No surprise to see eight changes to the starting line-up for this League Cup tie at the John Smiths stadium. I was about to open a can of the same beer to help me through this post but have instead opted for a glass of Spain's finest. No surprise either with the result. However, if you didn't follow the match on the internet or radio, then you might be a little surprised to learn that we lead twice and that there were many positives to take from the game.
Chris Powell opted for a 3-5-2 formation to match Huddersfield's own (they were unchanged from their five goal win in Saturday) and it appears to have stood up very well. Certainly in the first half where our five man midfield were comfortable and where we took the lead only to be pegged back just before half-time from a long range shot which squirmed under Ben Hamer (Hamer this week's scape-goat).
Morrison and Dervite were joined by Richard Wood in the back three, with Wilson, Jackson, Stephens, Pritchard and Evina finding passes for Sordell and Pigott. Stephens fired home a low from a free-kick after 32 minutes but we deserved to have carried the lead into the second half. Evina played very well in a competitive midfield and Joe Pigott was lively upfront.
After the break we managed to get our noses in front again after an Evina cross was unselfishly headed back across goal for Marvin Sordell to finish from close range. Sordell had been booked earlier and was getting abuse from the home fans for his heavy tackle that they thought merited the red card. He was probably frustrated too about another indifferent display in red but the goal will have helped his confidence.
Huddersfield then brought on fresh legs in Sean Scannell and the former Palace live-wire turned the match as Hogg equalised after 77 minutes. Jon Stead was then introduced to his old club in his home town and he made a further difference combining with Scannell to set the winner up for the excellent Adam Hammil.
This was a better performance and, frankly, a closer result than I expected. Johnnie Jackson lasted 85 minutes, Cedric Evina put in a shift, Stephens, Pritchard and Wilson were all busy and Joe Pigott played like a striker with far more experience than he is entitled to. We also showed again that we can play with 3/5 at the back when it suits us and Richard Wood got some play time with his peer group.
Hopefully this give Chris Powell a few headaches for Saturday and he can at least arm his bench if he doesn't stray too far from last Saturday's starting eleven against Leicester.
Elsewhere, Scott Wagstaff warmed the hearts with the second goal as Bristol City allowed Palace to concentrate on looking for their first point of the season. Fulham needed extra-time to beat Burton and Reading took a 5-0 hammering at League One Peterborough.