REPORT: TOWN vs SUNDERLAND - News - Huddersfield Town
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Match Reports


14 February 2024

Match Reports


14 February 2024

Matty Pearson's first half goal hands Huddersfield Town important home win over Sunderland

- Huddersfield Town 1-0 Sunderland
- Matty Pearson opens scoring in first half
- Goalless second half sees Town secure three points

Matty Pearson's second goal in as many home games handed Town another important win in HD1, with the Terriers holding their 1-0 lead right through until full-time.

Picking up from where they left off in their past two attacking performances against Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton that yielded seven goals, it took the Terriers less than 30 seconds to put Sunderland under pressure. Executing a kick-off routine straight from the training ground, Koroma and Rudoni combined to feed Thomas on the left, who beat one at pace before crossing to the far post. Almost met by Wiles, the defence did just enough to get there first, scrambling to clear in the aftermath with Town inches away from the perfect start.

Settling down following that opening move, the game was then reduced to half chances as both sides battled for the upper hand. A weak shot on the left foot from Rusyn was all Sunderland could muster in the opening 15 minutes, with Town continuing to show intent whenever they had chance to go forward. Full of confidence after a good surge forward minutes prior, Brodie Spencer came close from a corner as he rose highest to meet a great ball from Thomas, but the delivery just evaded him.

Showing the same guile as he did in the second period against Sheffield Wednesday in our last outing at home where his introduction seemed to change the game, Ben Wiles was again making the home support purr, with one instance of quick feet as he was pressed from all sides by three defenders - somehow dribbling through still in possession before playing it wide successfully - earning him a round of applause from all four sides of the ground. Then carrying it up the right wing, O’Nien had three of four goes before successfully tripping him under the nose of the linesman, who infuriated the home support as he waved play on.

Having opened his Town account at St. Mary’s last time out, Kasumu went close to adding a second on his 50th Sky Bet Championship appearance. Created by excellent high pressing in the final third, Thomas won the ball back following a loose Sunderland pass at the back before sprinting to the byline. Cutting back toward Wiles, the defence blocked his effort as far as Kasumu on the edge of the box, who took one touch before lacing a half volley just wide right of the goal. Sparking a few minutes of pressure, Town then had a wide free-kick and corner - both taken by Thomas - but weren’t able to convert their dominance into a lead.

Giving the home support another glimpse of what he’s capable of, Radinio Balker earned a round of applause of his own following a perfectly hit cross field ball from one end of the John Smith’s Stadium to the other that landed square on the chest of Sorba Thomas, giving Town another territorial advantage as they continued to pressure. Clearly enjoying their football and growing in confidence, Lee Nicholls’ next touch was to drop a shoulder as he was closed down in his own box, turning the attacker before calmly passing out.

Beaten for pace just outside of the box by Kasumu, the first booking of the game was earned by Sunderland captain O’Nien, with his body check giving Town a dead ball in a great position. With all three of Koroma, Rudoni and Thomas over the set play, Koroma cooly laid the ball of to Rudoni to strike on the spin, with his left footed effort forcing Patterson down to save in his bottom corner. Only able to redirect the ball back into the box, Matty Pearson was on hand to turn home from close range, giving Town a much deserved lead and goal that had been earned after a period of sustained pressure.

Despite upping their attacking intensity before the break, Sunderland weren’t able to test Town in the way they would’ve liked after going behind, with their most dangerous effort from Dan Neil’s long range effort that wobbled in the air before reaching Nicholls, who gathered at the second attempt. Just a minute of added time was indicated by the fourth official, and that passed quickly as Town headed into the break ahead.

Kicking off, the opening few minutes of the half were dictated by the away side, who came out with a point to prove after the break. Dropping deeper temporarily to deal with it, Town came through the period unscathed, with David Kasumu almost catching Sunderland on the break with an electric burst down the left after intercepting.

Countering with their own attack, Alex Matos was the latest to test the Sunderland backline, overlapping on the right and sprinting into the box. Hitting the deck under pressure, the referee wasn’t interested despite appeals, and pointed for a goal kick. Getting their rhythm back in possession, Town then drew another foul from the away side, with Bellingham lunging through the back of Thomas in midfield. Leading to another foul on the corner of the penalty box as Hume cleared out Koroma, that dead ball was almost one that put the game to bed.

With the goalkeeper, wall and defence all set for a cross, Koroma himself took control of the chance and struck at goal around the wall, smacking the inside of the upright with the goalkeeper beaten. With the ball unluckily bouncing back out to safety rather than a Town attacker, the quick thinking from our number 10 almost doubled our lead.

A second half that had less incident that the first, Town were happy to see the return of both Danny Ward and Delano Burgzorg from the bench, but do have fresh concerns over Radinio Balker who was excellent until being forced off. Attacking the wings well and having numerous chances to extend their lead from dead ball situations, it wasn’t until right at the death that Sunderland looked like replying. Played in behind one-on-one by Bellingham, Roberts saw an effort palmed wide by Nicholls, with Town defending the resulting corner well.

Six minutes of added time came and went, but the full-time whistle came to confirm a second win in three for Jon Worthington’s Terriers, and a second successive at home in HD1.


Lee Nicholls (C); Matty Pearson, Radinio Balker (Yuta Nakayama 60'), Tom Lees, Brodie Spencer (Ben Jackson 80'); David Kasumu, Alex Matos (Jonathan Hogg 75'); Jack Rudoni, Ben Wiles (Delano Burgzorg 80'), Sorba Thomas; Josh Koroma (Danny Ward 75')


Chris Maxwell; Bojan Radulovic, Brahima Diarra, Pat Jones


Matty Pearson 37'


Alex Matos 68', Lee Nicholls 80'


19,550 (2,215)

Join us back in HD1 on Saturday 17 February at 3pm as we welcome Hull City to the John Smith’s Stadium! CLICK HERE to secure your seat today!

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