Bunn's stock continues to rise off back of new deal

It was perhaps not the ideal way to cap a new two-year deal in terms of a result, but Harry Bunn showed just why Huddersfield Town were so keen to keep him tied down with a wonderful piece of play to cancel out Jordon Ibe's opener for Derby County.

The goal represented his awareness to surge into the penalty area at just the right time, the poise to control and turn inside Cyrus Christie and also his clinical finishing ability as he drove the ball past Jack Butland for a leveller midway through the first half.

But he was as full of industry as he was invention, constantly tracking back with Christie to ensure the Derby full-back did not add to the four league assists he already has to his name this term.

His defensive work was also in order to offer some succour to the struggling Jack Robinson up against man-of-the-match Johnny Russell, whose speed and trickery proved difficult to counter for the entirety of the contest.

But Bunn stuck to his guns throughout and Town's primary threat on the counter too as he sought to show the Terriers why he is worth every penny and the faith they have placed in him.

Hogg's absence left Town too open in midfield

The decision to go with a 4-4-2 from the outset from Chris Powell was a bold one, but a team selection which did not quite pay off.

Having experienced such success with the formation in the 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the weekend, it was understandable that the manager retained faith in the starting XI, but with Derby lining up with a central midfield triumvirate, Jonathan Hogg's injury was felt keenly by the Terriers.

His timely return to form has been one of the key components behind Town's unbeaten run but without him against Derby, Conor Coady and Jacob Butterfield were handed the daunting task of coming up against three midfielders keen to press, win the ball back and quickly offload it to either two flying full-backs or wingers keen to come in off the touchline.

Jonathan Hogg in action against Brighton
 

Powell was handicapped by Hogg's thigh injury, which kept him out of the trip to the iPro Stadium and he chose not to deploy Lee Peltier in the formation but with Nahki Wells and Grant Holt failing to make the desired impact in attack, Town became outnumbered and outperformed in the middle of the park.

Hogg gave Town a platform from which to counter in the 3-1 win at Wolves and it was hard to escape the feeling that his positional sense and ball-retrieving traits would have served Town perfectly here, such was the dizzying movement in front of Town's back four.

Town resemble a far more structured and cohesive team

In times gone by just in the timeframe of the 2014/2015 season, Town may never have recovered from the early setback of Ibe's eighth-minute opener.

It underlines how far Powell's side have come under his guidance that they were not only able to fight their way back into contention, but also provide a team tipped for automatic promotion this season with an examination of their own credentials.

Steve McClaren's side will have come away from the iPro Stadium on Tuesday night knowing that they were involved in a frenetic clash which featured plenty of endeavour from Town and the gallant qualities shown by the Terriers will have left Powell with plenty of positives to be drawn.

Derby's Jordon Ibe (R) celebrates scoring their first goal with Chris Martin
Derby's Jordon Ibe (R) celebrates scoring their first goal with Chris Martin
 

He will also know that his charges will not have to face a side of the calibre of Derby - particularly away from home - every week and can also take solace in the fact many other teams will come away empty-handed from a trip to face the Rams this term.

Nevertheless, there was a noticeably improved tactical side to Town's game once they went behind and what initially appeared a contentious goal on the stroke of half-time only acted as an incentive to snatch a result, something they may have failed in doing but not without a valiant attempt.

Losing the unbeaten run hurts, but it can be a positive for Town

Captain Mark Hudson trudged out of the tunnel to fulfil his post-match media duties and looked visibly dejected at seeing his side's seven-game sequence without defeat finally come to a halt.

The general demeanour and comments of Powell when addressing reporters appeared to echo the sentiment and offered an insight into the dressing-room verdict, but this must be considered a mere hiccup for Town.

And it is one they are more than capable of recovering from as they strive to recapture that unbeaten feeling immediately at Fulham on Saturday.

The best run since Town returned to the Championship in 2012 had boosted morale, confidence and spirit in the Terriers camp and discussions of a play-off place in the build-up to the trip to Derby were having to be tempered as a result.

But now Town have finally lost, it will heighten their determination to return to winning ways and judging by both Hudson and Powell's reactions, there is a sense of increased hunger and impatience to experience it once more.

Goalscoring defenders add to Town's potent attack

Huddersfield's goals against column will worry Chris Powell. The fact only Birmingham City (29) have conceded more than Town this season tells its own story.

But equally there must be some satisfaction taken from his side's efforts at the other end, which have yielded 24 goals - a tally only bettered by five of Town's championship rivals.

And with Mark Hudson joining Joel Lynch and early-season goal pilferer Murray Wallace as the latest stopper to find the net, Town arguably possess another weapon in their attacking arsenal after the skipper notched his first for the club with virtually the last kick of the game.

Lynch himself scored against Nottingham Forest on Saturday by nodding home a long Robinson throw and came close to registering at the iPro as he flicked a corner over the crossbar before Hudson made the next set piece opening count.

Powell can be safe in the knowledge that, no matter what formation he chooses to employ, he has goals wherever he looks in this Town team, with a leaky defence at least boosting the figures from an attacking perspective.

You can read our match report here and also our player ratings (and give us your own) here.