Huddersfield Town 1, Preston North End 0
Huddersfield Town got their first win of the season thanks to an own goal by Preston North End defender Sepp van den Berg.
In a game where shots on target were as rare as quality moments it was almost fitting that it wasn’t a Town player who scored the winner in the end but the Terriers will take the points however they come as they bounced up to midtable.
After Saturday’s home humbling by Fulham Ryan Schofield, Matty Pearson, Alex Vallejo, and Duane Holmes were replaced by Lee Nicholls, Lewis O’Brien, Scott High, and Tom Lees.
Lees was himself a late replacement – making his debut for Town in place of the unwell Matty Pearson – while Ben Jackson replaced Lees on the bench shortly before kick off.
There was early goal mouth action as Brad Potts’ shot was blocked by Levi Colwill while Daniel Johnson curled a shot wide of the back post.
It took the Terriers 19 minutes to have a shot on goal and that was deflected for a corner which Colwill put well wide.
Ched Evans almost got on the end of a Josh Earl cross as Town’s defending still looked shaky after the weekend’s mauling.
He also had a tame shot cleared off the line by Naby Sarr while Josh Koroma’s shot took a wicked deflection off Jordan Storey only to bounce just wide of the wrong-footed Daniel Iversen’s goal as both sides struggled to create clear chances.
Brad Potts had a shot blocked by Sarr before Ben Whiteman’s low strike from the rebound finally saw the first shot on target in the match saved by Nicholls low to the ground after 40 minutes.
There was a half time change for Town as Danny Ward was replaced by Fraizer Campbell again at the break.
Indiscipline started to creep into Town’s play in the second half.
Lewis O’Brien blazed high and wide to underline the frustration at the relative lack of chances.
Josh Koroma laid on a delicious ball across the six yard box after 63 minutes which was begging to be turned in but no Town player was close enough while Soba Thomas wasted a chance to pump a free kick into the box – sending the set piece behind.
Town boss Carlos Corberan sent on Duane Holmes for O’Brien with 20 minutes to go with little else of note having happened in the third quarter of the game.
Eventually Sepp van den Berg was forced into putting through his own net from 15 yards out under pressure from Holmes after an incisive pass from Koroma with 16 minutes to go looked set to release the substitute for a clear shot on goal.
Tom Lees was immediately replaced by Alex Vallejo with Town having something to hold on to after Emil Riis replaced Brad Potts with Preston needing the equaliser.
Thomas’ solo run and shot on goal coming in from the left flank ended with the ball coming off the inside of the back post while Koroma’s late effort was wide.
No Town player had had a shot on target by the end of the game but that didn’t matter after the local fans had sung their team to an unlikely victory with few nervy moments.
GOALS – Huddersfield Town 1, Preston North End 0
Huddersfield Town 1, Preston North End 0: 74. Sepp van den Berg was forced into an own goal while trying to reach a Josh Koroma ball for Duane Holmes.
MATCH STATS – Huddersfield Town 1, Preston North End 0
Huddersfield Town: Nicholls, Turton, Lees (Vallejo 76), Sarr, Colwill, High, Hogg (C), O’Brien (Holmes 70), Thomas, Ward (Campbell 46), Koroma
Huddersfield Town subs not used: Schofield, Rhodes, Sinani, Jackson
Booked: Campbell 56 (foul); Sarr 68 (foul on Ched Evans)
Goal: van den Berg OG 74
Preston North End: Iversen, Storey, Lindsay, Hughes, van den Berg, Johnson, Browne (C), Whiteman, Earl (Maguire 88), Evans (Sinclair 82), Potts (Riis 76)
Preston North End subs not used: Rudd, Cunningham, Bauer, Ledson
Booked: Lindsay 41 (foul on Scott High); Whiteman 64 (foul on Ollie Turton)
Referee: James Linington
Attendance: 15,278 (1,205 Away fans)