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Report: Blues 2 Huddersfield Town 1

An organised and spirited display earnt Blues three points against the Terriers.

BCFC

A 90th minute Lukas Jutkiewicz goal gave Blues a dramatic victory at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium against Huddersfield Town.

Blues had plenty of chances in the first-half and took the lead through Gary Gardner who headed home a Jeremie Bela free-kick into the box. Huddersfield equalised from an Isaac Mbenza free-kick with five minutes to go.

But it was Aitor Karanka’s substitutes that combined to give Blues three points and a first win in seven matches.

Jonathan Leko’s effort cannoned back off the bar into the path of Jutkiewicz to sidefoot in on the full with power and precision.

It was a remarkable response from Blues to being pegged back so late on, especially as Adam Clayton had to hobble around due to an ankle injury sustained down the other end of the field moments before Huddersfield earned their free-kick. 

With all the substitutes used - and nine minutes of time added on - it was a brave effort from Clayton, as it was from all of Karanka's resilient troops.

There were two changes to the side that drew 0-0 to QPR on Saturday, Kristian Pedersen and Leko were replaced by Ivan Sanchez and Bela, and also another tweak to the shape.

Clayton returned to the squad following his one match suspension but started amongst the substitutes. 

Blues settled into their shape well early on, cutting out Huddersfield’s forward balls and looking to play out through Bela and Sanchez.

The game started to open up midway through the first-half, Sanchez capitalised on a Ben Hamer error and played the ball through to Scott Hogan who put his left footed strike wide.

Another came the way of Blues and George Friend soon after. The left-back charged into the box, cut the ball back on to his right foot, but his shot was comfortably saved by Hamer.  

Frazier Campbell found a yard of space for the visitors, only to see his powerful effort fly just wide of the top right-hand corner. 

Blues took advantage of all their chances to take a deserved lead. Sanchez was fouled midway through the Terriers half. From Bela’s free-kick, Gardner rose above his marker to head home.

Karanka’s side were in the ascendancy after taking the lead and came inches away from doubling their advantage. Bela saw his free-kick come back off the post and from the subsequent rebound, Friend saw his effort cleared off the line by Richard Stearman.

Half-time: Blues 1 Huddersfield 0

Huddersfield started the second-half brightly and came close to a leveller. Josh Koroma cut in from the left onto his right foot only to see his effort crash back off the bar. 

Jutkiewicz, coming on as a second-half substitute, glanced on a Neil Etheridge goal-kick into the path of Bela, but his left-footed snapshot failed to trouble the Town ‘keeper.

The visitors drew level just as it looked Blues would negotiate a 1-0 win.  Mbenza lifted his free-kick over the wall and into the back of the net.

There was still time for one more twist in the tale and it came the way of Blues, Jutkiewicz the man in the right place at the right time to restore the advantage, after combining with Leko from Mikel San Jose's through pass.

Jutkiewicz played the ball to Leko, he raced towards goal and cracked a rising drive on the run that thudded back off the crossbar.

The rebound came quickly at Jutkiewicz, who was following up in the box, and he expertly adjusted to send it straight into the back of the net without hesitation.

Blues: Etheridge, Colin, Dean, Roberts, Friend, Sunjic (Clayton 67), Gardner (Leko 79), San Jose, Sanchez, Bela, Hogan (Jutkiewicz 60). 

Subs not used: Prieto, Pedersen, Dacres-Cogley, McGree.

Bookings: Sunjic, San Jose.

Goals: Gardner 28, Jutkiewicz 90. 

Huddersfield Town: Hamer, Pipa, Stearman, Schindler, Toffolo, Hogg (O’Brien 57), Eiting, Bacuna (Pritchard 46), Koroma, Campbell, Diakhaby (Mbenza 79). 

Subs not used: Pereira, Duhaney, Crichlow, Brown. 

Bookings: Diakhaby. 

Goals: Mbenza 85.

Referee: Leigh Doughty

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