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Live Commentary: Huddersfield Town 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday - as it happened

Live Commentary: Huddersfield 0-0 Sheff Wednesday - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's coverage as Huddersfield Town play out a goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of their Championship playoff clash.

Huddersfield Town faced Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of their Championship playoff semi-final at the John Smith's Stadium aiming to earn a vital lead before heading to Hillsborough in the second leg next week.

David Wagner's side dominated possession throughout and missed a number of chances, before being held to a goalless draw by the visiting Owls, who will now have the chance to produce a win at home in order to secure safe passage to Wembley.

Relive all the action with our minute-by-minute updates below.

11.00amGood morning everyone and thank you for joining us as we bring you live coverage of Huddersfield Town's derby clash with Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of their Championship semi-final playoff.

11.02amSo here we are then, after a long old Championship campaign we have reached the business end of proceedings. These sides are now just two games away from the chance of playing in the Premier League next term. Much is spoken of the apparent value of promotion, with some corners mooting that sealing progression from the playoffs can be worth as much as £200m to clubs entering the top flight of English football.

11.04amBoth sides evidently deserve their places in the playoffs come the end of a gruelling season, but each of these teams find themselves in polarising form. Following a brisk start, Town have suffered tremendously in the closing stages of the season, while the Owls have been on something of a hot-streaking barring their final-day defeat to Fulham.

11.05amDavid Wagner's side have arguably achieved the unthinkable already. Most seasons this Huddersfield side have been struggling to attain a Championship status and stave off relegation from the league. Under Wagner, however, Huddersfield have enjoyed a remarkable campaign despite collapsing on several occasions during the end of the season.

11.08amTown fans will come into this clash with some slight anxieties when considering how the season finished. Huddersfield were able to put together just three wins and a draw from their final 10 games. Today's hosts come into the opening leg of this tie having lost three of their four final matches and the defeat against Fulham, Birmingham City and Cardiff City produced almost-laugable performances from Wagner's charges.

11.09amThat said, you cannot ignore their early and mid-season form as they pushed for what could have been an automatic spot, while it is always important to point out that the playoffs can be nothing but a mere lottery - season form can often go straight out of the window when that first whistle blows.

11.10amGiven Wednesday's exploits last campaign most might have predicted that a playoff finish was the minimum requirement for the Owls this term. However, Carlos Carvalhal has had to put in a lot of work to turn their fortunes around this campaign. Wednesday posted a return of just five points from their opening five fixtures, but after some shrewd tactical moves they then went on to produce 76 points from their remaining 41 matches.

11.12amTime for some team news now...

11.13amHUDDERSFIELD TOWN STARTING XI: Coleman; Smith, Hogg, Kachunga, Mooy, Lowe, Van La Parra, Wells, Schindler, Brown, Hefele

11.14amHUDDERSFIELD TOWN SUBSTITUTES: Coddington, Whitehead, Hudson, Holmes-Dennis, Cranie, Payne, Quaner

11.14amSHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY STARTING XI: Westwood, Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Pudil, Wallace, Lee, Bannan, Reach, Forestieri, Fletcher

11.15amSHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY SUBSTITUTES: Wildsmith, Palmer, Sasso, Jones, Winnall, Rhodes, Nuhiu

11.16amSo the major news for Huddersfield is that Elias Kachunga has been able to come straight back into the side despite suffering from a calf strain recently. Between the sticks, Danny Ward serves a one-match suspension so Joel Coleman starts in goal.

11.20amAs for the visitors, Wednesday are without the influential Gary Hooper following his hamstring issue and he is nowhere to be seen in the match-day squad. HIs absence means that Jordan Rhodes might have to make an impact from the bench at some point in the contest, although the destructive striker Fernando Forestieri leads the visitors' line from the off.

11.21amThe Owls are likely to be the more confident of the two sides going into this fixture. Had it not been for the consistency of both Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion, Wednesday's form might have been title-winning this term. Prior to their final-day loss to other playoff hopefuls Fulham, Wednesday had put together a seven-match unbeaten streak and in turn display an ability to cope with some rather high-pressure situations - quite the opposite of what Huddersfield served up at the back-end of the season.

11.25amWhen looking at the two previous meetings between the teams this season, Wednesday have won out on both occasions and that might be a slight concern for Wagner ahead of this match. Huddersfield lost both regular league meetings against the Owls without scoring a single goal.

11.26amIn fact, Wednesday have not lost any of their past seven matches against the Terriers since losing to their rivals back in 2013. Since then they have won five and drawn two against Huddersfield.

11.28amOne man who enjoys his time facing the Terriers is Wednesday forward Forestieri. The Argentine has scored in his last three matches against Town in the Championship.

11.31amYou feel that his home tie is vital for Huddersfield when looking at the wider context of the two legs. Hillsborough can be a difficult place to visit and Town will likely need something in the bag before making the trip across Yorkshire next week.

11.32amDespite having a rather up-and-down season for Huddersfield, Nahki Wells could prove important for the hosts. The frontman has four goals in three previous play-off appearances, which he notched while playing for Bradford when they were promoted from League Two during the 2012-13 season.

11.34amWednesday have been there and done this before in the Championship playoffs, while this will be Town's first time chasing promotion from the Championship in this format. The Owls have a couple of players with vital playoff experience too, including that of Ross Wallace who scored in both games of last season's play-off semi-finals against Brighton.

11.38amThe Owls have also reached the final of both play-off campaigns they have played in before this one. Recent history suggests that finishing fourth can be advantageous too. The team in fourth place has won the Championship play-offs in two of the past three campaigns.

11.41amThis contest will be a huge one for young Coleman in the Town goal. He comes in to replace the suspended Ward. The 21-year-old stopper will be vital today when you take into consideration how Huddersfield like to build from the back.

11.42amRegardless of Town's poor form at the end of the season, you cannot ignore the fact that they spent just eight days outside the top six this term. Huddersfield were also the first of the four teams to confirm their play-off spot. This should be a fantastic game here today.

11.45amObviously Kachunga and Wells will be vital to any positive outcome today, but Wednesday will need to be aware of the fantastic abilities of Aaron Mooy in the middle of the park. The 26-year-old has been a real find for Town this campaign, especially in the way he is able to control and dictate the play from midfield. His passing ability has been crucial in allowing Kachunga to make his much-talked about runs in behind.

11.47amPREDICTION! We have just under 15 minutes until kickoff now and it is time to make a prediction. Wednesday know exactly what it takes to beat a Wagner side, having done so twice already this season. The Owls also have the experience of these massive contests and they might just fancy themselves to pinch an important away win. Wagner has often played down his side's chances and they will be hoping to spring a surprise over Wednesday today. That said, you cannot really see past Wednesday's late-season form and their record against Town already this season. The visitors might just steal a 2-1 advantage here...

11.51amSteven Fletcher has a huge task today in order to fill in for the injured Hooper. The frontman has played with Forestieri a number of times already this campaign and that previous experience would have been helpful for Carvalhal when having to choose his starting XI.

11.52amThe players are currently going through their final warm-ups out the pitch and it is safe to say that the John Smith's is already rocking. We're set for a cracking atmosphere in west Yorkshire.

11.54amAt the moment the sun is out and shining in Huddersfield, but we are expecting some showers here and there which should add a little more zip to the contest.

11.56amOwls boss Carvalhal has had this to say ahead of the contest, according to BBC Sport: "Our team have quality and our team fights and battles a lot. Steven Fletcher and Fernando Forestieri start the defending from the front and every player is connected from front to back. We have more options, but in our understanding those two up front are the best two to help us win the game."

11.58amHere we go then, the players emerge from the tunnel to rapturous applause. This stadium is well and truly alive!

1 minKICKOFF! Huddersfield get us moving then in their blue and white home strip, while the Owls feature in black and orange...

2 minTown have started proceedings carefully, moving the ball around the back to give everyone a touch. The ball is then worked forward long, where Lees gets across to head clear without a challenge.

3 minMooy gets his first chance to begin pulling the strings in the midfield. Some neat footwork sees the playmaker win a cheap free kick. The ball into the area is a time one, however, leaving Wednesday to hoof clear.

5 minHefele shows his intent early on as he leaves a pretty huge challenge on the back of Forestieri. The Owls work their set-piece out wide, but Town are quick on the press before retaining possession. The hosts break quickly through Smith, but Pudil gets across neatly to prevent the danger.

6 minsThis has been a tight opening gambit in Yorkshire and neither side have really been able to put too much together. Town have arguably had the slightly better start with some intensive pressing and nice interchanges in the middle of the park.

8 minNice work now from Lees on the Town left. He beats his made and cuts inside to deliver a cross for Wells, but the ball into the box is a little too lofty and the cross evades the frontman. The ball is then retrieved and worked inside to Mooy, who drags his speculative effort wide of the target without troubling Westwood.

10 minWonderfull stuff from the hosts now as Kachunga and Mooy combine nicely to try and pick out Wells over the top. A neat one-two then sees the ball chipped over the visiting defence, but the pass has just a little too much on it and Wells cannot retrieve.

13 minThe Terriers are starting to take control of this opening stage now and van La Parra wins a cheap free kick to give Town the chance to deliver into the box. Lowe strikes the ball straight into a raised arm from Reach although Town get nothing for it.

14 minSpace is beginning to emerge over on the left channel and Town are seeking to exploit it. Van La Parra breaks forward again but his cross is wayward and Wednesday go unpunished despite Kachunga's presence inside the area.

16 minFletcher is given his first chance to hold up the ball inside the Town box, but he shows too much strength and is penalised for a foul on Smith. The Owls have offered very little going forward in the opening 15 minutes, they look most likely to spring something on the counter though.

18 minKachunga has enjoyed a bright start and this time he wins a smart free kick off a clumsy challenge from Pudil. The ball eventually finds its way Hogg, who tries to force the issue and ends up giving away possession with a tame long ball forward. Lots of endeavour from the home side, just not quite the required quality to break through as yet.

24 minCROSSBAR! Space is proving hard to come by around the Wednesday box, leaving Brown to go on a run of his own just short of the visiting area before he loses control and the ball breaks kindly to Westwood. The youngster comes back again moments later as he reacts brilliantly with a half-volley and clips the crossbar.

25 minWednesday have failed to find any rhythm here in the first half and have offered very little going forward. Town almost break through once more as Smith nips in behind to receive a clever ball from Brown, but the linesman has his flag raised for offside.

27 minBrown is starting to cause some real issues for the visiting defence. The youngster shows great awareness to turn in behind the Wednesday defence once more, but Smith cannot quite return the favour with his pass.

31 minFletcher and Forestieri are arguably playing a bit too far apart and that is preventing the visitors from keeping the ball when going forward. Wednesday get the chance to break this time but a poor pass hands Town an opportunity to counter. The ball is worked to Kachunga, who lashes straight at Westwood despite already being flagged for offside.

32 minWednesday get the chance to whip something into the box from a free kick, but Hefele is brought down off the ball and Town are handed a reprieve. That sort of sums up the away side's first half here...

34 minYELLOW CARD! The derby ties are beginning to show themselves now and Wallace goes into the book for a rash challenge on Kachunga. Wagner will be the happier of the coaches so far but his side are yet to grab the goal that their dominance has perhaps deserved.

38 minMooy produces a perfect turn in the middle of the pitch and he almost slips in Kachunga with a wonderful through-ball down the right channel. Thankfully for Wednesday, the pass is on the weightier side and the ball runs out for a throw.

39 minALMOST! A corner is whipped into the Wednesday box and Town are able to win the first header, leading to a scramble in the middle of the area. Wednesday eventually clear to Fletcher, but the Terriers are quick in retaining the ball. Their pressing has been wonderful thus far.

43 minThe Town dominance continues but they have so far been unable to find the right way through this strict visiting defence. The Terriers have seen plenty of the ball in this half, although things have not quite clicked in the final third for Wagner's charges.

44 minMore neat stuff on the edge of the area almost sees Brown open up with a shot from distance, however Loovens comes across to make the block. Wednesday are still in this, you might even argue that this is exactly what they might have been planning: sit deep and hit on the counter. That counter hasn't quite materialised yet, though, and a Town goal could completely upend that plan.

45 minWe're going to have three minutes of additional time here at the John Smith's Stadium...


12.51pmSo the referee brings a close to an entertaining first half of playoff football in Yorkshire and both coaches will be fairly pleased with what they have seen. Wagner's Town have arguably had the better have and have shown more intent, although Wednesday have soaked up the pressure well.

12.52pmThe Terriers might feel unlucky not to be in front after Brown hit the bar with his reactionary effort, but the Owls have sat deep and firm thus far, producing a strong defensive display on the road that will likely please Carvalhal.

12.58pmYou get the idea that Carvalhal will be happy sitting deep like his side currently are, in hope that they might just be able to steal something on the break. That tactic works fine should Town not go in front, but he might have to change things should the home side continue to dominate in the second half.

45 minSECOND HALF! Wednesday begin proceedings again here in Yorkshire... Will we get the goal that will open up this tie? We've been patient enough, wouldn't you say?

46 minWednesday aim to go long from the off and they almost win a vital knock-down inside the area, although Schindler nips in to hoof clear before Fletcher can pounce.

48 minTown have essentially settled back into their groove from the first half. The press is back soon enough and the ball is rotated with neat, short passes in the middle of the pitch. Brown drives at the defence with speed, but Bannan does well to block his efforts.

50 minHunt is almost caught cold ball watching when van La Parra breaks down the left, but he does recover well in order to prevent the full-back's cross from reaching Wells in the centre of the area.

52 minCLOSE! Fantastic defensive work from Kachunga. The striker tracks Reach all the way back into his own box in order to head clear from a smart cross over on the right. Great commitment from the frontman...

53 minALMOST! Van La Parra and Smith combine beautifully with a cut-back to allow the full-back to burst free into the area. His final pass doesn't quite deliver and the away side can scramble clear. What a goal that would have been had Smith been able to pick out the waiting Kachunga...

56 minSAVE! Lees gives Wells far too much room on the edge of the area and the striker sees Westwood off his line before attempting to lob the keeper from distance. Thankfully for the visitors, their stopper is able to scramble back in the nick of time to tip the ball over the bar.

57 minCLOSE! Wednesday have failed to offer much quality thus far, but Reach finds some space to wind-up from distance. The shot is a decent one, although it's always sailing wide of Coleman's post.

59 minShould Carvalhal make a change? It appears as though the lack of quality up top today is hindering the visitors. They just can't keep hold of the ball when going forward and it's playing into Town's hands as they take control of possession.

61 minYELLOW CARD! Hunt goes into the book as he is completely outdone by van La Parra before bringing the attacker down on the left flank. The hosts will likely target the full-back now...

62 minSUBSTITUTION: Wednesday make their first change as Wallace is replaced by the incoming David Jones. The departing midfielder doesn't look best pleased to be honest.

65 minMore shrewd movement down the left channel sees the home side win a corner, which is turned into the box by Mooy. It's a great whipped delivery that is turned in towards the front-post, where Wells flicks across goal and wide without troubling Westwood.

67 minStill the pressure grows on Wednesday to find an answer to this Town dominance, but to be fair the Terriers aren't creating too much that might unlock the away defence.

69 minSUBSTITUTION: Wednesday make another change now as Rhodes comes on to replace a laboured Fletcher in attack. Will that allow the visitors to hold the ball up a little more? They need to do something...

70 minCHANCE! Tremendous work now from Mooy who picks out the run of Smith to perfection, however the right-back is unable to bring the ball down properly inside the area and his half-effort is smothered by a retreating Pudil.

71 minSAVE! Van La Parra's pace is causing all kinds of trouble now. He breaks in behind before the ball is deflected into the path of Wells. The frontman almost reacts perfectly, but is thwarted by the on-rushing movement of Westwood, who breaks off his line to deflect the shot wide.

74 minYELLOW CARD! Wednesday's Jones has to take one for the team as he pulls back a driving Brown in the middle of the visiting half. The hosts keep on coming...

76 minSmith has been industrious over on the right flank today and this time he has the beating of his marker, before seeing his cross deflected out for a corner. The ball into the middle finds Wells, who lashes a shot straight into the body of a desperate Wednesday defender. Can they get this vital goal to take to Hillsborough?

78 minSUBSTITUTION: Town make their opening change as Kachunga is replaced by Collin Quaner up top. Perhaps he'll bring a bit more of a physical presence in these closing stages?

82 minWe're now into the final 10 minutes here at the John Smith's Stadium? Can Town muster the goal that their dominance has deserved? Or will there be a sting in the tale with Wednesday still well in with a shout this afternoon?

85 minCLOSE! That would have been a turn up for the books... Bannan finds space just short of the Town box and he flashes a decent effort towards Coleman's goal, only to see the ball creep finely over the crossbar. We are in for a tense finish now.

88 minTown get the chance to have a go at goal from range as Mooy winds up his shooting boots. However, his free kick is headed away by Lees.

89 minWonderful work again from Smith down the right, who is soon brought down by a retreating Reach. The ball into the middle is a poor one from Mooy, though, allowing Wednesday to clear without too much danger.

90 minFour minutes of additional time here...


1.55pmSo there goes the final whistle and it is job done for Wednesday, who came to sit deep and leave themselves with everything to play for in Sheffield next week. Town dominated that game and Wagner will be slightly frustrated that his side were unable to take what could have been a vital goal when heading to Hillsborough. As it stands, we are no closer to understanding who will be making their way to Wembley for the final. Thank you for joining us and we'll be seeing you again soon for the second leg!

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Terriers boss David Wagner watches on during the FA Cup replay between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town on March 1, 2017
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