the game.

“One of our strengths as a team is the togetherness. Their belief in each other means we can keep going and win three points.”

City boss Shota Arveladze was a frustrated figure post-match and bemoaned Eaves’ sending off as the game’s turning point but felt that his striker was unfortunate to see a second yellow card.

Up until that point, City had been well in the match and enjoyed some strong spells, which could have seen them take the lead through some excellent link-up play between Fleming and Lewis-Potter.

The former did well to get to the byline following excellent work between the two, and having got to the byline, Alfie Jones could only fire straight at a blue and white shirt. Fleming was heavily involved again as his shot-come-cross was inches away from finding Eaves’ out-stretched leg.

Despite City’s sixth successive home defeat of the season, the Georgian coach was not too downhearted with his side’s display and was pleased that his team had kept going until the end.

“I think we should have gotten more from this game. I said the same probably after the last game. And today, I’m even more disappointed because last game we made the mistakes, we lost the ball but today we stayed in the game.”

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