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Huddersfield Town 1-1 Swansea City: Flynn Downes strike earns Russell Martin’s men a point



Flynn Downes struck his first goal for Swansea City to earn Russell Martin’s men a point at Huddersfield Town.

Danel Sinani fired home in the 15th minute to put the Terriers ahead at The John Smith’s Stadium, but the Swans controlled play after going behind.

Olivier Ntcham, Ryan Manning, Joel Piroe, Matt Grimes, Ben Cabango and Cyrus Christie all had chances to bag an equaliser.

But Downes stroked the ball beyond Lee Nicholls late on as Swansea claimed a deserved share of the spoils.

Having deployed a back four against Southampton last time out, the Swans reverted to a back three which featured Kyle Naughton, Manning and Cabango.

Christie made his debut at right wing-back while Korey Smith partnered Ntcham behind Piroe as Joel Latibeaudiere played on the left flank.

Swansea’s goalkeeper situation drastically changed ahead of the game following the arrival of Andy Fisher while Steven Benda joined Peterborough United on loan.

And the visitors had concerns when former Huddersfield man Ben Hamer pulled up shortly after hacking clear when under pressure from Danny Ward early on.

Fortunately, the experienced shot stopper was able to continue, and he pulled off a stunning save to palm Lewis O’Brien’s driven strike over the crossbar soon after receiving treatment.

In truth, the opening stages were sloppy, and Carlos Corberan’s men had the ball in the net through Josh Koroma on seven minutes, although the corner leading to the header went out of play.

But the warning signs were there for Swansea, and, despite slowly finding their rhythm, they were soon pegged back.

O’Brien was thwarted by Hamer from close range following a swift counter attack on Swansea’s right, but Sinani was on hand to lash home the rebound to put the hosts ahead on 15 minutes.

That setback lifted Swansea, and Martin’s men almost responded in sensational fashion as Manning unleashed a pile-driver at goal from 20 yards out, only to see Nicholls leap to his left to keep the ball out of the net.

Martin will have been encouraged, although his side almost went 2-0 down before the half hour mark when O’Brien looked to convert Sorba Thomas’ cross from close range, but Hamer was in the right place to deny the home side what should have been a second goal.

Grimes was then denied by Nicholls at the other end as the two goalkeepers on the pitch continued to dazzle – with Swansea controlling the ball by this point.

But – without Jamie Paterson – they were desperately lacking a cutting edge in the final third as they trailed at the interval in west Yorkshire.

To their credit, they started the second half well, and debutant Christie saw his strike palmed away by Nicholls after a slick break involving Latibeaudiere and Smith.

Cabango then headed wide from the resulting corner before Ntcham’s deflected effort was gathered by Nicholls as the Swans posed Huddersfield plenty of problems.

The 1,200 or so members of the Jack Army were buoyed by their side’s intensity as Ntcham and Manning had shots blocked in quick succession.

Huddersfield were well and truly on the ropes, taking blow after blow, but somehow managing to keep their clean sheet intact.

Martin sent on Michael Obafemi for Christie with a quarter of the match left to play as Swansea continued to dictate proceedings. And the striker should have levelled proceedings with 13 minutes left on the clock as he charged down on goal after making an interception, but he fired straight at the legs of Nicholls.

But Swansea got the equaliser they deserved moments later as Smith fed Downes who coolly slotted home to send the travelling supporters into raptures.

Ntcham then tested Nicholls before Hamer kept out O’Brien’s effort at the other end – with Kyle Joseph replacing Ntcham.

And the points were ultimately shared as Swansea ended their run of four consecutive defeats in what was their first Championship outing for five weeks.

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Huddersfield Town: Nicholls; Turton (Rhodes 87), Pearson, Lees, Toffolo; Sinani (High 46), Hogg (C), O’Brien; Thomas, Ward, Koroma (Pipa 72).

Subs not used: Bilokapic, Sarr, Ruffels, Russell.

Goal: Sinani 15

Swansea City: Hamer; Cabango, Naughton, Manning; Christie (Obafemi 68), Downes, Grimes (C), Latibeaudiere; Ntcham (Joseph 88), Smith; Piroe.

Subs not used: Fisher, Bennett, Fulton, Abdulai, Walsh.

Goal: Downes 78

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 20,535

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