Steve Bruce predicts sleepless night for Sam Johnstone after Huddersfield errors

West Bromwich Albion v Huddersfield Town – Sky Bet Championship – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

West Brom manager Steve Bruce admitted his England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone would have a sleepless night after his mistakes led to both Huddersfield goals in a 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns.

However, he praised his side’s commitment after they emerged with an unlikely point courtesy of a comeback in the last five minutes.

Huddersfield took a bizarre lead in the 24th minute. Johnstone’s kick was charged down by Danny Ward and the ball sailed into the empty net.

The visitors appeared to clinch the points when Ward tapped home after Johnstone failed to hold Lewis O’Brien’s drive in the 74th minute.

But the comeback started 10 minutes later when former Town striker Karlan Grant drove home a penalty after Sorba Thomas caught Alex Mowatt with a high kick.

Within 60 seconds, substitute Andy Carroll glanced home Semi Ajayi’s deep cross to snatch a point for the Baggies.

“Sam made a mistake,” said Bruce. “It’s how he reacts that matters.

“I thought we started well and got the crowd behind us, but then the mistake for the first goal put us back.

“I can’t remember Sam having a save to make apart from the one that he didn’t make, for the second goal.

“We gifted them two goals, but apart from that there wasn’t much in it.

“I’m sure he will have a sleepless night, but I’m sure he’s made mistakes before and I’m sure he will get over it.”

Bruce praised the commitment of his side after they fought back to claim a point.

“At least there was a bit of spirit, determination and fight – we didn’t give it up, which we did against Swansea, and we were up against it too,” he added.

“Overall it was disappointing because we gifted them something, but to get a point after you’re 2-0 down with five minutes to go shows resilience.

“It’s small steps, but we’ve still got a lot to do.”

Huddersfield head coach Carlos Corberan felt the penalty was the turning point and that it should not have been awarded.

“I think it was very obvious we were better than them during 80 minutes, but the penalty changed the emotion of the game,” he said.

“The penalty changed the game and the fact they scored fast could have cost us all the points, but we could even have got all three. We could have avoided it.

“From my view from the bench I didn’t see a penalty. Sorba touched the ball, but it’s not easy for the referee.

“But that’s why people love football, because these things happen.”

Corberan added: “As soon as we conceded the first goal we conceded a second. We had defended very well in the previous 80 minutes.”

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