Huddersfield 2-2 Reading: Match Report

09 January 2016 05:34

Last-gasp Nahki Wells penalty rescues a replay for Huddersfield

Nahki Wells' stoppage-time penalty rescued a 2-2 draw for Huddersfield in the FA Cup third round against Reading at the John Smith's Stadium.

A dominant Terriers side had conceded twice in the second half to go 2-1 down, despite Jamie Paterson giving the hosts the lead before the hour.

The visitors, who had beaten Town at this very stage and venue last season, were thankful to Watford loanee Matej Vydra for a deflected equaliser on 71 minutes.

Ali Al-Habsi somehow kept Reading in the game before Hal Robson-Kanu got the Royals ahead three minutes from the end, but Wells got his ninth of the season to force the tie into a replay.

Huddersfield have been an improving side in the Championship since David Wagner's arrival, and the former coaching colleague of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp did not hesitate in throwing Wells into the mix.

Reading were missing the in-form Nick Blackman following his move to Derby, but even then manager Brian McDermott kept top scorer Orlando Sa on the bench. In chilly conditions, they were slower off the mark, and had to fend off three Huddersfield chances before mustering a response.

Harry Bunn had two modest shots on the Reading goal - both caught by Al-Habsi. The midfielder was then part of a sweeping team move involving Wells, with the final shot from Joe Lolley needing a diving Al-Habsi save.

Robson-Kanu had first seen a deflected shot easily saved, before Vydra's cut back from a tight angle needed a goal-line clearance from Jason Davidson.

However, Town's link-up play was causing problems for Reading, who were again thankful to Al-Habsi on a few occasions. The hosts' positivity was broken up briefly with Tommy Smith's substitution for what appeared to be a foot injury, but the team moves continued, as Davidson and Wells had a shot each saved by Al-Habsi.

It was a scrappy end to the first half - Jonathan Hogg and Garath McCleary booked for either side after separate late tackles - while despite the rain, the second half promised more endeavor for Town.

And that soon brought the opening goal, Davidson again in the mix with a cross from the left, and Paterson was free to time his jump and head past Al-Habsi.

There was controversy when Wells, played in by Lolley, rounded Al-Habsi in the box and went to ground, but referee Jeremy Simpson booked the forward.

And the home fans were frustrated further as Vydra popped up at the other end to curl a shot in, which took a deflection on its way to goal.

Both goalkeepers then showed their agility, Al-Habsi first tipping over Wells' header, before Joe Murphy kept out Robson-Kanu's fierce effort.

The late drama began when Robson-Kanu at last got his reward, as his deflected low shot crept into the net after the ball was pinging around, but in stoppage time Huddersfield got themselves back level.

Bunn won the penalty when trying to jink his way through a crowd, and Wells had no problem firing a low spot-kick away.


Source: PA


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