Match Report: Reading 1-2 Huddersfield Town

Goals from Jacob Butterfield and the excellent Harry Bunn helped the Terriers to their first points of the season at the Madejski Stadium

 

Harry Bunn scored his first Huddersfield Town goal as Mark Lillis’s charges earned a very welcome first win of the Championship campaign.

Jacob Butterfield and Bunn provided a two-goal half-time lead, and while Simon Cox’s late reply ensured a few frayed nerves, the visitors held out.

It meant stand-in manager Lillis got the better of his old Scunthorpe colleague Nigel Adkins, and hard-working Town were good value for their three-point haul.

Lillis made two changes after Saturday’s defeat at Cardiff, handing a full Town debut to Bunn in place of Jon Stead and bringing in Sean Scannell for Radoslaw Majewski.

It was a first start in almost two years for 21-year-old Bunn, his last coming while on loan to Crewe Alexandra from Manchester City in September 2012.

There was no sign on the teamsheet of midfielder Oliver Norwood, said to be on the verge of a £1.2m move to Reading, but the Northern Ireland international was watching from the stands.

Town lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Bunn on the left and Scannell on the right of midfield, but it was Butterfield who made the first meaningful touch of the match to put Town ahead on 10 minutes.

The new signing from Middlesbrough pounced on a loose pass by Michael Hector and curled a sleek right-foot shot past Aussie keeper Adam Federici to silence the home support.

Reading responded by forcing a corner which was cleared, but only as far as Nick Blackman, who forced Alex Smithies into a diving save with a low angled shot from the right.

Blackman was looking a real danger, with Bunn and Paul Dixon having to double up in a bid to keep him shackled.

There was a real buzz around the stadium when the home side broke at pace and Blackman was picked out on the edge of the area, but his shot flew high over the bar.

Town were working hard to keep their shape and restrict Reading chances, while they also looked lively on the break, but found it hard to make inroads in the final third.

That all changed in the 38th minute when Bunn shrugged off the attentions of Welsh international right-back Chris Gunter, sprinted into the area and drilled the ball home.

Bunn remained busy early in the second half, twisting and turning his way into the penalty box to test Federici with another low effort before cutting in and shooting narrowly wide.

When a well-placed Simon Cox headed over from Aaron Kuhl’s deep cross, it only added to the home fans’ agitation.

Dixon then did well to stick out a foot and deflect Pavel Pogrebnyak’s well-struck shot wide as the home side tried to step on the gas.

Cox provided hope for Reading when he netted with a powerful shot to leave Town facing a tense final 10 minutes, during which home defender Alex Pearce chipped onto the top of the Town bar.

Supporters among the 481 travelling Town contingent were biting their nails in the closing minutes – and referee Stuart Atwell added four more at the end – but their battling side held on and there were tremendous celebrations and chants at the final whistle.

 

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