The last week has been one of the best in Town’s recent history, with a famous win at St James’ Park being followed up by a vital point at Aston Villa on Tuesday. This left the Terriers level with three clubs at the summit of the division, even at such an early stage. On Saturday though, it was back to the John Smith’s Stadium as we entertained a Barnsley side that David Wagner has branded as Town’s “toughest game yet”. This was ofcourse following the visitors picking up two wins in five days over Derby and QPR respectively. A tough encounter was expected, but in most fans eyes this was a very winnable game. David Wagner made three changes to the side that played in midweek at Villa Park, with Dean Whitehead making his first appearance of the season in place of Hogg, whilst Wells and Scannell replaced Payne (bench) and Lolley (injured).
In front of a 20000+ crowd, Town started the better of the two sides; comfortable in possession and pressing without the ball. The home fans didn’t have to wait long for the first goal of the afternoon, as on 25 minutes, left-back Chris Löwe played a one-tw0 with Elias Kachunga before firing into the top corner. A stunning way to open his goalscoring account in English football. Löwe has been one of the outstanding performers in Town’s excellent start to the season, and he looks a steal on a free transfer. Town continued to dominate throughout the first half, with both Tommy Smith and Rajiv Van la Parra testing the Barnsley ‘keeper. At half-time, although Town were leading 1-0, it was a slight concern that their dominance hadnt been converted into more goals. As much as Barnsley hadn’t threatened massively, their set peices were a risk, and it took just over one minute in the second half for the visitors to equalise in this exact manner. Centre-back Marc Roberts launched a long throw into the Town area, and as Danny Ward came to try and meet it, it was headed beyond him by Alfie Mawson. This showed what a dangerous scoreline 1-0 is, and all of sudden Town had to try to regain the lead. However it was the away side that began to dominate, and looked the most likely side to knick the points, especially when a tiring Dean Whitehead passed it straight to Payne who struck the outside of the post. With ten minutes to go, Barnsley looked like the only side that could potentially take all three points, but, Town fans have learnt never to write Wagner’s side off. Jonathan Hogg replaced Aaron Mooy in the second half, and as the game entered its 92nd minute, he was found in unfamiliar territory in the box. Kachunga grabbed himself another assist by finding Hogg, who placed a shot high into the top corner, to send the 18000-strong home support into raptures. The defensive-midfielder showed fantastic composure, for someone who hasn’t scored a league goal for seven (yes, SEVEN) years! That made it 10 points from Town’s first four league games, and Huddersfield Town headed the league table by two points. Even more remarkably, in each of the games, a subsitute had scored either the winner or the equaliser. Wagner has given the players two days off as a reward for their fine start to the campaign, and it is now onto another home game on Saturday – Wolves are the visitors.
For at least a week, enjoy top of the league, Town fans!