Huddersfield hit late double to beat Cardiff and boost promotion hopes

Burnley v Huddersfield Town – Emirates FA Cup – Third Round – Turf Moor
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Jonathan Russell scored a stoppage-time winner as Huddersfield completed a dramatic late comeback to close to within two points of the automatic promotion places with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Cardiff.

Russell’s strike came after substitute Josh Koroma cancelled out Tommy Doyle’s 61st-minute opener two minutes from time.

As well as extending Town’s unbeaten run to 16 games it also gave Carlos Corberan’s side a first win over their Welsh visitors since 2003.

The game came to life in the closing half hour with both benches involved in a late flashpoint after Jordan Hugill’s challenge on Tom Lees.

But there was even greater drama to follow as Koroma, a 65th-minute replacement for Josh Ruffels, fired in his fifth goal off the campaign to level the scores.

And in the sixth of nine minutes of stoppage time, Russell’s first goal for the Terriers sent a packed John Smith’s Stadium into raptures.

Two late Kieffer Moore goals earned the Bluebirds a 2-1 comeback win when the teams met in South Wales last November.

This time the visitors almost struck early. Will Vaulks flighted a superb cross from the left and Lee Nicholls was at full stretch to palm away Mark McGuinness’ 12th-minute header from six yards.

Town struggled to make significant headway into a constant rain storm.

When they did fashion an opening, Danny Ward couldn’t hit the target as he swivelled inside the six-yard box.

Huddersfield-born keeper Alex Smithies then smothered an effort from Sorba Thomas after 22 minutes.

Cardiff though looked most likely to break the stalemate. A 32nd-minute corner might have turned into a more dangerous situation but for Isaak Davies losing his footing on the soggy surface.

However, further intervention was required by Nicholls to deny Doyle after lung busting approach from Cody Drameh.

And twice in the last three minutes of the opening period Nicholls kept out efforts from on-loan Norwich striker Hugill.

Huddersfield were brighter in the second half without looking likely to break through the resolute Welsh defence.

And on the hour, their own rearguard was breached as Ryan Wintle and Hugill combined superbly to play in Doyle to give Cardiff the lead.

That’s the way it looked likely to finish until Koroma and Russell earned Huddersfield a sensational victory.

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