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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 29 Apr 17 at 16:50 PM

Report: Blues 2 Huddersfield Town 0

Blues’ hopes of avoiding relegation were handed a major boost with a battling and impressive 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon.

Defender Jonathan Grounds opened the scoring for the hosts after bundling the ball home just before half-time. And the win was then sealed late on when Craig Gardner fired home from the penalty spot.

It was a win that Harry Redknapp’s side secured against the odds after missing an early penalty and being reduced to 10 men mid-way through the first-half after Che Adams was sent-off.

Redknapp made just one change to the side that were beaten at Villa last time out, with Michael Morrison making his long-awaited return from a groin injury in place of the suspended Paul Robinson.

Meanwhile, with his team having already secured a play-off spot, Huddersfield boss David Wagner made a total of 10 changes to his side. 

Blues were given a major scare less than five minutes in when Tareiq Holmes-Dennis flashed a low shot from the edge of the box just inches wide of the base of Tomas Kuszczak's far post.

But just two minutes later Blues had a fantastic opportunity to take the lead when Mark Hudson tripped Adams as he ran through into the area.

Referee Michael Jones had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Lukas Jutkiewicz stepped up and struck it reasonably firmly, but Huddersfield 'keeper Joe Coleman dived the right way and managed cling onto the ball at the second attempt.

With 12 minutes played Jutkiewicz tried his luck with a long-range attempt which flew over the bar.

Blues were having to show plenty of patience, with Huddersfield playing lots of possession-based football, although much of that was in their own half of the pitch.

Jutkiewicz was not far away again when he turned with his back to the Huddersfield goal before turning and shooting with his left foot wide of the post.

Blues were dealt a hammer blow on 23 minutes when referee Jones controversially sent off Adams.

Adams dived in on Martin Cranie, although it appeared he got something on the ball and the referee reached straight for a red card.

The Blues striker was understandably distraught as he left the pitch.

Buoyed by their one-man advantage Huddersfield pressed forward and Kuszczak was forced into a good save to tip Phillip Billing's firm strike over the bar.

Harry Bunn then steered the ball into the side netting after a pass found him at the far post.

Although Huddersfield were largely dominating the play, Blues were having the odd foray forward and it was at one of these in the 41st minute where they took the lead and sent the home crowd into raptures. 

The goal came from a Gardner corner that was initially cleared away.

Gardner sent it back into the far post where it was met by Morrison who headed back across the goal, and Grounds forced into the back of the net from close range.

Half-time: Blues 1 Huddersfield 0

Wagner made one change at the break with striker Nahki Wells sent on for full-back Holmes-Dennis.

Blues made a bright start to the second-half of the contest.

But it was Huddersfield that fashioned the first opening in the 50th minute when they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position right on the edge of the area. Fortunately, Wells curled his attempt a yard over the bar.

Blues went close to doubling their advantage just before the hour mark when Davis fed Jutkiewicz who ran through into the area, but his low save was well-saved by Coleman.

The game was beginning to open up and Davis was provider again when his switched pass found Maghoma. The Blues winger ran on with the ball but his left-footed shot was blocked in the Huddersfield area.

With 75 gone St. Andrew’s erupted for a second time when Maghoma was tripped in the box by Dean Whitehead and the referee awarded Blues a second penalty.

Boyhood blue Gardner stepped up and made no mistake as he sent Coleman the wrong way and blasted the ball into the back off the net. 2-0 Blues!

With Blackburn also winning, it means that the relegation fight goes down to the last round of Championship matches next weekend when Blues visit Bristol City, Blackburn travel to Brentford and Nottingham Forest host Ipswich Town.

But crucially Blues’ fate remains in their own hands.

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