EFL

Danny Ward strike sees Huddersfield beat relegation with win over Sheffield Utd

By Sports Desk May 04, 2023

Danny Ward scored the only goal as Huddersfield made certain of their place in the Sky Bet Championship next season with a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United.

The Terriers needed a point to ensure survival and Ward’s second-half effort proved enough as Neil Warnock’s side avoided a final-day relegation battler against Reading, who tumble into League One as a result of Huddersfield’s triumph.

The result caps a remarkable turnaround since Warnock’s appointment at the John Smith’s Stadium in mid-February, with Town losing just one of their last nine league matches including five wins in the last eight.

Victory over Yorkshire rivals United lifted Huddersfield five points above the bottom three, with the final round of fixtures to be played on Monday.

The Blades, who had already secured their return to the Premier League next season, dominated the early stages and penned the hosts in.

Huddersfield shot-stopper Lee Nicholls stood tall to make a great early save and keep out Daniel Jebbison after he raced through on goal in the eighth minute.

Blades striker Jebbison squandered another decent chance to fire the visitors ahead on the half-hour mark as he headed George Baldock’s cross over at the far post.

Warnock’s charges continued to absorb the pressure as United hammered on the door, and at stages in the opening 45 minutes, only keeper Wes Foderingham was in the visitors’ half.

Sander Berge was the next Blades player to have a crack at goal, but his tame effort barely troubled Nicholls.

The hosts were the first to show after the break with their first big chance of the match.

Tom Lees rose highest at the back post to meet Jack Rudoni’s teasing corner but his close-range header was blocked.

United manager Paul Heckingbottom quickly rang the changes as he threw on Oli McBurnie and Billy Sharp up front.

Foderingham pulled off a good stop to parry Josh Koroma’s effort wide after he nutmegged Chris Basham to force his way into the box.

And the pressure told two minutes before the hour as Ward’s crucial stunning strike, a curling left-footed effort from 25 yards which nestled in the bottom corner, fired Town in front.

The goal would have come as a huge blow to any watching Reading fans and Huddersfield came close to extending their lead when David Kasumu hit the side netting after being slipped through by Koroma.

United pushed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages but Warnock’s charges held firm sparking widespread celebrations in the stands.

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