Express & Star

West Brom 1 Huddersfield 2 - Report

Jack Rudoni's 96th-minute winner dealt Albion a first home defeat of the season - seconds after Josh Maja might have downed Huddersfield at the other end.

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John Swift fires home the equaliser (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Carlos Corberan's men fell to a poor defeat against his former side in a Championship clash The Hawthorns hosts did not deserve to win but should not have lost.

The previously winless Terriers flew on the break to strike in the decisive moment at the death in the blink of an eye after visiting keeper Lee Nicholls had saved from Maja one-on-one.

It was Neil Warnock and not Corberan dancing in delight in the technical area in the wake of yesterday's transfer deadline. Huddersfield were the better side overall and value for the win. Albion did not deserve all three points but will be dismayed at the manner in which they lost.

John Swift struck an equaliser on the break against the run of play shortly after half-time after Delano Burgzorg handed the visitors a half-time lead.

Albion had been below par in the first period and struggled to improve after the break for rare home disappointment under Corberan - just a third Hawthorns defeat in 10 months. It was not the way the Baggies would wish to enter the international break. Albion were ponderous and did not create enough tempo to merit a winner.

Jed Wallace battles with Duane Holmes (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

As Corberan warned, centre-half Semi Ajayi missed out due to illness in the week that had ruled him out of training.

Kyle Bartley was introduced in his place for a first league start since last November, the final game before the World Cup break. The hosts' other change saw Conor Townsend return for Erik Pieters as the head coach switched his recent 3-4-3 formation to a familiar 4-2-3-1, from last season.

New loan right-back signing Pipa was not registered in time to feature.

Warnock, ever the unpopular visitor to The Hawthorns, made four changes after being left unhappy with his side's 4-0 reverse to Norwich last weekend. David Kasumu, Jaheim Headley, Ben Wiles and Burgzorg were introduced.

The home side looked buoyant in the early minutes and appeared to have the Terriers where they wanted them - penned back with little outball. Corberan's men didn't create any openings in this period, however, and the visitors quickly found a foothold.

Kyle Bartley gets up to win a header (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Albion helped, though, with some sloppiness in possession encouraging the Town into the hosts' territory. Alex Palmer had already had to help a header over the crossbar and tip wide from Wiles inside 10 minutes.

The away end celebrated briefly as Rudoni thumped in a volley but referee James Linington had already blown for a push on Darnell Furlong.

The 12th minute brought poster protests from the stands at The Hawthorns. Pressure group Action for Albion's latest initiative was 10,000 posters reading 'FOR SALE - FULL SALE', all distributed by volunteers pre-game.

Thousands upon thousands were held aloft from all four stands and created an impressive look, alongside chants against controlling shareholder Guochuan Lai, who is desperate to sell the club.

On the pitch the visitors were still on top as a couple of dangerous deliveries threatened the Albion box. The Baggies looked edgy throughout the side, particularly in midfield and the forward lines. Passing was sloppy and loose, the home side were unable to combine for much more than two or three passes.

The Baggies paid for their sloppiness just after half hour after a fairly needless corner was conceded.

A delivery was half-cleared by Okay Yokuslu but taken on by Burgzorg on the edge of the box. His first touch made some space and, from slightly right, the forward drilled a low strike that flew in at Palmer's near post. The keeper got something on the strike but couldn't keep it out.

It had been coming with the Terriers the better side and the opener deflated The Hawthorns after their side had already lost some early momentum.

The Terriers threatened again on the stroke of half-time but Palmer was alive to a dangerous cross from the right that was inches from striker Danny Ward. Brandon Thomas-Asante's tame shot right on the interval summed up a poor first period.

Brandon Thomas-Asante gets an shot off early in the first half (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Corberan decided against half-time changes and demanded a response - but if anything it looked like the visitors again the brighter.

The Baggies were thanking their lucky stars to be just one down as Rudoni somehow lifted over Palmer's crossbar from just five yards out after Albion had generously allowed their visitors to saunter unchecked into the box. The eventual match-winner was flagged offside, but there was alarm at Albion's defending.

The Terriers were on top, but seven minutes after the restart Albion levelled - out of precious little and against the run of play.

Albion had just conceded another needless corner. But this time they defended it well and were able to strike on the counter-attack.

Jayson Molumby picked a good pass through the middle of the pitch and fed Thomas-Asante and suddenly Albion were two-on-one on the halfway line.

Thomas-Asante ran at his defended Jaheim Headley and picked the perfect moment to pass right for Swift. The ball was spot-on, as was Swift's control and finish, emphatically beyond Lee Nicholls for a second in two games.

It was time to push on for a second but Albion couldn't force any sustained momentum. Another good Phillips cross went unconverted before a low-on-confidence Wallace could only loop a header over the top.

Corberan rolled the dice for Jeremy Sarmiento on 65 minutes. Pieters came on too for a change to a back three and wing-backs.

Sarmiento was lively and skilful in possession as he looked to spark his side into life but end product lacked throughout. Albion didn't create enough.

Josh Maja and Nathaniel Chalobah were introduced inside the final 20 minutes at which point the contest threatened to swing one way or the other. Warnock's men used all the tricks in the book to eat up time as Josh Ruffels stretched a bout of cramp.

No late momentum by way of opportunities came. Terriers sub Kian Harratt almost snuck one in at Palmer's near post with little between the sides.

Diangana came on with a few minutes to go as the fourth official signalled nine added minutes. Sarmiento's shot tamely at Nicholls, which rather typified his side's afternoon at goal.

It looked like possibly getting better deep into stoppage time - before it got much worse.

John Swift celebrates his equaliser (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The moment looked like arriving as Maja was played in on goal into the sixth minute of stoppage. Maja took an extra touch, took his time, but was denied by Nicholls to the keeper's right.

Albion blinked and were sucker-punched.

Thirty seconds later the Terriers had darted forward and a deep cross from the left picked out Rudoni, all alone at the back post with Albion stretched.

Bodies rushed out to the midfielder but he controlled and crashed a low strike in at the Smethwick End near post for bedlam in the away end. Albion didn't deserve to win but they should not have lost.


Albion (4-2-3-1): Palmer; Furlong, Bartley (Pieters, 65), Kipre, Townsend; Yokuslu (Chalobah, 73), Molumby (Diangana, 88); Wallace (c) (Sarmiento, 65), Swift, Phillips; Thomas-Asante (Maja, 73).

Subs not used: Griffiths, Taylor, Mowatt, Fellows.

Huddersfield (3-5-2): Nicholls; Helik, Pearson, Ruffels (Nakayama, 82); Kasumu, Hogg (c), Rudoni, Wiles, Headley (Jackson, 85); Burgzorg (Koroma, 74), Ward (Harratt, 73).

Subs not used: Maxwell, Edmonds-Green, Diarra, Jones, Hudlin.

Attendance: 23,094 (855 Huddersfield fans)

Referee: James Linington