Substitutes unite as Huddersfield edge Luton to secure play-off final spot


Huddersfield Town booked their spot at Wembley for a shot at promotion back to the Premier League after a three-year absence with a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory over Luton Town.

Nathan Jones’ men were the better team at the John Smith’s Stadium but chances aplenty were wasted before substitutes Sorba Thomas and Jordan Rhodes combined to score the crucial difference maker with eight minutes to go.

The former’s excellent delivery from a free-kick found the latter at the back post with the striker slotting past Matt Ingram having come on for the injured Danny Ward in the first half.

Although Rhodes will receive the plaudits for scoring the goal that secured another play-off final for the Terriers, it’s Thomas who has enjoyed the better season.

With Monday night’s assist his 16th of the campaign, alongside three goals, the winger has had a stellar first full campaign in West Yorkshire having joined from non-league Boreham Wood last January.

Proving the difference has always been expected of the Wales international as opposed to Rhodes often being limited to appearances from the bench with three goals for the season prior to his winner against the Hatters.

What makes the 23-year-old’s contribution so impressive is the fact that he was deemed unlikely to feature in the play-offs having sustained an injury last month that looked season ending.

However, almost like a phoenix, the winger rose from the ashes and made a vital contribution that proved to be the difference.

Despite the victory, Town fans will have been disappointed with how poor their side were at times and how frequently they rode their luck, something that they cannot afford to rely on at Wembley.

With either Nottingham Forest or Sheffield United, although the former look the more likely to progress, to face at the national stadium on the 29th May, mistakes are more likely to be punished with Luton huffing and puffing without having the lung capacity to blow Huddersfield’s house down.

Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan now has a decision to make after two players left out of the starting lineup combined to make the difference.

One change may be enforced based on how serious Danny Ward’s injury is declared whilst a fully-fit Thomas absolutely has to start.

The promised land is on the horizon, but it will take a much bigger effort than what was displayed in the semi-finals if Huddersfield are to return to the top-flight.

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