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Report: Huddersfield Town 2-1 Rovers

There's more disappointment on the road for Rovers following Naby Sarr's brace for the hosts

29 December 2020

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Naby Sarr's brace ensured it was another night of disappointment for Rovers, who returned to East Lancashire empty-handed following the defender's 90th minute winner.

Sarr thundered home from close range just four minutes after it looked like Sam Gallagher had earned Rovers a point at Huddersfield with a close range equaliser.

It was Sarr who punched home the opener early in the second half, with the Senegalese defender rising above Bradley Johnson to nod the hosts ahead.

Rovers had the best of the first half, with Ryan Schofield producing a stunning save to deny Adam Armstrong as the sides went into the interval all square.

But it wasn't to be for Rovers, who will be hoping for better fortunes in 2021, with a trip to Birmingham City to come on Saturday afternoon.

Gallagher was one of three alterations to the side that took to the field against Stoke City last time out, with the frontman joining Lewis Holtby and Barry Douglas in swapping the pitch for the bench in Yorkshire.

The changes saw returns for Amari'i Bell, Tom Trybull and Ben Brereton, with the latter back in the starting lineup for the first time since early December.

Rovers nearly took an early lead with just seconds on the clock, but Harvey Elliott's strike was blocked after Armstrong's crafty pass found the youngster rampaging into the box.

It was a positive start to the game from Tony Mowbray's men, but the visitors were dealt an early setback when the returning Trybull was forced off with a dead leg, which allowed Holtby to replace his countryman in central midfield.

At the other end Pipa raced forward from right back before slashing a strike wide of Thomas Kaminski's left-hand post from an acute angle.

Kaminski was called into action again midway through the half, with the Belgian alert to turn behind Juninho Bacuna's drive from inside the box.

Just seconds later and Rovers went from defence to attack, with Armstrong doing all the leg work to nip beyond Jonathan Hogg and go for goal. Once the follow up from Bradley Johnson was blocked, the third shot saw Armstrong's effort sensationally tipped away by Ryan Schofield before the danger was cleared.

Bacuna was growing into the game and he tested Kaminski again before Armstrong dragged an effort wide as the game ticked to the half hour mark.

Armstrong had another opportunity soon after, but he could only fire into the side-netting after Ryan Nyambe picked him out from the right.

The side-netting was hit at the other end too, with the rampaging Harry Toffolo up from left back but firing wide of the target following Isaac Mbenza's teasing low ball towards the back post.

The sides went in all square in what was a very even contest, but Rovers will have felt they had the better of the opportunities, particularly through the dangerous Armstrong.

It took just seven minutes of the second half for Town to get the lead though, with Sarr wriggling away from Johnson to get on the end of Bacuna's inswinging corner and head beyond Kaminski and in.

Rovers went in search of a response, but two blocks stopped Armstrong from getting the visitors a quickfire equaliser.

It was almost 2-0 just moments later, with Mbenza coming close to catching out Kaminski at his near post before Fraizer Campbell's header was straight at the Rovers stopper.

Mowbray changed things up after the hour, with a triple change seeing Bradley Dack, Gallagher and John Buckley enter the action.

Despite the substitutions, the flow of the game remained the same, and Toffolo drove wide as the Terriers looked to kill off any Rovers challenge with little over 15 minutes remaining in Yorkshire.

Although Rovers did have the ball in the net soon after when Gallagher tucked home, the forward was adjudged to have been offside.

It looked like it would be a frustrating finish in freezing conditions, but Rovers did level with four minutes remaining thanks to Gallagher's close range strike.

A slice from Pipa allowed Armstrong to burst into the box, and after the striker's effort was parried by Schofield, Gallagher was in the right place to slam into the back of the net from six yards out.

However, just as it looked like Rovers would take a point home, Sarr snatched the win for Town in the final minute.

Pipa was again involved, with the Spaniard's looping pass putting the ball in behind the Rovers backline, with Sarr sneaking in to take a touch and smash into the roof of the net to bag his and his team's second of the night.

There was to be one final opportunity for Rovers at the death, but Johnson blazed over and ensured Rovers ended 2020 in disappointing fashion.

Huddersfield Town: Schofield, Pipa, Toffolo, Hogg (c), Bacuna (Pritchard, 89), O'Brien, Eiting, Mbenza (Rowe, 84), Campbell, Sarr, Edmonds-Green.

Unused substitutes: Hamer, Vallejo, Duhaney, Harratt, Crichlow, Brown, Daly.

Goals: Sarr, 52, 90.

Booked: Pipa, 41, Campbell, 56, Hogg, 67

Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe (Buckley, 65), Lenihan (c), Ayala, Bell, Johnson, Trybull (Holtby, 11), Rothwell (Gallagher, 65), Elliott (Dack, 65), Brereton, Armstrong

Unused substitutes: Pears, Downing, Douglas, Davenport, Dolan.

Goal: Gallagher, 86.

Booked: Lenihan, 50, Holtby, 89.

Referee: Matthew Donohue


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