Huddersfield Town 3 PNE 1
A brace from Nahki Wells and a bizarre goal from Emyr Huws gave Huddersfield Town the Boxing Day points at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Wells tapped home from close range after Emyr Huws’ left wing low cross into the six yard box and then added his second with an arrowed drive across Jordan Pickford on the right hand side of the penalty area, before Emyr Huws made it three direct from a corner.
Adam Reach scored a well-taken goal in injury-time, but it was not enough for the Lilywhites.
Daniel Johnson returned to the side, with Neil Kilkenny also included, but Alan Browne hadn’t recovered in time to make the starting XI.
And the yellows started brightly in testing windy conditions; Will Keane almost through in first ten seconds, losing his balance as he got into box and fired into side netting from a tight right hand angle.
It was all North End in the opening half hour. At the mi-way point a brilliant chest down from Garner, found Keane who beat the centre half and fired vicious shot towards goal, Jed Steer got a hand to it and palmed the ball up in the air and claimed at the second attempt.
On the half hour mark a Tom Clarke cross from the right was played in and Adam Reach met it with a bullet header back across goal at the back post, but Steer made another fine save low to his left.
Four minutes later some superb play by the yellows, started by the tenacity of skipper Tom Clarke coming up from the back, eventually saw a five man passing move ending with the ball flashed across goal by Reach, just inches in front of Joe Garner.
However, against the run of play the Terriers took the lead seven minutes before the break. It was Huddersfield’s first real chance of the game and they scored with a simple tap in. The ball was played in from the left hand side by Emyr Huws ad Nahki Wells tapped home from close range.
It didn’t stop the Lilywhites attacking and more excellent play from North End on the stroke of half-time saw Gallagher’s hard low cross from the right the result of some slick passing, but Town skipper Mark Hudson got the first boot in and cleared.
The home side thought they had scored again a minute into the second half when Pickford saved from Bunn and Wells tapped home the rebound, but the former Bradford striker was in an offside position.
But ten minutes into the second half it was two. Huddersfield worked the ball down the right hand side and Nahki Wells again found time to shoot across Pickford into the bottom left hand corner with an arrow of a low effort.
North End pressed hard after the second and had three chances in the 60th minute through Keane, Reach and Johnson, the latter seeing Steer make a superb with his legs.
North End were down to ten men with Garner off with what appeared to be concussion after an elbow from Lynch, who had already been booked, Wells forced a fine save out of Pickford when one-on-one, putting the rebound against the post with just under 20 minutes left.
Adam Reach forced Steer to claw the ball out of the top corner when back-tracking as they looked for the goal that would get them back into the game.
However, it was 3-0 with 14 minutes left with a goal straight from a corner, Emyr Huws curling the ball in from the right hand side, catching the wide and whipping it past Pickford and in at the front post.
Sean Scannell almost added a fourth with a skilful driving run through the heart of the North End defence, but his powerful drive flew over the bar.
North End almost carved a goal with five minutes to go as Reach surged down the right and got to the byline before pulling the ball back, but Johnson was harried away. Just as substitute Brownhill was moments later.
They continued to have chances, Reach flashing a right-footed shot across the face of goal after a Johnson shot was blocked.
And it was Reach who latched onto a clever ball in behind the Huddersfield defence, rounded the keeper and slammed home in injury-time, but it was not enough to earn the side anything more than a consolation.
: Steer, Smith, Hudson (c), Hogg (Paterson, 86), Scannell, Huws (Crainie, 81), Lolley, Wells, Dempsey (Bunn, 46), Chilwell, Lynch. Subs not used: Murphy, Davidson, Carayol, Bojaj.Huddersfield Town line-up
: Pickford, Vermijl (Woods, 67), Reach, Clarke (c), Huntington, Cunningham, Gallagher, Kilkenny (Brownhill, 61), Johnson, Garner (Doyle, 72), Keane. Subs not used: Kirkland, Wright, Welsh, Hugill.PNE line-up
: 14,967 (2,228 away fans)Attendance
: Mr C KavanaghReferee