Huddersfield Town celebrated a much-welcomed and well-deserved victory in the 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship season as they triumphed over West Bromwich Albion.
Delano Burgzorg, a summer signing, made a memorable debut in English football by scoring his first goal for the club. Jack Rudoni secured the win with a late goal, just when it seemed that West Brom might equalise.
Every player on the team deserved credit for their wholehearted performance in this exciting match. However, Captain Jonathan Hogg particularly stood out with his exceptional presence in central midfield.
Neil Warnock made four changes to the lineup, including giving first Town starts to new signings Ben Wiles and Burgzorg, which also led to a tactical shift to a 3-5-2 formation. This adjustment marked the return of David Kasumu, who had been sidelined due to an ankle injury during preseason. Kasumu played at right wing back, and Jaheim Headley made his first league start of the campaign on the opposite flank.
The match was filled with action at both ends, with Town being denied a goal in the eighth minute due to an adjudged foul. Despite the setback, Town continued to press forward, with Wiles and Kasumu creating opportunities. Referee James Linnington disallowed a goal by Rudoni, ruling a foul by Helik.
Wiles tried his luck with a long-range effort shortly after, forcing a save from Palmer. Matty Pearson also had a chance with a header, but it went over the crossbar. Meanwhile, West Brom had their moments, but Lee Nicholls showcased his top-notch goalkeeping skills. The defensive trio of Ruffels, Helik, and Pearson effectively protected the box.
In the 33rd minute, Town finally broke the deadlock with a beautiful goal from Delano Burgzorg. Danny Ward’s tenacity won another corner, and after a clearance, Burgzorg chested the ball past Conor Townsend and volleyed it into the net, skillfully finding the gap between Palmer and the near post.
Burgzorg attempted another shot from the edge of the box in first-half added time, but this time, it missed the target.
West Brom had a chance just before halftime when they passed the ball to Brandon Thomas-Asante in Town’s area, but his shot went straight to Nicholls.
Town continued to threaten in the second half, but Rudoni was flagged offside. Despite this setback, Town remained determined to secure more goals.
Unfortunately, this ambition led to West Brom’s equalizer when they capitalized on a swift break following a Town corner. Headley found himself outnumbered, and Thomas-Asante passed the ball to John Swift, who confidently beat Nicholls one-on-one.
With the game wide open, both teams fought to find a winner. Numerous crosses were delivered into both penalty areas, but none found the decisive touch. Substitutes entered the field for both sides, including Yuta Nakayama, who returned to league action when Ruffels suffered cramps, and a change in the front two in the final quarter-hour with Koroma and Harratt coming on.
Harratt displayed energy and creativity and played a crucial role in the late winning goal. Before the dramatic winner, he attempted a difficult shot from a narrow-angle that did not find the target.
In the end, Nicholls made a crucial save, diving to his left to deny a shot from substitute Josh Maja after Pearson had pressured him. Town then swiftly counterattacked.
Koroma raced down the left and provided a reverse pass to Harratt, who spotted Rudoni in space at the back post. Rudoni calmly controlled the ball with his chest before placing it low to the goalkeeper’s left. This electrifying moment ignited wild celebrations among the travelling Town fans, who had been outstanding throughout the match.
Town successfully defended their lead in the final two minutes to secure their first significant victory of the season.