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Season 2016-17
Huddersfield Town (a)

In association 


Saturday 4th March 2017, 5.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

 John Smith's Stadium

Conditions: Exultant

Admission: £30


Huddersfield Town

Newcastle United

1 - 3




10 mins Jonjo Shelvey tried to fashion an opening but lost the ball only for the clearance to be hit back to him inside the box. It hit his arm before he tried a shot, the ball ricocheting to Matt Ritchie who powered towards the byline. Wells ran behind him and clipped his ankle which sent our man tumbling and caused referee East to correctly pointed towards the spot.

Ritchie hit a powerful left-footed shot down the centre while the 'keeper dived right, the scorer celebrating his fourth spot kick success with the toon fans behind that goal  1-0

32 mins A measured ball to Daryl Murphy from Shelvey reached the Irishman on the edge of the box. His first touch was heavy and took him wide, Ward seemingly able to comfortably collect the ball. Murphy's trailing leg dislodged it from the goalkeeper's one-handed grasp however and with Ward off his line, Murphy smartly threaded the ball past him and a defender from a tight angle 2-0

Half time: Terriers 0 Magpies 2

72 mins Shelvey made a rash challenge on Elias Kachunga, barging him with his forearm even though the Town man was going nowhere and Jamaal Lascelles was covering inside. Kachunga  tumbled and East awarded a penalty which was dispatched by Aaron Mooy, Karl Darlow leaping to his left while the ball was tucked inside the other post. 2-1

90+1 mins Substitute 'keeper Coleman came up for a corner at the start of added time and after heading the ball retreated as Shelvey's clearance was mopped up by a defender. His forward ball was returned by Ciaran Clark and with Dwight Gayle chasing him down, Coleman misjudged the bounce and headed it straight to the Magpies forward. 

Gayle took a touch with his head before checking for defenders and allowing the ball to bounce into the empty net - a rare header from outside the box. Coleman's header meanwhile just gets funnier with each viewing....

Full time: Terriers 1 Magpies 3

We Said


Rafa said:

"We knew that it was a very difficult week against two very good teams. Brighton is a great team, it was a great win and today against a team in form who did really well. We needed to defend and work hard.

"Itís true that sometimes the way you play doesnít matter, itís the character that you put on the pitch, the work rate and discipline. 

"In these kind of games when you know the other team is comfortable in possession the other things are more important and the players coped really well with the pressure.

"We needed to be organised and disciplined, but it was also important we took our half chances. I am really pleased because we did that at Brighton, and it was exactly the same in this game.

"We knew Huddersfield would be a team who had possession, we didnít care about that. 

We had to be a threat when we got forward, with
(Daryl) Murphy running behind and getting the second balls. The plan worked well. We have had a lot of possession in a lot of games. Our average is 55%, so we do have the ball in games (today it was 25%).

ďWe knew Huddersfield would have it so I wanted to try to do different things, like getting in behind the big centre-backs. We played with Murphy instead of
(Dwight) Gayle, so we had to make sure we won the second balls.Ē

"Iím not surprised because I can see this team every day, every week. Itís not easy, but the way the players work together, they make it difficult for teams to break us down, and itís not easy for them. Then we have to create the chances at the other end to win the games. 

"The fans home and away donít score the goals, so you have to give credit to our players for scoring the goals. Our fans away from home are amazing. They are supporting the team from day one. It is good to have the positive communication between them - we need to try to get that at the start of games at home too. 

"We have taken one step forward, we cannot lose this opportunity. Itís still only eight points
(ahead of the third-placed Terriers), not 11, because Huddersfield are a good team so they can win that game in hand. 

"The players know it is not job done. The Brighton result at
(Nottingham) Forest (3-0 today) proves that. This is a very difficult league and we have to keep going.Ē

They Said

Huddersfield boss David Wagner said:


"I'm not sure about the first penalty. I think there was a handball before it and for the second goal Danny Ward touched the ball and had it under control and he got attacked. Ward then got a knock and we had to take him off at half-time (actually a dead leg). So many situations went against us.

"We are disappointed with the result but we tried everything today. I told the players I have no complaints and I am very proud.

"They went into Newcastle's face and we have to be honest, they are a top team and difficult to break.

"We showed great fighting attitude and that's all I can ask. There's a reason Newcastle are top of the league and will get promoted.

"We can leave this result behind us very quickly. There are some very smart and intelligent players in the dressing room and they know we were very unlucky.

"We performed and played very well against the best team in the division and too many details went against us."


A thirteenth away league win of the season matches Newcastle's best-ever return on the road, achieved in the 1992/93 campaign (when we won at Derby County, Bristol Rovers, Peterborough United, Brentford, the mackems, Birmingham City, Charlton Athletic, Notts County, Bristol City, Tranmere Rovers, Cambridge United, Millwall and Grimsby Town).

The 2009/10 season meanwhile brought twelve away victories for the Magpies (but just eight during the 1983/84 promotion season - a 42 game season rather than the later 46).

United have played first competitive league games at the current homes of Rotherham United, Burton Albion, Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town this season - and won all four

Rafa's side made it ten Championship games without defeat, exceeding their best sequence of the current season, which had been nine. This is our longest unbeaten league run since the eleven Premier League game sequence between August and November 2011.

Matt Ritchie's penalty was the 100th league and cup goal we've scored against the Terriers - on the occasion of the 62nd meeting between the two sides (26 wins, 15 draws, 21 losses).

Dwight Gayle's 21st goal of the season meanwhile was the 100th scored for Newcastle in all competitions since Rafa Benitez took charge. This was game #52.

NUFC in the Championship after 35 games:

2009/10 73 points (W21, D10, L4) F66 A26 +40 1st
2016/17 76 points (W24, D4, L7) F69 A29 +40 1st

Terriers tests - last 10 away games:

won 3-1 Ritchie, Murphy, Gayle
1983/84 drew 2-2 Beardsley, Mills
1971/72 drew 0-0
1970/71 drew 1-1 Smith
1964/65 won 1-0 McGarry
1963/64 lost 0-3
1962/63 lost 1-2 Penman
1961/62 lost 1-2 White
1955/56 won 6-2 Keeble 4, Crowe, White
1954/55 lost 0-2

Full record v Huddersfield Town:

  P W D L F A
SJP 29 12 8 9 53 41
LR/JS 29 12 6 11 42 41
League 58 24 14 20 95 82
SJP(FA) 2 1 0 1 2 1
LR 1 0 1 0 1 1
SJP(LC) 1 1 0 0 4 3
LR 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cup 4 2 1 1 7 5
Tot 62 26 15 21 102 87





Just as a 2-2 draw at Leeds Road in May 1984 confirmed our promotion, United's maiden success at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday brought a return to the Premier League at the first attempt immeasurably nearer for Rafa and his side.

Spurred on by Brighton's 0-3 defeat at Nottingham Forest earlier in the day, a thirteenth away win of the season saw Newcastle move five points clear of the Seagulls and open up an 11 point gap between themselves and the Terriers.

A rare penalty award - earned and converted by Matt Ritchie - gave United an early lead which was doubled just after the half hour when Daryl Murphy legally dispossessed the Town 'keeper before converting his fourth goal in our colours with a neat finish.

The home side continued to dominate possession and were rewarded for their endeavours with 18 minutes remaining when Jonjo Shelvey was adjudged to have fouled Elias Kachunga - a spot kick award as soft as Newcastle's had been in the first half.

On-loan Manchester City midfielder Aaron Mooy beat Karl Darlow to set up a nail-biting finish - only for an over-enthusiastic Huddersfield side to then gift a crucial third goal to United in added time.

Four additional minutes had been indicated when the hosts won a corner that replacement 'keeper Joel Coleman went up for - finding himself out of position when United counter-attacked and substitute Dwight Gayle's forward surge ended with him heading into an empty net.

It was a catalogue of errors for the Terriers 'keeper who had charged forward for the corner - with his manager exiled to the stands as he completed a suspension - but he still should have done better than head the ball straight to Gayle who nodded into the unguarded goal. Thoughts that the playing surface had played a part (a Rugby League game was played here 48 hours earlier) weren't borne out by TV replays.

The 1,900 away fans who managed to get a ticket celebrated wildly at the end along with the players - scenes that matched those on the Sussex coast four days previously after another massive three points were secured. 

Much was made afterwards of Huddersfield's overwhelming percentage of possession, but although achieved in a different fashion, this was no more of a fortunate win for Newcastle than the Brighton one had been. In both cases, whining home fans expose their lack of knowledge and experience.

True, there were elements of good fortune in both and that old adage about refereeing decisions levelling up over the course of a season may now have slightly more accuracy, but this was a plan well devised and well executed - doubtless the cause of much satisfaction at Darsley Park. 

The home side created very little as they looked in vain to plot a path through a compact United side, whose patience and commitment left Town reliant on long shots and set pieces.

Tuesday's trip to Reading could complete a memorable hat-trick of away results but success in this middle leg was the major achievement. Our mindset remains unchanged about the merits of picking up silverware - nice but inessential - meaning that increasing the gap to the third-placed Terriers here was more significant than the Amex victory (pleasurable though that was).

This had the hallmarks of many previous wins on the road this season - and not just the blue and amber second kit. Taking the lead, holding onto it with some excellent defending and team work and ultimately frustrating spirited opposition and home fans. Is this really Newcastle United?

Biffa/Niall MacKenzie

Page last updated 28 September, 2017