Huddersfield 1-2 Everton
Wow! Not what I or any of us fans expected. We played with no fear and had a real go at a strong Everton side. Yes they made 8 changes but all of their selection are not out of place in the Premier League side. We made several changes too and the incoming players made a real statement for a place this weekend.
Town side – Nicholls, Lees, Pearson, Sarr, Toffolo, Vallejo, High, Holmes, Thomas, Sinani, Campbell. Bench – O’Brien, Koroma, Aarons, Turton, Colwill, Schofield, Russell.
Both sides showed attacking intent from the start. The first clear opening was when Thomas made a dreadful back pass straight to the Moise Kean who drove forward before firing wide. On 26 minuted Tom Davied cut through the middle easily and fed Iwobi who made no mistake slotting in Everton for the opener in what had been an even start. A few minutes later Moise Kean fired in for Everton but a tight off-side had been called. In fairness to Everton it could have been given, although the flag was up early enough for some players to react and stop. Everton followed with a spell of keep ball but then the last 10 minutes was all Town. Winning 50/50s driving forward with pace and letting fly without hesitation. It was no surprise when Tom Lees connected to Thomas’ corner to level things for half-time.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with all Town pressing and after Holmes had seen his shot on the turn tipped over by Begovic Thomas fired in the corner which Pearson headed home. With the Town players then celebrating the linesman then put his very late flag up. Nobody was sure why but Campbell was stood off-side when Pearson headed in. The official deemed that he was interfering with play. He was stood in front of Begovic by a couple of paces and off to one side slightly. I would say he was there intentionally to distract Begovic but there was no contact with the keeper or the ball and Begovic was not unsighted. If that was not a goal then a lot of what we conceded last season should not have stood either. Town though were not downhearted and continued to press. Moise Kean then had a rash moment in reacting to Thomas on the half way line and pushing his head forward into the Town man. It was soft but naive of him and the ref showed a straight red. This appeared to galvanise Everton though and they played with a little more drive. The game now flowed up and down and there was a winner there for someone so no surprise that Everton crafted an opening which Townsend did well to lift over Nicholls to seal things late on. There did remain some nervy moments for Everton but they saw it through running the clock down.
Off teh back of this performance there is a renewed optimism. The points tally this season has been good by our standards and now we have had a performance to match roll on Saturday.
Handling again and command of his area was good. He is turning out to be a shrewd signing.
Tom did well again, I surprised to see him come off for Turton. Was solid at the back and a strong presence in the attacking area scoring our goal.
Again strong and solid at the back. Took his goal well wlthough it was ruled out.
Had a decent game again. Everton did not pressure him much but he moved the ball a lot quicker than previous games. A few stray passes.
Looked very comfortable in front of the defence and for me should be in for Hogg on Saturday. His distribution whilst not perfect was with a lot more attacking intent and with pace. He was intelligent on the pitch in finding space and working the angles for his team mates. Well worth starting with him.
Not a massive attacking threat but was consistently good at either end. Gives us a good balance opposite Thomas.
His best game for Town so far. Was quick into the tackle, passing was snappy and accurate and drove forward into more advanced areas to help the support up front.
For me he was MOM. Picked up the ball centrally and drove at Everton, linking up with Holmes and Campbell and really connected the side which we have not seen yet this season. Unlucky nit to score in the first half and was disappointed to see him subbed in teh second half but hopefully that means he starts against Reading.
Got the ball and linked up well with Sinani. Still fell that Koroma would be a better option and he does lack the physicallity but had a good game and nearly scored in the second half with a curling right foot shot.
Yet again was a constant threat. Everton doubled up on him at times, but we had threats all over the pitch that they struggled. Thomas’ has a dead ball delivery that we have yearned for for some time, delivering both corners that caused Everton problems.
Knitted things together well and by droping deeper with runners around him they struggled to know who to pick up. He played with a freedon we have not seen for some time. Cam eclose in the first half.
O’Brien, Koroma and Turton all came off the bench but were unable to really influence the game.