Derby 1-1 Huddersfield: Jacob Butterfield strikes late against former club
Last Updated: 17/04/17 8:02pm
Jacob Butterfield struck two minutes from time for Derby to deny former club Huddersfield an important win in the Sky Bet Championship as the game ended 1-1.
David Wagner's men were minutes away from closing the gap to Newcastle in second to just five points with a game in hand after Collin Quaner early opener but Butterfield's strike on 88 minutes handed the Toon a reprieve and guaranteed Brighton's promotion to the Premier League.
The away fans had been chanting "what a waste of money" at the substitute in regards to his £5million move from Huddersfield to Derby in 2015 just a few minutes before he scored the equaliser
Huddersfield are now only five points inside the play-off places and they are due to play sixth-placed Fulham next Saturday.
Quaner expertly slotted home Martin Cranie's cross on nine minutes for his second goal in as many games as Huddersfield got off to the perfect start.
Darren Bent was denied an instant equaliser when his header was chalked off for offside. The Rams enjoyed an excellent spell of possession for the next 20 minutes but were unable to breakdown the solid Town defence. Bradley Johnson scuffed a shot on the edge of the box after the ball fell kindly on 36 minutes.
Christopher Schindler hacked the ball away from inside his six-yard box as Ikechi Anya's whipped cross flashed across goal and Matej Vydra hit an effort wide in stoppage time when he should have done better after a quick free-kick caught the Terriers defence napping.
Derby won two quickfire corners early in the second half as they came out with renewed fight and Ward tipped Anya's shot around the post on 52 minutes as Huddersfield were pushed back.
Alex Pearce cleared from inside his six-yard box after Rajiv van La Parra's brilliant run and cross failed to pick out an attacker. Derby again took charge of possession and territory, with Huddersfield happy to sit back and soak up pressure.
Bent smashed a free-kick well over for Derby on 75 minutes as chances remained few and far between.
Huddersfield were unable to make just their second corner of the game count on 80 minutes. Bent headed Anya's free-kick over the bar with five minutes left while under pressure from two defenders but the equaliser finally arrived courtesy of Butterfield - though the celebrations would be loudest over 150 miles away on the south coast.
Derby boss Gary Rowett:
"Overall we had control of the game. Our keeper had nothing to do but their goal. We conceded a poor goal where they didn't have to work hard and then they score.
"It allowed Huddersfield to sit deep and it made it hard to break them down. We showed quality on the ball to get in some good positions, though we wanted to get more shots in.
"The subs gave us a lift and we got the goal we deserved. We would have put them under a lot of pressure if the goal had come earlier. We want more quality and penetration, but I'm pleased with the character of the team."
Huddersfield boss David Wagner:
"If we secure a play-off spot then we will be very happy. We are humble and we know how difficult it is to get points in this division. We are Huddersfield Town and to have this points total is an unbelievable achievement. We have to focus on ourselves and not Newcastle.
"We are in a wonderful position but we do not have enough points yet. We would like to have more points and we would like more good performances. We took a step in the right direction with this performance. This is an unbelievable season for Huddersfield Town.
"Of course we are disappointed because the equaliser was late, but I am pleased as we managed the game well."