Huddersfield Town 4, Swansea City 1
Duane Holmes scored a brace as Huddersfield Town beat ten-man Swansea City to record their first win in 2021.
The Terriers showed again that they could not hold onto a lead, scoring early again through Fraizer Campbell before conceding an equaliser just before half time through a Conor Hourihane free kick.
But three quick goals after the break by Lewis O’Brien and a double strike by Duane Holmes put the Swans on the back foot before the visitors’ Jordan Morris sustained a terrible injury and had to be stretched off after 66 minutes.
By this time Swansea boss Steve Cooper had already run out of substitutes and the shocked visitors had to finish the game with ten men despite having made the Terriers work hard for an hour.
Town ended the day in 18th after ended their 9 game winless run (including 8 league games) having created a 7-point gap to Rotherham in the bottom three and a healthier goal difference compared to teams around them who still have games in hand.
Town boss Carlos Corberan made 2 changes from the side that lost to 10-man Middlesbrough on Tuesday with Alex Vallejo and Aaron Rowe coming into the side while Isaac Mbenza (who was taken off with a groin injury soon after scoring the opening goal) and Alex Pritchard made way.
Veteran defender Richard Keogh made his 650th career appearance as Town looked to secure a first win of 2021.
With sides below them having games in hand and a vanishing gap to the bottom 3 the Terriers came up against promotion chasing Swansea City who themselves had games in hand over the top two there was much to concern the shot-shy Terriers before the game.
The unchanged had ex-Manchester City youth defender Joel Latibeaudiere and ex-Oldham Athletic midfielder Korey Smith on the bench alongside ex-Terrier goalkeeper Ben Hamer who joined them in January.
The Terriers were more effective though – Lewis O’Brien was flagged offside after Fraizer Campbell scored after 12 minutes as Town got to work though.
O’Brien had two crosses for Bacuna cut out and the Terriers had to retake a corner as both sides competed too enthusiastically before the delivery with Connor Roberts dragging down Jonathan Hogg.
There were some nervy moments from Town at the back with Naby Sarr fortunately getting the ball after a desperate lunge towards a Swansea player
And despite being under the cosh for much of the opening quarter of the game, the Terriers took the lead after 22 minutes when Pipa’s cutback to Campbell was clipped goalwards and went into the back of the net off the back post by the Town striker – his 6th of the season.
They could have had a second a couple of minutes later when Bacuna created a yard of space for himself and hit the same post from 20 yards out only to see the ball bounce harmlessly away.
Freddie Woodman got his hands on a tame Bacuna free kick and Town continued to trouble the visitors who only had Andre Ayew chances to show for their first half efforts although Matt Grimes’ long range shot curled wide of the near post before the break as the visitors rallied late in the first half.
And they were rewarded with the equaliser direct from a free kick by Conor Hourihane from 20 yards out wide to the right of the area after Jay Fulton was fouled by Lewis O’Brien.
Swansea City use up all their substitutes and lose Jordan Morris to injury while chasing Huddersfield Town
The Swans made a double change at half time with Jamal Lowe and Ryan Bennett withdrawn for Jordan Morris and Ben Cabango.
O’Brien headed a cross by Bacuna wide before rifling home in the 49th minute after running into the path of the ball touched into his path by Campbell after a cross by Bacuna to restore the Terriers’ lead.
And 3 minutes later the lead was extended by Duane Holmes who converted his first goal from 6 yards out since his return to Huddersfield after Swansea failed to clear the ball and Rowe threaded the ball to him.
And Holmes hit a superb second goal in the 55th minute after O;Brien returned the favour to him and he hit a beautiful looping ball that went in from 25 yards and beyond Freddie Woodman’s reach
Steve Cooper had seen enough and made a triple substitution after 58 minutes, taking off Jake Bidwell, Kyle Naughton, and Jay Fulton for Ryan Manning, Morgan Whittaker, and Yan Dhanda.
But this immediately backfired when Jordan Morris – who had only been on from half time – landed awkwardly while trapping a high ball into him from midfield – appearing to sustain a serious injury – and had to be stretchered off leaving the Swans down to ten men having used all five of their substitutes.
Promising striker Keiran Phillips was sent on after 72 minutes as Campbell was given a well-earned rest in Corberan’s first change of the day.
Bacuna screwed a great chance to make it 5-1 wide after Holmes teed him up with a cross from the left before he was withdrawn with 11 minutes of normal time to go for Scott High.
And Hogg, Holmes, Rowe were withdrawn with 6 minutes of normal time to go with Pritchard, Richard Stearman, and Jadon Brown coming on.
Despite all the second half substitutions and the break for injury there were only 6 minutes of added time which the Terriers saw out without incident for a morale boosting win in unusual circumstances.
GOALS – Huddersfield Town 4, Swansea City 1
Huddersfield Town 1, Swansea City 0: 22. Fraizer Campbell’s clipped shot across the face of the goal from Pipa’s cut back went in off the back post
Huddersfield Town 1, Swansea City 1: 45+1. Conor Hourihane scored a brilliant direct free kick in first half added time from wide on the right
Huddersfield Town 2, Swansea City 1: 49. Lewis O’Brien raced onto the ball and rifled it home after Juninho Bacuna’s cross was touched into his path by Fraizer Campbell.
Huddersfield Town 3, Swansea City 1: 52. Duane Holmes was on the spot to finish from 6 yards out after Aaron Rowe found him with a through ball after Swansea failed to clear their lines.
Huddersfield Town 4, Swansea City 1: 55. Duane Holmes cut in from the left after combining with Lewis O’Brien to lob Freddie Woodman from 25 yards and wide on the left.
MATCH STATS – Huddersfield Town 4, Swansea City 1
Huddersfield Town: Schofield, Pipa, Keogh, Sarr, O’Brien, Vallejo, Hogg (Pritchard 84), Holmes (Stearman 84), Bacuna (High 79), Rowe (Brown 84), Campbell (Phillips 72)
Huddersfield Town subs not used: Pereira, Duhaney, Thomas, Crichlow
Booking: O’Brien (foul on Jay Fulton 45)
Goals: Campbell 22; O’Brien 49; Holmes 52, 55
Swansea City: Woodman, Naughton (Whittaker 58), Bennett (Cabango 46), Guehi, Grimes, Roberts, Fulton (Dhanda 58), Hourihane, Bidwell (Manning 58), A Ayew, Lowe (Morris 46)
Swansea City Subs not used: Hamer, Smith, Arriola, Latibeaudiere
Booking: Fulton 6 (foul on Duane Holmes)
Goal: Hourihane 45+1
Referee: John Brooks