Monday 19 February 2018

Mooy's winner was worth the wait of 16,703 days for loyal Huddersfield faithful

Huddersfield 1 Newcastle 0

Aaron Mooy: match winner Photo: Getty
Aaron Mooy: match winner Photo: Getty

Ian Whittell

Few winning goals in this Premier League season will be greeted with such unbridled joy as Aaron Mooy's 50th-minute strike but, when a club has waited 16,703 days for a home top-flight victory, such a response is understandable.

November 27, 1971, and a 2-1 win over that season's champions Derby County, marked the last time that Huddersfield had won in front of their own supporters in the top tier.

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner rejoices Photo: Reuters
Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner rejoices Photo: Reuters

One of that day's goalscorers, Frank Worthington, would have appreciated Mooy's finish as he watched on from the directors' box.

The Australian, signed this summer for £8 million (€8.75m) after a successful loan spell from Manchester City, darted forward, exchanging passes with striker Elias Kachunga.

As the Newcastle defence failed to cover his progress Mooy had enough space to get off a superb finish which curled into the far corner of Rob Elliot's goal.

And that was enough for David Wagner's side to record a second successive win to start their season, becoming just the third newly-promoted team in Premier League history to do so, following Bolton in 2001-02 and Hull last season.

Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle in action with Huddersfield Town’s Philip Billing Photo: Reuters
Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle in action with Huddersfield Town’s Philip Billing Photo: Reuters

"You don't have to pinch me but I didn't expect it either," said Wagner. "But it is football. If anyone knows that in football everything is possible, then it is here in our club, after what we've seen last season and after what we felt last season.

"We only wanted to be brave in every single game and search for our chance and I think we have done it so far.

"Obviously we are over the moon with six points and two clean sheets and those points were deserved. This is what makes it for me an even bigger six points.

"This was a proper Premier League atmosphere. I asked for something extraordinary and the fans delivered.

"Even when we arrived on the coach, it felt different. With the supporters, it felt like the play-offs. I had no idea how the players would react but I was more relaxed after the experience against Crystal Palace and now I will be a little more relaxed about our next game."

The scenes that followed the final whistle - home players holding hands, arms raised to roars from the supporters who had all stayed behind - summed up a giddy, memorable day in this famous old club's history.

More than that, Huddersfield not only proved that last week's 3-0 win at Palace was no flash in the pan but the two clean sheets in as many games was telling.

Six points is a fair way to the magical 40 that is expected to keep teams in the top flight but that ability to defend will be crucial. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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