Huddersfield claim crucial point in survival battle with draw at Reading



Posted Wednesday, July 08, 2020 by PA

Huddersfield claim crucial point in survival battle with draw at Reading

Huddersfield gained what could prove a vital point in their battle against Championship relegation with a 0-0 draw at Reading.

Neither side was able to make the breakthrough in a dour first half, with Huddersfield’s 18-goal striker Karlan Grant a peripheral figure.

The game did not improve much after the break, with Reading equally culpable, and Grant twice failed to make the most of good openings.

Huddersfield had won only one of their previous five matches and drew 0-0 at home to Preston on Saturday.

Sitting in 20th place before kick off at Madejski Stadium, they lay only two points off the drop zone.

However, the relegation issue has been complicated by the threat of a 12-point deduction to Wigan, who have appealed against the EFL ruling, for going into administration.

Mid-table Reading secured their first win in four games post-lockdown with a 5-0 win at Luton on Saturday.

Leading scorer Yakou Meite grabbed four goals, including an 18-minute first-half hat-trick, to take his tally for the season to 16.

Huddersfield made a tentative start, with Reading exerting a measure of control through their patient approach work.

The home side twice managed to create space for long-distance attempts at visiting goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.

On each occasion, though, the efforts of Jordan Obita and Tyler Blackwell were blocked by the covering defenders.

Huddersfield gradually made headway into the home half, with Andy King and Chris Willock wasting good openings outside the Reading area.

Emile Rowe Smith should also have done better when he cut in from the right flank.

But with only Rafael to beat, he drove weakly into the keeper’s arms.

Reading persisted on the counter-attack, with Obita scuffing a shot wide from a Gabriel Osho cross.

John Swift then released George Puscas with a precise pass but the Romania forward was unable to lift the ball over the onrushing Lossl.

Huddersfield controlled the early stages of the second period, with Grant becoming more of a presence.

But when presented with a chance to shoot from 25 yards, he skied his effort over Rafael and into the empty stand behind him.

Meite was also becoming more involved but drove wastefully wide, after running in purposefully from the right wing, then nodded well over from a Swift corner.

Grant should then have taken advantage of a sloppy backpass from Swift, which was left well short of Rafael.

But from looking favourite to reach the ball first, Grant was too slow to it and allowed Rafael to hack clear.

Rafael then did even better, turning away substitute Alex Pritchard’s deflected shot at his near post as the game petered out into a scrappy draw.

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