Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
at the John Smith's Stadium
Huddersfield Town (1) 1
Steve Mounié 21
Birmingham City (0) 1
Lukas Jutkiewicz 54
Admission £15 Programme £2
Attendance 13,047 (inc. 2,473 away fans)
Joel Coleman, Chris Löwe (Scott Malone 82), Terence Kongolo, Michael Hefele, Florent Hadergjonaj, Jonathan Hogg, Danny Williams (Philip Billing 36); Rajiv van La Parra (Joe Lolley 57), Abdelhamid Sabiri, Collin Quaner, Steve Mounié
Unused subs - Jonas Lössl, Christopher Schindler, Tommy Smith, Laurent Depoitre
David Stockdale, Cohen Bramall, Marc Roberts, Harlee Dean (Jonathan Grounds HT), Michael Morrison (c), Carl Jenkinson, Jason Lowe (Craig Gardner,88), Jota, Cheikh N’Doye, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Che Adams (Jérémie Boga 76)
Unused subs - Connal Trueman, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Steve Seddon, Charlie Lakin
Did you know, that Huddersfield Town are the only team to have played at each of the top four levels of English football at two different grounds? Or that some people still call the Terriers home the 'new ground' even though they moved into it almost a quarter of a century ago?
Kinnell! Recalling the times that I visited their former home on Leeds Road, that makes me feel really old. Okay, as I career full steam ahead to my next 'significant age' birthday, I concede that I am actually really old, but Ihave a mental age of nine or ten, so that must count for something. But I digress.
Last month, when Chelsea visited Huddersfield, the number of the away supporters serenaded the Terriers fans, with a rendition of: "Champions of England! You'll never sing that!"
Well, you see those three stars that today's hosts proudly wear above the club crest on their shirts? They didn't get them for working in McDonald's y'know.
Today's hosts are currently in fourteenth place in the Premier League, four places but only two points above the relegation places. However, whoever started the chant in the away end this afternoon of: "You're going down with the Baggies!", should have familiarised themselves with the Championship table first.
Sam Gallagher's second half strike was enough for City to see off Burton Albion by a solitary goal at home, in the third round, while a Rajiv van la Parraat strike and a long range deflected shot by Danny Williams, were enough for Huddersfield to get through to round four with a two-one victory at Bolton Wanderers, who are also among the teams at the foot of the Championship, just two points and three places above Birmingham.
Although the game was often and end to end affair, especially during the second half, actual clear cut chances were at a premium, but Birmingham fashioned the first one when Carl Jenkinson delivered a cross to the near post, that Lukas Jutkiewicz reached after battling off the presence of Michael Hefele, but could only poke the ball wide with Hefele continuing to unsettle the big front man.
The timing of the goal, twenty one minutes, almost caused an awkward situation, as that was the precise time that Huddersfield Town had requested that the crowd should hold a minutes applause in memory of Joe Brook, a twenty one year old Terriers fan who had died in a road traffic accident earlier this month. But once people realised the significance of the time, all four sides of the ground respectfully joined in with the clapping, including those from the West Midlands who wouldn't have seen the announcement on the scoreboard above them, but definitely saw the goal that had just been scored right in front of them.
Chris Löwe saw off the attentions of Jenkinson and crossed towards Mounie and as Adams struggled to clear the ball, Quaner tried his luck, with a curling left foot shot that Marc Roberts blocked with a brave header and Abdelhamid Sabiri shot wide when the loose ball reached him.
Cohen Bramall did well to force his way forward to the dead ball line, but Joel Coleman managed to push the ball away to safety.
Right on the stroke of half time, Stockdale smothered the ball down by his right hand post as Mounié connected with his head from Löwe’s free-kick.
HT: Terriers 1 v Blues 0
But nine minutes after the restart, the visitors were on level terms, when Coleman's poor clearance fell straight to Bramall, who ventured forward and played a pass out towards Jutkiewicz to his left, whose initial cross was blocked by Hefele, but he struggled to bring the ball under control and for some strange reason thought that running out of his area with it, instead a launching a clearance away from the danger zone, was a good idea, but Jutkiewicz had anticipated well and kept running, nicking the ball off Hefele and crashing it into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Cue pandemonium in the away end.
Jota shot narrowly wide from around twenty yards out as Birmingham grew into the game and Huddersfield could consider themselves fortunate, that when Jason Lowe sent a measured ball into their area, which Jutkiewicz sent over Coleman with a dipping header into the net, the assistants flag went up and judged that the visitors number ten was offside... these things balance themselves out over the course of a season, but that one was a very, very close call indeed.
The game switched ends again and Stockdale was called upon once more, standing is ground to repel Jonathan Hogg as he advanced into the area from the left.
In stoppage time, the ex Birmingham City development team player Joe Lolley was put through, directly in front his former sides goal, by Quaner's sideways knock, but he spurned the opportunity and lashed the ball off target from just ten yards out. Phew! That was a close shave.
The two sides now go head to head in a replay at St. Andrew's on Tuesday week (6th February), after Birmingham first have two important Championship games to deal with, v. Sunderland at home and Sheffield Wednesday away. While Huddersfield have back to back Premier League games against Liverpool at home and Manchester United away during the interim.
FT: Huddersfield Town 1 v Birmingham City 1