Swansea City vs Huddersfield Town

Competition: EFL Championship Matchday 5

Date: 17/10/2020

Score: 1-2

Ground: Liberty Stadium

The Welsh side burst out the blocks calling Town ‘keeper Ben Hamer into action, forcing the number 1 into 2 early saves. It would be Town that take the lead though in the 23’, slightly against the run of play. Bacuna picked up a short corner that was then fired towards goal which Harry Toffolo flicked it into the Swansea goal opening his account for the season. It took Swansea only 10 minutes to find a reply. Ben Hamer was adjudged to have felled Korey Smith in the box. Andre Ayew stuck the resulting penalty in, although there are question marks over whether it was firstly a penalty and secondly if Ayew’s run-up was legal.
Town certainly grew into the first half, although the lack of outlet ball in midfield certainly constrained the Terriers. Overall 1-1 was probably a fair reflection on the first half of play.
Town started the second half well through Mbenza, with Isaac moving well in the box before hitting a left footed shot into the left post, with the rebound falling to Harry Toffolo. Unfortunately for Harry and Town the ball came back so fast he had little chance of diverting it into the empty net. Town’s patience paid off in the 67’ when Josh Koroma fired expertly home his first goal for Town from the edge of the box.
Despite having their own claims for a penalty when Fraizer Campbell was pushed over in the box, Town stood firm to deny a late Swansea equaliser. The result leaves Town 3 games unbeaten and ended Swansea’s unbeaten start to the season.
Town's next game is matchday 6 in the EFL Championship next Tuesday (20/10/2020) at home to Derby County.

5 Conclusions from the Game

1. What a difference a month makes

1 month ago, Town had just lost 3-0 to Brentford while losing 2 key players to injury in that game. Fast Forward nearly a month and Huddersfield have not lost a game since and now sit in the top half of the table. Infact, for the first time in 1094 days, you don’t have to look at the second page of the table to see Town's league position

2. Ben Hamer is a good shot stopper

I think the jury is still out on his distribution, as at times in the Swansea game he was giving the ball straight back to the Swansea players. On the other hand, he looks like he is gaining so much confidence in the Town goal and he is looking like a really good shot stopper. I think if you compare him to Grabara that we had on loan last season, Hamer is performing much better than the on loan Liverpool 'keeper did.

3. Koroma is rewarded

Josh scored his first league goal in 18 months and it was deserved. He has played every competitive minute under Corberan this season and should have had a goal or assist against Forest. While I don't think he is a direct replacement for Karlan Grant, he certainly has the ability to have a huge impact on this Town squad this season. This goal should spur him on and give him the confidence to replicate this on a more consistent basis.

4. Town got away with one here

I think it is important to remember what Danny Cowley said when he was at Town: "Not to get too high after wins but also not to get too low after defeat." Town got away with one yesterday, they conceded an xG rate of 3.30 and really if I was to look at this from a neutrals perspective, I would say Town were very lucky. Infogol - who are a very good source of football information, gave the match a fairness rating of 50.2%. To put this into perspective, Town's win against Forest was given a fairness rating of 95.93% while Norwich's opening day win over Town was given 99.89% fairness. To be honest though, Town have been on the receiving end of these sorts of results in the past few years, so to finally win one is a step in the right direction. To get to the next level you have to punish teams that miss their chances, like Town did to Swansea yesterday.

5. Level of officiating is pathetic

I try to be quite level-headed when writing these match reports and I always try to be positive, but the referee was an absolute disgrace. It was never a penalty. The ball was out of play and judging by what went on in the Merseyside derby with our good friend Mr. Oliver, if the offence happens after the ball is out of play then it could only be given for violent conduct, which it wasn't. Tony Harrington was the match referee yesterday and upon closer inspection of his record this season he has officiated 3 Championship games while giving out 13 yellow cards. It seems like someone is wanting to break the record for the most cards given out in a season! In his defence though, when the top referee in this country is Michael Oliver, it must be difficult to have any sort of role model in the English game.

Town Team:

Starting 11: Ben Hamer, Pipa, Christopher Schindler, Richard Stearman, Naby Sarr, Harry Toffolo , Jonathon Hogg, Juninho Bacuna (72' Lewis O'Brien), Carel Eiting (85' Demeaco Duahaney) , Josh Koroma, Isaac Mbenza (62' Fraizer Campbell)
Subs: Jacob Chapman, Demeaco Duhaney, Alex Pritchard, Lewis O'Brien, Adama Diakhaby, Romoney Crichlow, Fraizer Campbell
Formation: 352

Match Statistics

Swansea City: Huddersfield Town
xG (Expected Goals): 3.30 1.46
Possession %: 51 49
Total Shots: 17 10
On Target: 6 3
Tackles: 14 14
Pass Accuracy %: 77 72
Fouls: 18 16
Yellow Cards: 1 4
Red Cards: - -