Huddersfield Town 1-0 Sunderland: Matty Pearson goal gives Terriers win over Black Cats

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Matty Pearson scores for Huddersfield against Sunderland
Matty Pearson’s winner at the John Smith’s Stadium meant that Huddersfield have done the double over Sunderland this season

Matty Pearson was on target as Huddersfield beat Sunderland to move five points clear of the Championship relegation zone.

The defender has scored in successive home wins for the Terriers as interim manager Jon Worthington continues to revive their fortunes.

They have won two of his three games in charge and were also excellent in a 5-3 defeat at promotion-chasing Southampton at the weekend.

Lacklustre Sunderland’s own revival of three games unbeaten came to an end as the hosts secured their first league double over the Black Cats since 1961.

Michael Beale’s team could have moved into the play-off places with a win, but they were second best and could have lost more heavily as Josh Koroma hit a post and Jobe Bellingham cleared a Jack Rudoni header off the line.

The closest they came to a goal was when Trai Hume was denied by home keeper Lee Nicholls late on.

Worthington has expressed his reluctance to take the job on a permanent basis but the team is surging with confidence and positivity since he agreed to take the reins following the sacking of Darren Moore just over a fortnight ago.

They gave Saints a real shock on Saturday before succumbing to three late goals after leading 3-2, and this win takes them five points clear of the danger zone.

Sunderland arrived at the John Smith’s Stadium in decent form, having taken seven points from their three previous games, and knowing a win – and results elsewhere going their way – could see them back in the top six.

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They rarely looked like fulfilling their part of that possibility as resurgent Huddersfield made their intentions clear from the first whistle with an aggressive attack that ended with Ben Wiles’ far-post header being blocked.

The Terriers lived up to their nickname with some fierce pressing and David Kasumu was inches away from opening the scoring after Sorba Thomas, in a rich vein of form, had unlocked the defence with a surge of pace.

Their goal, on 37 minutes, was a triumph from the training ground as a short free-kick outside the box was disguised and Rudoni’s shot took Sunderland keeper Anthony Patterson by surprise.

He could only block the ball into the path of Pearson and the defender used his thigh for his second goal in consecutive home games.

Sunderland almost had a leveller on the stroke of half-time as Dan Neil’s speculative 25-yard effort squirmed through Nicholls’ fingers and fell just outside the post, much to the keeper’s relief.

The Black Cats pressed for an equaliser in the second half but Huddersfield still looked more likely to score as Koroma’s whipped free-kick took Patterson by surprise and pinged the post.

Rudoni’s header found Bellingham in the right spot to clear off the line, but as the clock ticked down Sunderland twice went close to equalising.

Hume raced clear from Bellingham’s pass, but Nicholls got a vital touch on his shot to take it past the post.

And as the game entered the final minute of added time, Luke O’Nien’s cross brought a desperate, panicked clearance from Tom Lees, making his 550th league appearance, with the ball uncomfortably slicing over his own bar.

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Line-ups

Huddersfield

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1NichollsBooked at 80mins
  • 4Pearson
  • 24BalkerSubstituted forNakayamaat 61′minutes
  • 32Lees
  • 17SpencerSubstituted forJacksonat 80′minutes
  • 18Kasumu
  • 21MatosBooked at 68minsSubstituted forHoggat 74′minutes
  • 8Rudoni
  • 23WilesSubstituted forBurgzorgat 80′minutes
  • 14Thomas
  • 10KoromaSubstituted forWardat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Hogg
  • 7Burgzorg
  • 9Radulovic
  • 11Diarra
  • 12Maxwell
  • 25Ward
  • 26Jones
  • 30Jackson
  • 33Nakayama

Sunderland

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1PattersonBooked at 90mins
  • 32Hume
  • 5Ballard
  • 13O’NienBooked at 35mins
  • 33HjeldeSubstituted forPembéléat 61′minutes
  • 24NeilSubstituted forBurstowat 81′minutes
  • 17BaBooked at 50minsSubstituted forRobertsat 61′minutes
  • 7Bellingham
  • 39Ekwah
  • 20Clarke
  • 15RusynSubstituted forMundleat 72′minutesBooked at 86mins

Substitutes

  • 6Pembélé
  • 9Silva Semedo
  • 10Roberts
  • 11Burstow
  • 14Mundle
  • 22Aouchiche
  • 23Seelt
  • 30Bishop
  • 31Rigg

Referee:
Gavin Ward

Attendance:
19,550

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