Last-gasp Ince winner lifts Terriers to brink of safety
The substitute came off the bench to knock home the only goal of the game against Watford.
Tom Ince struck a last-gasp winner to snatch Huddersfield a 1-0 home victory against Watford and give their survival hopes a major boost.
Second-half substitute Ince side-footed home in the 90th minute to clinch the Terriers their first win in six Premier League games and move them seven points clear of the bottom three.
Huddersfield’s sixth home win of the season lifted them up to 14th place in the table, two points behind Watford, whose winless league run under Javier Gracia stretched to five matches. The Hornets also remain winless on the road this season.
The game lacked scoring chances, but not intensity as the Terriers chased and harried Watford out of their stride in a bid to seize the initiative.
The John Smith’s faithful played their usual raucous role, but although their side dominated the opening exchanges, a resolute Watford restricted them to few openings.
Hornets centre-half Craig Cathcart’s last-gasp lunge in the penalty area denied Alex Pritchard and fellow defender Daryl Janmaat did well to crowd out Steve Mounie.
Watford’s Adrian Mariappa was next to throw his body on the line as Huddersfield forward Colin Quaner raced on to Aaron Mooy’s fine pass and Matias Jorgensen’s goal-bound header was also blocked.
But the visitors, bidding for their first win in five, had attacking intentions of their own.
Troy Deeney’s curled effort was deflected for a corner by Florent Hadergjonaj and Abdoulaye Doucoure’s low shot forced the first save of the match from Jonas Lossl before the Watford midfielder fired into the side-netting.
Huddersfield tried to gather steam again early in the second half and, after the introduction of Ince, they went close to forcing the breakthrough.
Ince’s effort from Pritchard’s cross rebounded to Mounie in the area, but the Benin international’s shot was also charged down.
Still Watford carried their own threat as midfielder Will Hughes flashed a ball across the face of goal after good work by Etienne Capoue.
Referee Craig Pawson then opted to Pritchard for diving rather than award a penalty against Sebastian Prodl and further appeals were ignored when substitute Laurent Depoitre appeared to be impeded in the area.
Terriers skipper Jonathan Hogg fired a low shot from the edge of the area just wide in the 81st minute and, as the nerves jangled, the game appeared to be heading for a stalemate.
But in the final minute Mathias Jorgensen latched on to a long ball played into the penalty area and, when he squared the ball back, Ince kept his composure to side-foot home a low finish.
It was his third goal of the season, but more importantly gave his side a huge lift ahead of next week’s visit of Everton.