Canada international Theo Corbeanu’s third goal in four games earned Blackpool a narrow 1-0 Championship win at struggling Huddersfield.
The Wolves forward’s on-loan effort in the first half condemned the hosts to a sixth defeat in eight games in all competitions, with Danny Schofield’s men also failing to keep a clean sheet in any of these competitions.
But a controversial incident appeared to deprive the hosts of some of the spoils when a second-half effort from Yuta Nakayama was ruled not to have crossed the goal line.
Earlier, in an even opener, a long-range effort from Corbeanu sailed over the home crossbar, while Sorba Thomas’ 15-yard drive was nipped at his near post by the United keeper. Seasiders Daniel Grimshaw.
Kaine Kesler-Hayden, the on-loan winger from Aston Villa, then saw his deflected shot miss the target for the Terriers, before Jordan Gabriel could put the finishing touch on Jerry Yates’ ball into the penalty area and a Corbeanu’s workout was regularly brought together by Lee Nicholls.
As the half wore on, Huddersfield began to apply greater pressure, winning a series of corners, one of which saw Jack Rudoni turned away from a Thomas delivery.
Danny Ward also fired wide after spinning on the edge of the box and Rudoni called Grimshaw in a flying save from 30 yards after Marvin Ekpiteta’s bad ball out of the defence.
But it was the visitors who took the lead after 38 minutes when Kesler-Hayden was stripped at the halfway line by Gabriel.
The latter then sprinted down the right wing before lining up with Ian Poveda, who hit Nicholls’ right post with only the home keeper to beat before Corbeanu kept his composure to finish cleanly from the rebound at 10 meters.
Rudoni continued to stare as the biggest threat to Huddersfield and pricked Grimshaw’s hands just inside the penalty area on the stroke of half-time.
After the break, Ward’s header from a Thomas cross lacked power to extend Grimshaw, while a deflected drive from Poveda drifted wide.
The game’s biggest talking point then saw Nakayama deny what looked like a certain goal just after the hour mark, as the Japan international appeared to push the ball over the line after his initial header from Thomas’s corner was brilliantly repelled by Grimshaw.
But Grimshaw grabbed the ball and kept playing and, with the goal-line technology appearing to have malfunctioned, Nakayama had to quickly cut his celebrations short as the action changed pitches.
Moments later, Poveda’s shot on target was deflected off goal by Ollie Turton, before Huddersfield resumed the attack with Jon Russell making an effort from 20 yards after Corbeanu gave the ball away.
But the Terriers failed to stage a stand finish in front of a frustrated home crowd, with substitute Jordan Rhodes leading his side’s last chance away from the target.
What the managers said…
from Huddersfield Danny Schofield: “I saw the incident many times from different angles and it’s hard to take because you feel like it’s an unscored goal. When I went to talk to him at the end. I was very emotional and he was pointing to his watch, because he was coming out of the goal line technology, so it’s hard to blame it on the referee because it was because of the technology and I don’t know if he can undo that, it sure would take a brave man to do it.
“We haven’t had the best start to the season and that would have given us at least another point on the board, so it was a great moment and we feel like we’ve been disappointed. We’re fighting for points and we need these things to be right.”
from Blackpool Michael Appleton: “I didn’t think about it again and I did it on purpose, but I was told it was potentially over the line and it’s not great from their point of view. I have Been in the game a hell of a long time, though, and I know things like this can happen, they’ve happened against me before and I know the club suffered last season against QPR.
“We changed our form so it was something new for the players because I thought it might help us on transition and turnover and it certainly did because – even though we were a bit under pressure in the second half – I never felt uncomfortable if I’m being honest.
“We knew we had to defend the crosses, but defending them with three central halves lined up on our six-yard box, we were quite comfortable with that and the threat we had then with Corbeanu, (Ian) Poveda and ( Jerry) Yates was really nice.”
Huddersfield 0-1 Blackpool: Yuta Nakayama controversially denied equalizer at John Smith’s Stadium