Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Leeds’ winning run halted with draw at Huddersfield

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Mar 2024

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Promotion-chasing Leeds saw their bid for a club record 10 successive league wins ended as they were held to a 1-1 draw at 10-man Huddersfield.

Defender Michal Helik put the hosts ahead before captain Jonathan Hogg was sent off.

The returning Patrick Bamford levelled, but the visitors saw their perfect league record in 2024 ended as they were forced to settle for a point.

Daniel Farke’s side failed to cut Leicester’s lead at the summit to four points in the early kick-off as Huddersfield went three points clear of the relegation zone as a hard-fought draw.

Leeds made six changes from the side which was narrowly beaten by Chelsea in the FA Cup in midweek.

But there was just a solitary swap from the starting line-up which beat league leaders Leicester last weekend as Bamford made his first start since February 10.

Huddersfield made two changes from the side which came from behind to beat Watford with two-goal Danny Ward recalled to the XI alongside Sorba Thomas, who missed last week’s victory to be at the birth of his first child.

Farke’s title contenders started well and saw Crysencio Summerville’s early effort kept out by Lee Nicholls’ legs.

Leeds stopper Illan Meslier did well to keep out Jack Rudoni’s strike before the Frenchman produced an even better stop to deny to former AFC Wimbledon man at the near post from the resultant corner.

But despite giving up huge possession, Huddersfield were able to contain their local rivals.

And the hosts took the lead as substitute Helik, on for the injured Yuta Nakayama, showed his scoring instincts in the first of nine additional minutes in the first half.

Thomas delivered a quality free-kick from the left-hand side and Meslier did extremely well to keep out Ward’s initial header before top scorer Helik reacted quickest as he poked home his ninth of the campaign.

But Town were reduced to 10 when captain Hogg, who was booked earlier in the half, saw red for a cynical stray elbow on Junior Firpo.

Georginio Rutter went close to levelling with the last kick of the half as his left-footed strike whistled past the post.

An inspired triple substitution sprung the visitors into life as Dan James, Joel Piroe and Connor Roberts were thrown on to get something from the game.

Former Manchester United man James and Burnley loanee Roberts combined down the right as the latter fizzed a ball across the face of goal to be turned home by a sliding Bamford in the 67th minute.

Leeds’ best chance for a late winner came in the 85th minute when Summerville hit the post after cutting onto his right foot.

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