Huddersfield 1-0 Reading: Match Report

21 February 2017 10:34

Six of the best for Huddersfield as Billing strike sees off Reading

Philip Billing secured a sixth successive Championship win for Huddersfield, 1-0 against promotion rivals Reading at the John Smith's Stadium.

Midfielder Billing fired home the only goal eight minutes from time just when it seemed Reading had done enough to claim a point.

Rajiv van La Parra missed a first-half penalty, Town's first spot-kick in the league this season.

That looked like proving costly until Billing pounced for his second goal of the campaign to split two closely-matched teams.

Both sides cancelled each other out in the first half-hour with Reading looking nervous at times.

Van La Parra threatened first for Town when he flashed a shot wide from 25 yards and Elias Kachunga sliced his shot when he had a clear sight of goal.

Christopher Schindler caused problems at a corner and Tyler Blackett was cool in his own box when he twisted to deny Nahki Wells.

Reading had their first chance in the 34th minute when Roy Beerens broke free down the right and cut inside.

His powerful rising drive was tipped onto the bar by Danny Ward and from Jordan Obita's resulting corner, Liam Moore headed straight at the keeper.

The home side had a golden chance to break the deadlock in the 36th minute when Blackett tripped Izzy Brown and referee Tony Harrington gave the penalty.

Brown, who scored from the spot against Rochdale in the FA Cup, seemed to want to take the kick but the ball was passed to Van La Parra instead. The winger struck the ball to Ali Al Habsi's left and the keeper flung himself to turn it round the post.

Brown was replaced by Jack Payne straight afterwards, complaining of feeling unwell.

Inspired by the let-off, Reading pushed forward with Ward forced into a double save from Lewis Grabban and Jordon Mutch.

Obita fired wide before setting up a chance for Grabban two minutes before the break. Obita drilled in a cross but Grabban's clever flick spun just inches wide.

Wells went close just into the second half when Aaron Mooy found him with a great pass but the striker dragged his finish wide and Tommy Smith curled an effort straight at Al Habsi.

The Royals had strong appeals for a penalty in the 52nd minute when Grabban went down under challenge from Ward. Danny Williams had set him away and Grabban protested long and hard to Harrington.

Town exerted pressure with successive corners, the first of which - wind-assisted - forced Al Habsi into a reflex save.

Huddersfield went close again when Kachunga volleyed wide from Van La Parra's cross but just when it seemed time was running out, Billing found another late winner for Town.

Sub Joe Lolley was involved in the build-up and Billing crossed for Smith to force a save from Al Habsi, but the rebound came back to Billing who swept the ball home in the 82nd minute.

Yann Kermorgant planted a free-kick on top of the net and Moore went close but they could not save Reading's six-match unbeaten run.


Source: PA


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