Boosted by a stunning performance in the North East, Town headed to Villa Park full of confidence and back by over 3,000 fans that would make the most of the grounds fantastic acoustics.
David Wagner would make only a change to the side that enjoyed victory at St. James’ Park, goal scorer Payne replacing Wells. Villa would include new boys Ross McCormack and Jordan Ayew, as well as Rudy Gestede and the home grown Jack Grealish.
The first half would go to the home side, with Danny Ward and Town back four being much the busier defence in the first 45 minutes. Jordan Ayew was bright and lively in the opening exchanges and put Ward to work, drawing a save from the Liverpool loanee. Villa would continue to dominate and spurred on by a minutes applause for the late Dalian Atkinson, they didn’t have to wait long to go ahead. Jack Grealish’s scuffed volley would fall fortuitously to McCormack. Town seemed to be stunned and failed to gain any rhythm or momentum in their play, however they battled well in defence and were relieved to hear the half time whistle.
Villa fan Lolley, having picked up a slight knock, would not return for the 2nd half. Instead, Sean Scanell would take his place. His pace, skill and directness enabled Town to somewhat establish themselves in the fixture. Town improved significantly during the second 45 minutes, now playing with the rhythm and style we are used to seeing. Mooy would see a lot more of the ball and steadily begin to make the team tick.
Town’s second change would see Nahki Wells enter the fray with just over half an hour to play at Villa Park. He would come closest to drawing the Terrier’s level when his thunderous free-kick struck the post. The traveling fans were beginning to think it’s just one of those nights.
But Wagner’s Huddersfield never give up, and with the game creeping closer to the final whistle, Town send on Michael Hefele as a makeshift striker for their last throw of the dice. Hefele would make an immediate impact as Mooy would aim to seek out the big man, his pass we clear Hefele and run through to the keeper, not deterred the central defender would press the Villa keeper, leaping in front of his clearance to see his block fly into the open net.
If he wasn’t already a fans favourite, he was now. The travelling fans would silence the home fans as they erupted.
Villa were left stunned and with the clock running down unable to react. Town would stay joint top on 7 points from a possible 9.
Town had stolen a point from the Villains. Such sweet irony.
Ooh to be a…