Matty Pearson was Burnley’s nemesis once again as his late header saw Huddersfield come from behind to dump the Premier League side out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win at Turf Moor.
Pearson, whose extra-time goal gave Accrington Stanley a League Cup win over Burnley in 2016, headed in for the Championship club four minutes from time after Josh Koroma had cancelled out Jay Rodriguez’s first-half goal.
It means the Terriers are into the fourth round for the first time since 2018, while relegation-threatened Burnley are left to wonder if this will again be a league fixture next season.
The Clarets were without manager Sean Dyche – absent with Covid-19 – and without a spark against the Terriers, who made seven changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Blackburn last weekend but who were able to boss the second half.
This is the 100th anniversary of Huddersfield’s only FA Cup success – a run which began with a 2-2 draw at Turf Moor – and though a repeat would be beyond a fairy-tale, this was a fine start.
Burnley had named a strong looking side, but found themselves on the back foot in the early stages as sloppy play at the back allowed Huddersfield to keep them pegged back – even though they were unable to test Nick Pope.
Rodriguez is yet to score in 13 Premier League appearances this season but has become the Clarets’ cup specialist, and he was at the centre of every chance the hosts created in the first half.
He had already fired wide once and tested Ryan Schofield with a low shot across goal before scoring in the 28th minute.
Ashley Westwood’s ball from deep missed Chris Wood but Rodriguez was running in behind to head beyond the goalkeeper – his fifth goal in four cup outings this season.
Things got worse for the visitors in the 36th minute when Schofield took a heavy blow in a collision with Wood, forced off clutching his shoulder as 19-year-old Australian Nicholas Bilokapic came off the bench to make his senior debut.
#htafc Head Coach Carlos Corberán:— Huddersfield Town (@htafc) January 8, 2022
“I’m really pleased with the players. The game was balanced in the first half, and then we played a brilliant second half.
“We’re very proud of our history in the @EmiratesFACup and we have so much respect for the competition.” pic.twitter.com/XpVjg463Pd
The Huddersfield defence did a good job in making sure he was not tested before the break, and instead it was the Terriers who almost equalised in first-half stoppage time.
Danel Sinani’s free-kick found Jon Russell, the summer signing making his first start, but his header came back off the post before returning captain Jonathan Hogg missed his chance on the rebound and Jordan Rhodes saw a shot blocked.
Huddersfield were still on the front foot as the second half started, keeping Burnley pegged back as Pipa, making his first start of an injury-hit season, flashed a shot from the edge of the area narrowly wide.
Russell sent a half-volley just wide before Koroma cut in from the left to bend one just wide.
Burnley were too laboured, missing the spark of the absent Dwight McNeil and Johann Berg Gudmundsson, and the lack of pace in the side was allowing Huddersfield to attack on the break.
That eventually told in the 74th minute. Matt Lowton was guilty of giving the ball away in midfield and Huddersfield raced away, with Koroma turning in Sorba Thomas’ low cross at the far post.
Huddersfield tails were up. Moments later Pope was forced into a fingertip save to turn substitute Dwayne Holmes’ header around the post, and Naby Sarr then nodded over from the resulting corner.
They snatched the lead with four minutes left. VAR ruled Ben Mee did not use a hand in turning the ball behind but they did not need a penalty to score as Pearson nodded in from the resulting corner to send the visiting fans wild.
James Tarkowski, making his 200th Burnley appearance, had a glorious chance to send it to extra time late on but headed over, leaving Huddersfield to celebrate a fine win.