Huddersfield Town 4-0 Reading: Rampant Terriers rise to play-offs
Above: Huddersfield Town's hero of Saturday, former non-league winger Sorba Thomas, who nabbed two goals and an assist over Reading. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images)

Goals from Lewis O'BrienMatty Pearson, Sorba Thomas and Danny Ward helped ensure a vintage statement win for Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers run ragged over Reading, who have the worst defensive record in the Championship, before rising into the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.

Carlos Corberan's side have now won three league matches in a row for the first time in four and a half years.

The home side were missing Summer signing Josh Ruffels, who is self-isolating with covid-19, whilst the travelling Royals were without Felipe Araruna (knee), Lucas Joao (hip) and Ovie Ejaria, who like Ruffels was self-isolating.

  • Teams

The Terriers opted to make five changes from their midweek defeat to Everton, with Naby SarrScott HighAlex VallejoDuane Holmes and Fraizer Campbell all being replaced.

Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Pearson, Lees, Colwill, Thomas, Hogg, Sinani, O'Brien, Toffolo, Koroma, Ward

Veljko Paunovic only made two changes from the Royals defeat to Coventry City, as Tom Holmes and a first start for Junior Hoilett made the starting eleven.

Reading: Rafael; Yiadom, Morrison, Moore, Holmes, Rinomhota, Laurent, Hoilett, Swift, Dele-Bashiru, Puscas

  • Story of the match

Huddersfield were the first to threaten any sort of goal, with Josh Koroma at the centre of everything. The former Leyton Orient attacker had a close ranged effort well-saved by Brazillian shot-stopper Rafael, before his second effort was heroically blocked by Michael Morrison.

The Terriers continued to search for an opener, and couldn't come much close courtesy of Daniel Sinani. The Norwich City loanee was making his first start for Huddersfield, and saw a ferocious free-kick rattle the inside of the post before it was scrambled clear.

Paunovic's Royals responded with a chance of their own just shy of the half an hour mark, as some clever footwork from John Swift ended at the feet of Hoilett, whose low effort was smothered by Lee Nicholls.

But with half-time beckoning, Reading's dire defensive record became clear. Thomas began the attack, using some clever trickery to weave past Andy Yiadom, before his low cross somehow evaded the Royals defenders before finding O'Brien, who could calmly poach the ball into the back of the net.

Heading into the second half, Huddersfield looked to double their advantage, as an intelligent Levi Colwill ball found Sinani, but his strike was parried by Rafael. 

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But Rafael and Reading couldn't keep up the charade, and more sloppy defending cost the Royals. A foul by Tom Dele-Bashiru allowed Thomas to whip in a free-kick, where Summer signing Pearson awaited in the six yard box, calmly kneeing the ball past a helpless Rafael to nab Huddersfield's second of the afternoon. 

The Royals looked to immediately respond via Dele-Bashiru, as he met Yiadom's low cross but the midfielder could only divert the ball inches wide of the target.

It was a game of chances however, and Huddersfield were clincial. A flurry of goals, starting with the provider of the first two goals. Thomas was fed the ball from O'Brien 30-yards from goal, but the former Boreham Wood attacker had one thing on his mind, as he darted at the Reading defence, danced around them before confidently rifling the ball past Rafael. A fine first goal for the club.

Huddersfield were flourishing at this point, and quickly grasped a fourth. Koroma was laid off by Harry Toffolo, before nicking the ball past Tom Holmes and breaking away from his man. Koroma had options, and opted to feed Ward in the middle, who calmly rounded Rafael before poking the ball into the stranded Reading goal. 

  • Takeaways

Signs of promise for the Terriers

A day of jubilance for Corberan and his men, as his Huddersfield side showed a class performance to grasp their third consecutive league victory, and to of course rise into the play-offs.

Some very clever build-up play and four excellently taken goals, Huddersfield have found their formation with a 5-3-2, with Thomas and Toffolo providing excellent options from full-back.

With the pace and power of Thomas, Koroma and Sinani, Town looked dangerous when attacking and like they constantly had options moving forward. It's a time of promise for Huddersfield.

Royals Defensive calamities 

Another day that didn't go right for Paunovic's Reading, who gave the travelling supporters nothing to cheer about.

There were very few memorable chances for the Royals, who didn't look terrible moving forward, especially with the addition of Hoilett on the wing. Attacking doesn't seem to be the major problem for Reading, especially once Alen Halilovic gets settled in, but their defending is a major calamity.

Every goal was easily preventable, but the Reading  back-line was in tatters, unorganised and lacking any real coordination. The addition of Abdul Rahman Baba should be welcomed in left-back, but Reading continue their trend of having the worst defensive record in the Championship.

  • Star man

Sorba Thomas

It's impossible to look further than Thomas, who was unstoppable on the right-wing. Playing in a wing-back role allowed Thomas the freedom of the entire right side, making the most of his pace and creativity to grasp two assists and a goal.

 

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