22 May 2024

Delap leaves it late to break Huddersfield hearts

By William Young, To Hull and Back Podcast

Hull City dominated a dogged Terriers side but left it until injury time to finally score and keep all three points in East Yorkshire.

Following an impeccable minute’s silence and Last Post in this Armistice Day fixture (a massive well done to all in the stadium), City quickly took control of the match and genuinely never let go.

Right from the start the Tigers had Huddersfield pushed back into their own 30, with a succession of corners and strikes from Liam Delap and Jaden Philogene were denied. Philogene in particular in the first half was a major cause for concern for the Terriers, as he fizzed several crosses into the box and took aim on a couple of occasions too, but was unable to beat Lee Nicholls.

There were shouts for handball when Ozan Tufan had a strike charged down, but nothing was given. Shortly thereafter, Huddersfield had arguably their only real attack of the match, as Sorba Thomas latched on to the end of a quick break, cut inside, and smashed a shot just wide of the post.

Despite that, City remained the side in control, with Philogene again testing Nicholls in the Huddersfield goal, before Jean Michaël Seri gained the ball on the edge of the area before sending a curving strike just wide of the post himself.

The Tigers did have the ball in the net from a lofted free kick, but a foul by Greaves on a defender put paid to that. Unfortunately that would be the tale of the first half, as City somehow, despite having complete control, couldn’t get past a well-drilled Huddersfield defence.

And the second half only continued the domination that the Tigers were having, as a golden chance right at the start should’ve seen them ahead. A free kick was cheekily lofted to Tufan in the box, who sent a ball across, but Delap just couldn’t put it away despite being only yards away.

City kept pushing Huddersfield, but they would not budge. It was starting to become a little concerning as the hour mark approached, as Liam Rosenior made his first changes for the evening. Soon after, the referee finally decided to clamp down on Nicholls’ timewasting, something he’d been doing since the first minute, with a yellow card.

Scott Twine sent a strike just wide, Tufan had a header tipped over, and Tyler Morton shot just over from range. The chances were constant, but nothing was going in. Concern was definitely getting stronger as City were becoming more and more frustrated by Huddersfield’s anti-football tactics.

Nicholls was called into action again to stop Morton, and to beat Tufan to a ball as well. Soon Ruben Vinagre came on for Twine, and the tactics from City changed again.

Another great chance for Delap fell as the clock struck 81 minutes, as Tufan turned well and crossed, only for Delap’s header to crash against the bar. Nerves were completely shot as it felt like nothing would go in at this point.

The clock ticked over 90 minutes, and nine more minutes were added. A chance for one more opportunity? Two minutes would be all that the Tigers needed.

Vinagre crossed the ball, and it fell to Philogene in the box, who barely had enough time to react to it, but he managed to knock it into the path of Delap, who hit it first time, as it swept into the goal off of the post.

Absolute jubilation in the stands, pandemonium abound. Some (like me) just simply collapsed into their seats in pure exhaustion. A goal that was fully deserved for the performance put on the pitch for City, who kept going and going and wouldn’t be denied.

Huddersfield tried to react, but they wouldn’t be able to get the point they came to East Yorkshire to claim from the off. City were moments from disaster, but only ended up with utter joy. A huge roar at full time, and City get back-to-back home wins to go into the international break.

Sometimes, as Guinness once said, good things come to those who wait, and it certainly did here.