Huddersfield Town 1-2 Derby County: Terriers fall to Cocu's side in his Championship debut
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Phillip Cocu enjoyed a 2-1 victory in his first taste of Championship football at the helm of Derby County away to Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers were unable to bounce back from their Premier League relegation in perfect fashion after a Tom Lawrence brace provided the difference. 

Although a Karlan Grant penalty gave the Town some hope the home side were unable to build on their quick response. 

Story of the match

Before the match, the 'Cowshed Loyal' displayed a tifo in their block, the words read 'Every Goal Will Be A Memory' - a lyric in Terriers' chant 'Smile A While' which bellowed out of the stands when the starting whistle was blown.

A strong crowd flocked to the John Smith's Stadium to watch their team under the floodlights in the first league game after relegation from the Premier League last year.

However, Derby were the more prominent of the two sides in the first 10 minutes, being awarded two free-kicks just outside of the box but Tom Lawrence was not able to convert either.

Huddersfield did not leave their intense pressing football in the Premier League, with Derby struggling to break through the Yorkshire side. However, Huddersfield were at times sloppy in the midfield, often misplacing their passes; Juninho Bacuna being a standout player for doing so early on in the game.

Lawrence adds a quick double

Lawrence seemed to suffer a knock in the early stages of the game, leaving Derby fans worried. However, when Kamil Grabara attempted to clear the ball from the edge of the box with his head, Lawrence quickly chipped the ball into the back of the net from 30 yards out.

Quickly after the ball was picked out of the back of the net, Huddersfield once again found themselves on the back foot to a Derby attack.

The ball fell to Lawrence from Jayden Bogle, who shifted it onto his left foot and smashed it into the top-right corner with an exquisite finish on the 25th minute.

Hope for Huddersfield

Within just a matter of minutes, Huddersfield earned themselves a penalty after Bacuna was brought down in the box by debutant Kieran​​​​​​Dowell

Karlan Grant stepped up for the Terriers and his attempt sent the goalkeeper the other way, clinching a goal back for Jan Siewart's side.

There was a short injury break as Lawrence went down once more, this time with his other ankle seeming to be the problem.

The match continued at the high pace that it was at, with end-to-end football being played all the way until the half time whistle, but with neither side adding to the scoreline.

The second half started much calmer than that of the first, with either side only creating half-chances but Huddersfield performing slightly better than their opposition. Bacuna had a few opportunities for the Terriers but failed to trouble the goalkeeper with his shots coming from outside the box and whistling over the bar.

Eventually, Bacuna was substituted off for Isaac Mbenza in the Terriers' first change of the evening after Bacuna went down with an injury to his calf.

Both sides remained nearly silent on the pitch after Bacuna went off, with the only notable occurrences being the substitutions of Adama Diakhaby and Florian Josefzoon for Elias Kachunga and Mason Bennett retrospectively.

For the final period of the game, Derby sat compactly and deep, immediately quashing any chances that Huddersfield had to break through their defence and to the goal.

Takeaways from the match

Jan Siewart's Huddersfield have looked sluggish to start not only in this match against Derby but also in their pre-season affair against Montpellier HSC. On both occasions, the opposition struck early, and the terriers were not always accurate with their passing.

Derby will be confident in their ability as they look to take on Swansea City on Saturday, even with the latter coming off the back of a win themselves after they defeated Hull City at the weekend.

Huddersfield will need to be more clinical in their fixture against QPR, and take more time before attacking the goal - most of their shots tonight did not even hit the target.

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